Ahead of Mother’s Day in the U.K., Kate Middleton – who is mum to Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 22 months, with Prince William – delivered a powerful speech at the launch of the Out of the Blue film series in London on Thursday (March 23). The films raise awareness of maternal mental health conditions such as postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.
“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,” the Duchess of Cambridge, 35, said.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother,” she continued. “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.”
The mum-of-two went on to say there is no “rule book” or “right or wrong” when it comes to motherhood.
“You just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance,” she shared. “Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health.”
The Duchess of Cambridge encouraged mothers to shatter the shame and reach out for support.
“[It] should not be seen as a sign of weakness,” the Duchess said of seeking help. “Mothers take on an overwhelming responsibility of caring for their families. Their role is vital in providing unconditional love, care and support at home, particularly in the early years of a child’s development. We therefore should do everything we can to support and value their hard work.”