Lifestyle, Parenting

Dear Harry and Meghan

Two days in to being parents, congratulations! The adrenalin is still running, hormones flowing, body aching and heart bursting. You are besotted with your beautiful boy and cannot bear to take your eyes of him for fear of missing something. Netflix has nothing on watching a newborn sleep.

Any parent will tell you that raising children is the most exhilarating and exhausting, beautiful yet bewildering role they have ever had. Being a mother was, and still is, my greatest ambition and my greatest achievement. But it has not been without its challenges, namely around maternal mental health, which was overcome with a lot of love, faith, prayer and communication.

I want to encourage you both that you have a winning formula to start your new role as parents. When we watch you in public, we see warmth, love and respect, a genuine affection for one another that overrides the world around you. This love, this bond is your greatest source of strength as you navigate your new normal.

To any new parents I say this; keep checking in on each other. Sleepless nights can strain solid marriages, teething tests a mother’s bond to breaking point and tantrums can make the most patient parent tear their hair out. These seasons of motherhood are messy and miraculous.

It’s normal to find the days long and the nights longer. It’s natural to go into survival mode as the days blur from one to another in the early weeks and months. My advice to all new parents is to keep looking at one another. Keep locking your gaze and speaking words of love, encouragement and understanding through your eyes in the way that only couples can. Talk often and openly about everything and anything.

Be patient with each other, hold hands, hold your tongue and hold on for the ride. And above all, trust God as you embark on the best role there is.

Enjoy every minute.

R x

Photo Credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal

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.