Family

Kate Middleton on motherhood and mental illness

“Your fundamental identity changes overnight.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William have been praised previously for being open about issues the royals usually wouldn't touch upon, for being open and honest about the struggles that everyone, regardless of background, go through.
And true to form, the mum-of-two has again spoken candidly about what it means to become a parent, and the impact that has on a mother's mental health.
Speaking at a film screening for mental health charity Heads Together, of which the Duchess is a partner, Kate said the film in question highlighted "how vital it is to be open about our mental health, especially in the early years of parenthood."
“Personally, becoming a mother has become such a rewarding and wonderful experience,” she said. “However, at times it has also been a huge challenge.”
Kate, William and Harry have made it their mission to make mental health a topic of conversation
The Duchess was quick to admit that she has more support at home than many mothers, but that nothing can really prepare you for the "sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother."
“Your fundamental identity changes overnight,” she added. “You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother first and foremost.”
And Kate was keen to let other mother's know that she feels like she's just 'winging it' as well, adding that there's no way to be a perfect mother.
"You just have to make it up, and do the very best you can to care for your family," she said.
Kate also touched on the issue of post-natal depression and mental illnesses that develop after pregnancy, saying that many of these are hidden due to the desire to appear "perfect" to the outside world.
“It is right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains,” the Duchess of Cambridge continued. “It’s okay not to find it easy, and asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.”
She concluded: “Our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.”
Despite the royals traditionally remaining tight-lipped on issues such as mental health, Prince Harry, William and Kate have previously admitted that they want to encourage people to have conversations about their mental wellbeing, with William saying in January: "It's no exaggeration to say that conversations - simple conversations - can be life-changing."