It's easy to assume that someone with the resources, poise, and clout of a princess would be a perfect mother. But in a new speech on a series of films about moms' mental health from Best Beginnings called "Out of the Blue," Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton admitted she struggles to get it right sometimes as a mother, just like the rest of us. She also calls for the stigma surrounding mental illness to end once and for all.
The entire talk Middleton--who is mom to children George, age 3, and Charlotte, age 1, with Prince William--gave on Thursday is posted to Kensington Palace's Twitter.
In it, she awesomely summarizes motherhood, calling it both "rewarding" and "wonderful," and also a "huge challenge" and an "overwhelming experience." Middleton goes on to say that being a mom brings "joy, exhaustion, love, and worry all mixed together."
The princess acknowledges that when you become a mom, "your fundamental identity" changes overnight, which can feel completely disorienting. But plenty of moms don't talk about mental health issues during pregnancy and the early years of motherhood, even as it clouds their experience. According to Middleton, their silence is largely due to shame, and the immense pressure to be a perfect mom--something we all feel.
I love how the royal admits even she makes things up as she goes along, because "there is no rule book." And like all parents, she just hopes she is doing a good job.
Ultimately, Middleton's message is not only reassuring in that she isn't afraid to talk about the realities of motherhood, but because she is urging people to be more open about mental health, especially during the early years of motherhood.
"It's okay not to find it easy," the princess says about being a mom, adding, "Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness."
Amen, Kate! Hopefully with your help, more moms will realize they aren't alone, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them if they aren't 100 percent over the moon about motherhood every moment of every day. And that they will seek help if they need it.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and soon-to-be mom of 4. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.