I’ll admit it – I love the Royal Family. I’ve followed them and read about them since my Mom, Grandma and I went on a three generations trip to England and Ireland when I was in Grade Eleven.
Like most of the world, I was glued to social media last week in anticipation of Kate and William’s birth announcement and their release from the hospital.
And now, a few days later, I am feeling guilty for getting caught up in the hype. Why? Because as I watched Kate’s face as she walked out of the hospital, I didn’t see a Duchess or a member of the Royal Family – I saw a new Mom. A new Mom with love in her eyes as she gently patted her newborn through his blanket. A new Mom who ever so carefully handed her baby to her husband and made sure he was secure before letting him go. A new Mom who is nowhere near recovered from delivery yet there she stands, smiling and waving to the crowds and reporters.
I remember how I felt 24 hours after I gave birth to our first. I was uncomfortable. I was in pain. I was emotional. I was nervous. I had no idea what I was doing. How do you bath a newborn? Please let the baby latch. Is she cold? Is she hot? Is she peeing enough? Am I feeding her enough? Is she breathing?
As Kate walked through the doors of the hospital and I took a good look at her face, all I could think about was what an incredibly strong and brave woman she is. All of the things above were undoubtedly going through her mind too. At a time where every fiber of your being (and hormone in your body) is telling you to lay low, recover and bond with your baby, she’s out in front of crowds following protocol and meeting the entire world’s expectations.
And then, just when you think they’ll have some peace and the media frenzy will calm down, articles start popping up about how she’ll lose the baby weight, how the baby wasn’t secured properly in the car seat or criticizing the name they chose. Seriously?
She’d been a Mom for 24 hours. She got dressed in heels. She smiled and waved through the pain, exhaustion and emotions her body was throwing at her. She shared her most valuable possession with the world. She’s not looking at that baby and thinking of him as the future King of England. He’s her newborn son. Like most of us, I’ll bet she’s looking at her beautiful new baby boy and feeling completely overwhelmed as she stares at his gorgeous little face – wondering how on earth it’s possible that they could have made something so incredible.
I know the world loves celebrities. I know that when you’re in the public eye, you’re in the public eye. With that being said, I’m reminded of Julia Roberts’ character’s quote in Notting Hill, “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” Well she’s just a girl, holding her newborn baby boy and falling in love with him. Articles about her as a parent should be about nothing more than how incredibly she’s handling the stress and exhaustion that come along with being a new Mom, in addition to the pressure and expectations on her as a Royal.
It’s inevitable. When babies are born people come out of the woodwork and want their turn holding and cuddling them. Have you ever thought that in those early days maybe it’s actually Mom that needs the squeeze? So Kate, here’s a big group hug from all the Moms out there who know what those first few days and weeks are like. You’ve got this thing and we’ve got your back.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller