Monday, 22 July 2013

Mothering, the Royal Way.

The Duchess of Cambridge has it tough. She had a fairytale wedding that all little girls dream of. She is our royal heroine and well loved. She's beautiful but not detached. Everything about her is seemingly perfect.

But she is bringing her child into our world of rapid-travel news. Every cry of labour pains, every twitch of a hospital curtain, every dimming of the lights in the hospital room will be facebooked and tweeted around the world.

When she arrives home with her precious bundle, exhausted and possibly overwhelmed, she is going to have to live out her mothering in front of a worldwide audience. Most of us like to hide away for a while until the droopy bags under our eyes can't stay hidden any longer. Many of us won't get dressed for days on end, and even when we do our clothes will be decorated with baby drool and sick.

The Duchess will be expected to still look beautiful and glamorous. She will not be allowed to go out of the house with white patches on her shoulders. She will have to don large sunglasses to cover her sleep deprived eyes. What if her her dazzling smile turns to tears of exhaustion and frustration? There will be no hiding for our fresh faced princess. The whole world will be looking on as she tried to work out how to be a Mum. Everyone will be waiting to hear of her successes and failures.

We've all had those soul-humbling experiences when our toddlers decide to tantrum in the local supermarket. Everyone watches, either out of pity or irritation. For Kate, this will be her life. Every parental decision will be analysed. Each milestone the child reaches or doesn't reach will be assessed by the experts of the nation (and the pretend experts too). The world will be full of advice for this first-time mum.

I think we should give her a break and expect from her all we would expect from any new mother. If she stays in her pyjamas all day and hides away from the flash of the camera, I will be applauding her. Stunningly beautiful she is, but this does not qualify her to be a perfect mother and if she makes mistakes along the way (as we all have) I hope the world will be kind to her. When she leaves her home with bags full of baby paraphernalia but forgets to put her shoes on, I hope we will not criticise.

She is, after all, a first-time mother who will be trying to stumble her way through this parenting business just the same as the rest of us.

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