Last week I read an article about Kate Middleton and her struggles with motherhood. The Duchess of Cambridge opened up on how she found motherhood overwhelming at an event launching a series of documentaries on mental health and parenthood last week.
What does she know?
What does she know, you might be thinking. With all her nannies and other help, how difficult can it be? That was my initial, ungenerous thought. I bet she manages to shower every day. I bet she doesn’t have to deal with a baby meltdown while trying to buy the weekly groceries in Sainsbury’s. I bet she doesn’t argue with William over who’s turn it is to unload the dishwasher/change the stinky nappy/fold the laundry.
When I thought about it more though, I realised I was wrong. Kate talked about how our fundamental identity changes when we become a mother. I think we can all relate to that, regardless of our background. The change in identity is one of the hardest aspects of motherhood in my opinion. We go from being able to do pretty much what we want, when we want and how we want, to being tied down with little time for ourselves.
However much help we have, it ultimately comes down to us. The child is ours and we are responsible for him or her. Wherever we are or whatever we are doing, that child is always in the back of our minds.
Kate also explained that there’s no rule book and we all have to make it up as we go. She said that this can lead to a lack of confidence in our abilities as parents. I think we can all relate to that, too! If I had a pound for the number of times I’ve frantically Googled something at 3am, rather than listening to my own instincts, I’d be a rich woman. Or for thinking that I’m doing a terrible job at being a mum—even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
All in it together
It’s hard for all of us. And if even Kate can admit it, we should too. It’s reassuring to know that others feel the same. Rather than paint a rose-tinted picture, we should all be as honest as Kate. It might just help another mother to realise they aren’t alone and however put-together (or not!) we look, we’re all just winging this motherhood thing.
Do you ever feel like you are just winging this motherhood thing?