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Dear Kate, Welcome to Mummy Life

As I woke up this morning, after a fitful night with a hot, restless 4 year old one thought struck me. I know for a fact that there is someone who feels way more sleep deprived than me right now. And her name is the Duchess of Cambridge.

It’s hard to believe as she emerged with her supportive, happy husband, from the doors of the Lindo Wing that Kate had given birth just over 24 hours previously. She looked utterly gorgeous. Not puffy faced, tired and washed out, but radiant and glorious in her achievement. Bless her. And William was the wonderfully proud first time Dad, saying all the normal things we all say “great pair of lungs on him” and “I’ll remind him of his tardiness when he’s older, I know you’ve all been waiting”. How very decent of him to reference that.

When asked how she felt, Kate replied, “…any parent will know how this feeling feels, it’s very special.” I liked that. It was humble and honest.

But Kate has now entered Planet Parent and mummy life is not always easy to navigate as gracefully as, say, walking down an aisle with millions of people watching you.

For a start there’s her hair. I mean that hair is amazing. It’s luscious and healthy and thick and perfectly curled at the ends. 24 hours after I’d had Eliza mine was pretty much still plastered to my head. Thereafter it became merely an irritant, to be tied back and got out of the way at all times, particularly when little hands started to realise it was fun to pull. Kate – do yourself a favour buy some hair bands.

Then there’s the high heels. One of the first things I bought after having Eliza was a pair of fitflops. I thought that they’d help me shift the pounds on the many, many walks I took her on. I got to know Clapham Common extremely well, every last inch. Heels were consigned to a dusty corner of my cupboard, and have only recently made an appearance.

But for me, being a mum comes hand in hand with sleep deprivation. I know all mums go through this, but I suspect some manage better than others. I didn’t manage well at all. I mentioned this to a friend this morning and she said that most probably, being Royal and all, they’d have a night nanny. No sleep deprivation for royalty. But I’m not so sure. They look like the sort of young couple who’d like to take full control of bringing up their baby. Maybe after, say, week 5 when the lack of sleep starts to become a bit of a nuisance (it’ll play havoc with her hair for example), they’ll consider it, but she seems like a stoic sort of gal.

Judging by the amount of PR material I’ve been sent about the Royal baby, from brands, products and services trying to cash in, there’ll be no lack of freebies for the new Prince. But given that they have to decide between several mansions in which to live with their child I’m not sure a free steriliser is really going to make much impact.

I remember after giving birth I just felt so completely overwhelmed by it all, the very last thing I wanted was people looking at me and discussing if I’d lost the weight, and then there’s all the unsolicited advice from well meaning relatives, friends and perfect strangers in Sainsbury’s. That was bad enough for me, I dread to think how much interference Kate and William will get. Hopefully the world’s media will give them some room to breath now, get used to being parents, readjust their lives and bond as a family.

So Kate, welcome to Mummy life. To nappies, mushing food up, getting thrown up on, never leaving the house without an arsenal of stuff, dark circles under your eyes, developing biceps from the endless rocking of a collicy baby. And welcome to the pure joy, the elation, the tears that will flow, the pride, the feeling that your life is finally whole. Welcome to mummy life in all it’s wonderful, chaotic, terrifying glory.

Congratulations to them both.

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Comments

  1. She looked so amazing for someone who’d just given birth! Looking back at photos of me the day after I looked awful and no amount of makeup would make me look good!

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