Motherhood can be highly rewarding, but it comes with many challenges. Plenty of experienced voices have expressed the sentiment that there is no such thing as the “perfect” mother.
It can be easy to assume that certain public figures who are also mothers must have it all figured out. Kate Middleton certainly appears to be a graceful and loving mother in all the photos we see of her.
Surely the Duchess of Cambridge could not relate to the same mothering challenges that we face, right? Whatever the “perfect mother” looks like, she seems to be a great representation: elegance, poise, and style.
Kate Middleton recently revealed that this assumption is merely that — an assumption, which she addressed as she introduced the Out of the Blue film series. She admitted that motherhood has been “a huge challenge” at times.
This educational film series was created by the charity organization Best Beginnings. Best Beginnings took on the project with the goal of informing people about the importance of mental health, specifically in relation to pregnancy and the early years of parenting.
Middleton stated, “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.”
She acknowledged that she has more resources and support at home than many women. Despite this, she still has found herself experiencing a “lack of confidence” and even “feelings of ignorance” when it comes to raising her two children.
Three-year-old Prince George and almost two-year-old Princess Charlotte are right within the age group when many parents are likely to start experiencing mental health problems. Pregnancy and the first year afterwards can be especially difficult stages, with two in ten women experiencing mental health issues during this time period.
Kate Middleton urges any mothers or fathers who feel like darkness and isolation are clouding their joy of parenting to seek help. Though not every moment of parenting will be a joyful experience, nobody should be suffering in silence and shame.
Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. In fact, Kate Middleton described it as “a real sign of strength.”
Hopefully, Kate Middleton’s speech will encourage women to see the amazing value in their roles as mothers. Motherhood is so important that women must also see themselves as worthy of receiving the necessary help it takes to be both physically and mentally healthy for their children, their loved ones, and especially themselves.