As the mother of the future King of England, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, knows, she has an awesome responsibility raising the heir to the throne who is third in line after her husband, Prince William. But like her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, she has shown she’s determined to raise Prince George and his siblings Princess Charlotte and baby Prince Louis as a hands-on parent balancing royal responsibilities with as much of a “normal life” that she and William can provide.
On July 9th, Catherine and William will be joined by the royal family—yes, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will be there—and the Middletons for Louis’ christening at the Chapel Royal on the grounds of St. James’ Palace. It will be only the third time Kate has appeared at an official royal engagement since her third child was born on April 23. (The duchess attended Harry and Meghan’s wedding and Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday celebration.) She’s been on maternity leave spending all her time with her three children and doting on the new baby.
For Kate, her children are her first priority, and that has meant making sure they are fortified with the love and support they’ll need for a life in the royal fishbowl and using her platform as one of the world’s most famous mothers to share her thoughts on why parenthood is the toughest—and best—job there is. While she doesn’t often speak publicly, when she has, the subject most often involves the joys and challenges of raising children. Here are her 15 best quotes about parenthood. And for some amazing parenting advice of your own, learn the 35 Lies Every Parent Needs to Master.
It changes everything.
“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 for some tips on the process, learn these 40 Parenting Hacks for Raising an Amazing Kid.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Kensington Palace/Getty Images
It’s not easy.
“Parenting is tough,” said Catherine to a group of disadvantaged young mothers earlier this year. “To do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers… I find it extraordinary how you’ve managed, actually. So really well done.”
A strong foundation makes strong parents.
“When I was growing up I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age.”
Giving birth is an extraordinary experience.
“It’s very emotional. It’s such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like.”
It’s not all teddy bears and lullabies.
“It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated. But actually so many other mothers are going through what you are going through, but it’s being brave enough to actually reach out,” she told a small group mothers earlier this year who were struggling with postpartum depression.
Teaching values matters.
“My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realize how central values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our children just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view it is just as important as excelling at math or sport.”
Children are the future.
“Children held a special place in the Victorian imagination and were celebrated for their seemingly boundless potential. The notion still rings true for us today and underpins much of my official work and charities I have chosen to support and, indeed, my role as mother of a young family.”
Boys will be boys.
“George loves the T Rex because it’s the noisiest and the scariest.”
Little sisters are meant to be bossy.
“Charlotte is keeping [George] in check.”
Kids need opportunities to burn off their endless energy.
“George has got a scooter. He’s going super fast on it. It’s hard to keep up with him!”
Every parent, no matter what their circumstances, struggles sometimes.
“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.”
A good start is important.
“People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people. The answer is quite simple—it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.”
Every child counts.
“Imagine if everyone was able to help just one child who needs to be listened to, needs to be respected, and needs to be loved—we could make such a huge difference for an entire generation.”
It’s okay to ask for help.
“Around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children.”
Kids need to be listened to.
“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.” And to show your own kid the time of a lifetime, don’t miss these 15 Summer Family Trips Your Teenage Children Won’t Hate.
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