Kate Middleton is sympathetic to the challenges that parents face.
She and her husband, Prince William, are parents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Since becoming a mother in 2013, the royal has shared glimpses into her parenting experience ― from first words and favorite activities to the values she wants to instill in her children.
In honor of her birthday, here are 10 lovely quotes about motherhood from the Duchess of Cambridge.
On Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children
“Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it. We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older. We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness. Of course, for some parents and carers seeking help is not so easy. When families are short of time or money it is not always easy to know where to look for help or advice. That is why we need schools and communities to play their full role to help children who are struggling in ways that are not always easy to see.”
On The Loneliness Of Motherhood
“It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated, but actually so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through.”
On The Values She Wants To Instill In Her Children
“My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty. I realize how central values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte, just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view, it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.”
On The Complex Challenge Of Motherhood
“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. Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. 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. And yet, 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. Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health.”
On Spending Time Outside
“I’ve got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood, and I’m sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, at the moment.”
“Hugs are very important. That’s what I tell my children.”
On Seeking Help
“Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent ― pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It is right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s OK not to find it easy, and asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different. Our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.”
On Louis’ First Words
“One of Louis’ first words was Mary, because right at his height are all my cooking books in the kitchen bookshelf. And children are really fascinated by faces, and your faces are all over your cooking books and he would say, ‘That’s Mary Berry.’ [He] would definitely recognize you if he saw you today.”
“It’s so hard. You get a lot of support with the baby as a mother particularly in the early days, but after the age of 1 it falls away. After that there isn’t a huge amount — lots of books to read.”
On Quality Time
“Spending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it’s the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish.”