The Bachelor winner Alex Nation has been forced to defend her parenting after fans accused her of neglecting her five-year-old son in favour of new boyfriend Richie Strahan.
One of Nation’s critics was her former sister-in-law, Kimberley Grace Porter, the elder sister of Alex’s ex-husband and the father of their son, Joel Porter.
After the reality dating show’s finale, Ms Porter took to Instagram to praise her brother and his new partner for their commitment to Elijah, a post many interpreted as a stab at Nation.
“You are the real winners,” she wrote. “You both have that kid’s heart.”
Nation’s Instagram feed is filled with comments from viewers pointing out the recent dearth of photos of Elijah and questioning her commitment to being a mother.
“Where the hell is your son?” one commenter wrote on a photo of Strahan enjoying a bubble bath.
Speaking to The New Daily, Nation said she doesn’t give her critics “the time of day”.
“I’ve spent the last two weeks in Perth just enjoying the start of that chapter with Richie,” she said, explaining Elijah’s absence from her social media accounts.
“These people they think they know who you are by seeing you on a reality TV show, but they have no insight on what I do or where I am.
“I know I’m a good mum and I know I just absolutely love and adore my son, so reading stuff like that it can be a bit frustrating at times, because sometimes people’s ignorance is offensive.”
Nation admitted Strahan has still not met her son and is unlikely to meet him when he visits Melbourne next week.
“We have a few media engagements, so he won’t meet him then, there’s just not enough time where we can really enjoy it,” she said.
“It will be in the next month or so, they will definitely meet and I’m so excited. They’ve spoken over the phone and that went really well.
“Elijah has been saying, ‘Can we Skype Richie?’. I’m very excited for the two of them to meet, it’s just not something that Richie and I want to rush.”
While Nation said Strahan is already talking about buying Christmas presents for her son, he has to meet Elijah’s father first before he can get to know Elijah.
“Richie will meet Joel first,” Nation revealed, adding that her former husband has been a strong support system.
“Joel is very supportive, he understands that it’s a very weird and wonderful world. He and I work very well together.
“He always says, ‘I know you’re a good mum and Elijah loves and adores you and you care for him, and that’s all that matters’.”
Nation, meanwhile, is still recovering from the backlash she received after winning Strahan’s heart over fan favourite Nikki Gogan.
“There was a lot that came after the show, some of it was quite disappointing,” she said.
I had a child at 19, I was married at 20, we separated at 22 and divorced and now I’ve gone through all of this.
“No one prepares you for what comes afterwards, I certainly was not prepared at all.”
The 24-year-old is hoping to use her experiences for good.
“I actually started a little project where I want to talk to girls in schools about social media decorum and healthy body image,” she explained.
“I had a child at 19, I was married at 20, we separated at 22 and divorced and now I’ve gone through all of this.
“The funny thing is with these social media trolls and bullies is they don’t realise they’re helping me thrive by giving me a platform.”
A photo posted by Richie Strahan (@richie_strahan) on