LISTEN: Kate Middleton talks 'mom guilt' and the advice she'd go back and give herself in groundbreaking, candid podcast

Kate Middleton and Giovanna Fletcher (Photo: Instagram/kensingtonroyal)
Kate Middleton and Giovanna Fletcher (Photo: Instagram/kensingtonroyal)

In her most revealing interview yet, Kate Middleton dished on her childhood, her experience of motherhood and the kids, in a groundbreaking podcast with author Giovanna Fletcher for the podcast Happy Mum Happy Baby.

The interview made waves over the weekend – it was the first time Kate opened up and shared in an unscripted, candid conversation – and friends told Vanity Fair this is the real Kate: "friendly, self-deprecating and funny".

In the interview, apart from the discussion about her '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives' – a quick, online survey which aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come – Kate also revealed a few details about her family, talking about everything from pregnancy and later, mom guilt, to standing outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with a baby Prince George.

BECOMING A MOM

"Yeah, slightly terrifying, slightly terrifying, I'm not going to lie," Kate laughed, explaining how she felt introducing Prince George to the world shortly after giving birth.

"Everyone had been so supportive, and both William and I were really conscious that this was something that everyone was excited about and you know we're hugely grateful for the support that the public had shown us, and actually for us to be able to share that joy and appreciation with the public, I felt was really important. But equally, it was coupled with a newborn baby, and inexperienced parents, and the uncertainty of what that held, so there were all sorts of mixed emotions."

About holding Prince George for the first time, Kate said the experience was "amazing". "It is extraordinary, as I've said. How can the human body do that? It is utterly extraordinary, actually. And he was very sweet. And also sort of relieved that he was a happy, healthy boy."

MOM GUILT

On mom guilt, Kate said she "absolutely" feels it. "Anyone who doesn't as a mother is actually lying!" she quipped.

"You know even this morning, coming to the nursery visit here – George and Charlotte were like 'Mommy how could you possibly not be dropping us off at school this morning?'" she revealed.

"But no it's a constant challenge – you hear it time and time again from moms, even moms who aren't necessarily working and aren't pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life… 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!"

THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE SHE'D GIVE HERSELF

Kate said, given the opportunity, there are a few things she'd do differently.

"I'd really love to go back and tell myself at the beginning of pregnancy, right at the start what things I feel now really matter in terms of being a parent but also what really matters to the children and my children now.

"It's the simple things that really make a difference. It's spending quality time with your children. It's not whether you've done every single drop off and every single pick up but actually it's those quality moments you spend with your child when you're properly listening to them, properly understanding what they feel, and actually when things are going wrong, actually really taking time to think, 'How as a mother am I feeling? Am I actually making this worse for my child because actually, this has brought up all sorts of things that I feel rather than just focusing on them and how they might be reacting or responding to certain situations?' That would be another piece of advice I would like to give myself back then.

"Someone did ask me the other day, what would you want your children to remember about their childhood? And I thought that was a really good question because actually, if you really think about that, is it that I'm sitting down trying to do their maths and spelling homework over the weekend? Or is it the fact that we've gone out and lit a bonfire and sat around trying to cook sausages that hasn't worked because it's too wet? That's what I would want them to remember, those moments with me as a mother, but also the family going to the beach, getting soaking wet, filling our boots full of water, those are what I would want them to remember. Not a stressful household where you're trying to do everything and not really succeeding at one thing." 

LISTEN TO A CLIP FROM THE PODCAST HERE:

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?? SOUND ON — listen to a clip of The Duchess of Cambridge talking with @MrsGiFletcher about her own childhood experiences and the importance of the early years. Their full conversation will be released as a special episode of Giovanna’s ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ podcast – a series of frank and warm conversations with mums and dads covering all aspects of parenthood, from tackling loneliness, to being a single parent. On this Early Years episode, The Duchess discusses her '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives' – a quick, online survey which aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. Visit the link in our bio ??? to have your say on the biggest ever national conversation on the early years #5BigQuestions

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