Kate Middleton opens up about the challenges of motherhood

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Kate Middleton Duchess of Cambridge family
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive to attend the morning Christmas Day service. (The Associated Press)

On Thursday, the Duchess of Cambridge attended a mental health event at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. While there, Kate gave a rather revealing speech where she admitted that being a mom to Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 1, isn’t easy.

“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge — even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not,” the Duchess of Cambridge says.

Yes, Kate has a live-in nanny, a housekeeper and a supportive mother who help her watch the kids, do the laundry and the cooking. But having help doesn’t mean you still aren’t overwhelmed by the sleepless nights, breastfeeding struggles and the weird colours of baby poo.

“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother,” Kate went on to say. “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.”

The Duchess of Cambridge Visit - Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for the launch of Maternal Mental Health Films in London. (Doug Peters / EMPICS Entertainment)

If you think back to when Prince George was born, you’ll remember how Kate emerged from the hospital looking poised and perfectly together despite having given birth just 24 hours earlier. It’s kind of reassuring to think that underneath her calm exterior (and perfect hair!), Kate was feeling overwhelmed and really tired.

Now, we know Kate has a favourite parenting book, but the Duchess admits that she often just wings it when it comes to motherhood.

“There is no rule book, no right or wrong — you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance.”

Kate often makes motherhood look easy. She somehow manages to diffuse tantrums while wearing sky-high heels and a pristine outfit. But underneath the perfect dress and matching hat, Kate is just like all other moms — making it up as she goes and feeling huge amounts of internal panic.

Bravo to Kate for opening up about the struggles of being a mum. You can watch Kate give her speech below (and if you’re wondering: Kate is re-wearing an Eponine London skirt suit that she first wore last year).

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