A new standard of post-natal glamour has been set by Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. But just remember, knackered new mums: we are not her.
What were you doing, 10 hours after you gave birth to a baby?
If you were lucky, you might have been sleeping.
Maybe you were crying, maybe you were feeding, maybe you were healing.
Maybe you went straight home and cleaned the house.
Maybe you were bleeding. Maybe you couldn’t walk.
Maybe you were sitting by a humidicrib, praying.
Maybe, unthinkably, your arms were empty with your world irreversibly broken in pieces around you.
But chances are, you were not wearing a designer dress, with freshly styled hair, a full-face of make-up and high heels, smiling for hundreds of photographers.
And thank God for that.
This morning, Catherine,the Duchess of Cambridge left hospital, 12 hours after she arrived, looking for all the world like she’d just been in for a pedicure.
And women all over the world sighed, and said, ‘Wow. She’s amazing. Why didn’t I look like that after I’d had my baby?’
We marvelled over her shiny hair, the absence of eyebags, her easy smile… her slender ankles for Christ’s sake.
On Mamamia’s Parenting Facebook page, women said things like this:
“Next pregnancy I think I’ll scrap the birthing classes and put my money towards a hair and makeup artist instead! I don’t think I managed a shower the day I left hospital, and I was there a week lol!”
“It was hard enough walking 10 hours after giving birth. Imagine having to look so glamorous and face the world press…”
“So jealous of her the media would of lost interest by the time I got to leave hospital and at 10 hours I was high as a kite on Morphine!”
“I’m so insanely jealous of how good Kate looks just hours after giving birth.”
On Twitter, people said things like this:
‘Kate’s had a baby literally a few hours ago and she already looks prettier and skinnier than me on a GOOD DAY #isthisajoke.
‘How is it possible that Kate looks that good after having the baby? she’s only ten hours old….did someone else have that baby for her.’
And just like that, thousands of women felt just that little bit worse about themselves.
Thousands more made a promise to themselves that when they have a baby: They too will look awesome and flawless immediately afterwards. Otherwise, well, they’d just be failing.
Stop. Everyone. Just stop.
BTW, Mamamia has a parenting podcast, hosted by Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright. Listen to them talking about poo in a bag, here:
The Duchess of Cambridge is a remarkable woman. And she is as ‘real’ as they come, in that she has red blood pumping through her veins, has a heart no doubt bursting with love for her two beautiful kids, and probably swore like a trooper as she pushed out that baby.
But she is not us. We are not her. We can’t hold her up as some sort of mirror to our own experiences.
Because her life is extraordinarily strange. And let’s never forget that.