‘It's right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains’
The Duchess of Cambridge seems to exude perfection when it comes to parenting, often seen herding her two well-behaved and well-dressed children, looking happy, relaxed and in control at all times – all whilst wearing high heels.
Yesterday, however, Kate Middleton opened up about the pressures of being a mother and it’s incredibly relatable.
The speech took place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London, during a screening of the Best Beginning’s Out of the Blue programme, an educational film series focused on mental health struggles during parenthood.
Speaking to the audience of mental health sufferers, Kate opened up about her own experiences with becoming a mother and the difficulties that she and many others faced.
‘Becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience’, the Duchess announced to the room. ‘However, at times it has also been a huge challenge - even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not.’
She continued: ‘Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost. And yet there is no rule book, no right or wrong - you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family.’
‘For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance’ she explained, before emphasising ‘It's right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains’.
‘It’s OK not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.’
‘This week, as we look forward to Mother’s Day, I would love to see everyone celebrate and value the fundamental importance that mothers play in family life.’
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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