We all marvelled at Kate Middleton as she appeared in public mere hours after giving birth looking fabulous.
Her hair was perfectly styled, her make-up flawless and there was not a dried-up milk patch in sight on her dress.
Most amazingly of all, she tottered down steps wearing heels, while carrying her newborn, in front of the world’s media. Hat’s off to her, because no amount of styling and help from a make-up artist would have convinced me to brave a photo call a few hours after having my kids.
So in this respect Kate is pretty different to other mums, but in so many others she faces exactly the same challenges we all do. Although she’s taken her newborn home to a palace, these are the “fun” bits of parenting a baby even royals have to put up with:
1. The discomfort
She walked down those steps outside the Lindo Wing, smiled and waved to the cameras as if she had not a care in the world.
But we all know that whether you’re a princess or a pauper, giving birth leaves its mark. Even if you don’t have to have stitches, you still feel like someone has taken a bat to your lady parts.
Most importantly, we all have to stuff those maternity pads the size of a brick into our post-birth granny pants.
2. The breastfeeding woes
By the third baby you know all about a successful latch, the letdown, cluster feeding and how to perform boob massage.
However every baby is still different, and while you might have successfully breastfed one baby for over a year, the next may settle only for the royal bottle from day one.
3. Sleepless nights
Of course when you’re mega rich you can pay for other people to suffer through your child’s sleepless nights.
But it seems like Kate and Wills are pretty modern royals and there’s not a wet nurse in sight. Kate’s facing at least a couple of AM feeds every night for the next few months with the new little prince – let’s hope Wills mucks in by taking George and Charlotte to the park in the mornings.
Even princesses love a lie-in, as long as someone remembered to remove that pea from under the mattress.
4. Post-partum hair loss
That famous glossy mane will be pampered by the best hairdressers in the land, but no Chelsea blowdry, luxury conditioning treatment or hair growth elixir can stop clumps of your hair falling out after a shower post birth.
5. The visitors
In this respect I think Kate has it worse than other mums!
Think about how hard it can be welcoming the endless stream of visitors to your home after having a baby. It takes a lot of effort to get out of your PJs and make yourself look presentable for guests.
Now imagine it’s the Queen who’s coming over! Of course she’s the baby’s great-granny, but still that’s got to ramp up the pressure quite a bit! Joggers and a tee probably aren’t quite smart enough for this visit, and the last thing Kate probably wants to be doing is hunting for the “good” China.
6. Sibling jealousy
Toddlers don’t care if they have every single Paw Patrol toy you can buy, if they see their mum cuddling another child for an extended period of time, they’re going to intervene. That could be by attempting to edge their way onto mum’s lap, while subtly shoving the newborn nuisance out of the way, whacking said nuisance on the head or simply standing in the middle of the room and screaming for attention.
7. The baby blues
I don’t care if you’re royalty or not, nothing is more upsetting for a new mum than craving ice cream then discovering there’s none in the fridge.
8. The mess
Whether you have 10 servants or none, toddlers can ruin a tidy playroom within five minutes.
Add to that all of the generous gifts flooding in from well-wishers to find a place for, then even a palace starts to feel too small.
9. The crying
That feeling when you’ve just managed to get the baby to sleep after three hours of loud protesting, only for “cool” Uncle Harry to bowl up and challenge George to a noisy game of knights and princes right outside the nursery. I reckon even princesses would lose their shit in that scenario.
This isn’t Kate’s first rodeo, so dirty nappies, tearful evenings and wind don’t phase her.
However this is her third child, which means she’s not only outnumbered, she now has more kids than she has arms.
When George is crying because he wants to read a book, Charlotte is attempting to climb up a cabinet containing priceless gifts from foreign world leaders and the new baby is screaming with hunger – you can bet she’s going to be muttering a few four-letter words under her breath.
11. The worry
No one is immune from the endless worry that comes with parenting.
This little human that you have just brought into the world is more important to you than anything, it’s like someone removed your heart and made it look like a gorgeous baby. You know you need to protect it with your life, because it’s your reason for living.
Therefore it only takes the hint of a rash for you to freak the fuck out and call 111 at 3am.
As William said after welcoming his new little one: “Thrice the worry now.”
So my advice to the Cambridges after welcoming their third child? Embrace the mess, who cares if you can breastfeed or not, bribery is the answer to everything, buy earplugs for emergencies and rope Uncle Harry in to babysit once in a while.