Kate Middleton is presumably a dab hand at parenting by now. After all, she has three children which is basically like being a pro-level parent in my opinion. When she welcomed her youngest child, 9-month-old Prince Louis, last April I like to think she was feeling well and truly prepared for the challenges she would face with a newborn. Because when she first welcomed her oldest child, 5-year-old Prince George, or even her second, 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, she was apparently not feeling very well equipped. In fact, Kate Middleton's recent parenting confession brings up a very good point about what our expectation of parenting looks like versus the real thing. And even for a member of the royal family, there is apparently a pretty wide gap between expectation and reality.
The Duchess of Cambridge attended the Royal Foundation's Mental Health in Education conference on Wednesday as part of her ongoing commitment to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, particularly in regards to children. While at the conference, Middleton sat in on a few teacher training sessions as well as panel discussion on how best to move forward with integrating mental health awareness in education. She was so moved by the day that she decided to open up a little about her own experiences, despite the fact that she wasn't scheduled to speak.
Middleton spoke out about her own naivety as a new parent, as per People, about those all-too important early years of child development:
When I first started out—and I’ve learned a lot in a short period of time working with organizations—I was very naive myself as a parent of really just how important particularly the early years are for children’s futures. And how critical it is, everyone looking after children at a critical time, teachers, parents, and everyone who’s caring for them, how important it is that we get it right. I didn’t know what some of the issues that perhaps we take for granted here as experts know about, but it’s being able to translate it to those who don’t have the training in a way that the points come across clearly.
Both Middleton and her husband, future King of England Prince William, have gone on record as saying they want to make sure they provide a safe space for their children to talk about their mental health, as per Entertainment Tonight. And of course, it's important to lead by example, which Middleton has done in the past despite being a member of the royal family (pretty famously tight-lipped about feelings and such).
In 2017, Middleton admitted during a speech to fellow mothers that she found parenting "lonely and isolated" as a new parent, as reported by The Daily Mail. And while this admission might not be that big a deal to a mother in most situations, it's pretty massive when it comes from a respected member of the royal family.
Because it acts as a reminder that parenting and all of its challenges are universal. And talking about these challenges can be one of the ties that bind us together.