Parenting

From a princess’s perspective

Being a very girly girl, I have always fancied myself as a princess.

Like most girls I know, I dreamed of being swept off my feet by Prince Charming and becoming the mother of little princes and princesses, living in a beautiful palace with hardly a care in the world. (I did achieve the Prince Charming bit of my fairy tale!)

A recent conversation about the Royal Family however got me thinking whether or not life in the monarchy is really as glamorous and wonderful as we make out. Discussing the Duchess of Cambridge, a friend was saying how easy it must be for her to raise her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte with no money worries, a live in nanny, someone to do the housework and cooking and someone else to keep her fit. In principal I dare say that the privileged lifestyle that Kate Middleton has become part of provides a wonderfully comfortable start to the world of parenthood, however I wondered would it really be ‘easier’?

Like any mother, Kate has had to battle the sleepless nights of a newborn, the tribulations of teething and the challenges of tantrumming toddlers, however the difference is that she has to negotiate all these things with the eyes of the world watching her. She must complete all motherly duties whilst looking impeccable and greeting her waiting public at various engagements across the world, on less than four hours sleep. Royals are rarely ‘off-duty’, and to be so eagerly observed by millions of people, some fans who wish them well and some who are just waiting for them to make a wrong move must be so incredibly upsetting, especially when finding your way as new parents for the very first time.

William and Kate are probably the most famous couple on the planet, and the media circus that surrounds their every move is quite surreal, and I imagine it must be incredibly frightening to try and raise children in the harsh and constant glare of the spotlights. I understand why the Royals retreat to sprawling estates of Balmoral and Sandringham to escape the prying eyes of the media and enjoy some level of freedom. The Duchess of Cambridge will never be able to freely walk her son and daughter to and from school like I can, she may never be able to attend local toddler groups in Kensington to meet regular mums going through the same stages as her for fear of letting her guard down and becoming vulnerable to individual who would manipulate or threaten her young family.

Yes Kate may have the most amazing play room that my children can only dream about, and yes she may have every designer brand beating her door down to dress her, but I am blessed to be able to enjoy being a daughter of the King whilst treasuring the precious day to day moments of my children’s lives without fear of paparazzi intrusion and global scrutiny.

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Parenting

Embrace the place you’re in

If I had a pound for every time a mommy friend welcomed me into her home saying “please excuse the mess” then I would be a very rich woman.

The truth is unless you have a live in housekeeper (or OCD) if you have children in your home then it WILL be messy. End of. Why moms feel the need to constantly keep up appearances for guests is beyond me, yet I fall foul of this every time I set a play date with fellow moms too.

As women I think we feel a lot of pressure to ‘be’ something, whether that is to be the perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect cook or perfect friend, and although I believe it is good to have goals and dream big we need to face reality that sometimes things won’t be quite as picture perfect as we would like.

I have never once gone into a friends house and judged her by the state of the carpets as I picked my way through the lego bricks and happy land figures in the hallway to get to the kitchen. I have never once thought gosh you would think she would have washed the breakfast dishes up by 2pm, I have never wrinkled my nose in disgust at the crumbs on the sofa or the grubby finger marks on the walls and windows. In fact when I enter a friends house and it is in a slight state of disarray I inwardly relax, glad that its not just me then, and I feel less uptight about the mess that my own children are about to create from the toybox…

Furthermore, I have never met a mom who wished she had spent less time with her children, and if that is one legacy I want to leave with them it is that mommy was always there and always ready to play.

So what I would like to encourage you in is this; your little ones will not stay little forever. This season of having small people under your feet will fly by with no disregard for your heart as you watch them grow. They will not always follow you around with endless requests to play/give snacks/give drinks/read stories. One day they will find their feet and start their own journey through life, with minimal input from you, so fellow moms I urge you (and myself) to put down the duster, unplug the hoover and embrace the place you are in.

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