THE Duchess of Cambridge has confessed to feeling “lonely” and suffering “mum guilt” as she described the “pressures” of being both a parent and full-time Royal.
Kate, 38, revealed her most personal thoughts in an astonishingly open and candid interview about being a parent.
Kate Middleton admitted on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy mum, Happy baby podcast, she felt lonely as a new parent
The royal admits feeling guilty when working royal duties away for long periods away from George, six, Charlotte, four and 21-month-old Louis.
The mum-of-three described parenthood as the “toughest and most unknown place” as she shared her experiences with mums and dads across the country.
And told how she coped with “a lonely period” endured after giving birth to George in July 2013.
The 30-minute podcast chat is the first time a senior royal has opened up about the issues of motherhood.
The mum-of-three described parenthood as the ‘toughest and most unknown place’
Kate explained she used meditation to cope with crippling morning sickness and practised at home with a doll before seamlessly put George and his baby seat in the back of their Land Rover in front of the world’s media.
Kate and Wiliam are expected to take on a bigger royal workload after Harry and Meghan handed back their HRH titles and roles to work in North America.
She also described the importance of posing with newborn George on hospital steps for all the well-wishers around the globe – a tradition that Harry and Meghan decided not to do.
Kate was speaking on ‘Happy mum, Happy Baby’ podcast to promote her ‘5 Big Questions on the Under Fives’ survey about the impact of childhood experiences on adult life.
Kate said her happy childhood has helped her as a parent
She opened up about how she suffered mum guilt and the demands of being away from her children for work.
Podcast host Giovanna Fletcher – wife of popstar Tom Fletcher from McFly – described how every parent suffers from mum guilt if they are away from their children for work.
The Duchess replied: “Yes absolutely and anyone who doesnt as a mother is actually lying!
“Yep all the time, yep and you know even this morning, coming to the nursery visit here George and Charlotte were like Mummy how could you possibly not be dropping us off at school this morning?
“But no its a constant challenge you hear it time and time again from mums, even mums who arent necessarily working and arent pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life.”
Despite being surrounded by staff and support from her parents and family, Kate admitted to loneliness after giving birth
Kate added: “And always sort of questioning your own decisions and your own judgements and things like that, and I think that starts from the moment you have a baby!
“Yeah, but also I feel huge responsibility because what Ive learnt over the last few years is so fascinating and I definitely would have done things differently, even during my pregnancy, than I would have done now.”
Kate said: “There’s a lot of pressure, isn’t there?
“You can get so distracted and put so much pressure on yourselves about the things youre not necessarily achieving, and it distracts you from the things that actually really do matter to the lifelong health and happiness of the children youre looking after.”
Asked how she maintains a work-life balance Kate added: “Theres such a pull but I am such a hands on mum and whatever youre doing you want to make sure youre doing the uttermost best job you can for your children.”
The Duchess described how she suffered guilt about spending too much time away from her three children carrying out Royal duties.
But she praised the network of friends and family in her circle for their support.
She added: “I was having doubts and questions about the guilty element of being away for work and things like that.”
“The more people you have around your children who are safe and loving and caring, the better.
“It was a real weight off my shoulders that actually its not totally my responsibility to do everything, because you know we all have good days, bad days – and if you can dilute that with others who arent on that particular day struggling.
“I think it makes such a difference for your child, and keeping them as constant and happy as possible.”
The Duchess described how she took part in hypnobirthing – meditation to manage pain during labour
Despite being surrounded by staff and support from her parents and family, Kate admitted to loneliness after giving birth.
She said: “Having had such a wonderful support network through pregnancy and delivery from nurses and midwives, its then a very lonely period between then and perhaps going into the educational system, which then picks up in terms for parents that support network but there isnt a huge amount out there.
“There are some incredible communities out there, which I have been to see, that do as much as they can in terms of including parents, but it is quite a lonely period for a mother, and for families really too.
“Where do they go if they need support, whether its for their child or for themselves?”
Speaking about the days and weeks after arriving home with first-born George, she added: “It took us a bit of time to get ourselves settled and going again but thats the beauty, I suppose, of having a new-born baby.
“You are pulled to your toughest and most unknown places that you hadnt necessarily even thought about before.”
Kate explained she used meditation to cope with crippling morning sickness