Kate Middleton Admits It’s Not Easy Being a Mother

Kate Middleton may get the royal treatment, but she admits that motherhood is not as easy as it seems.

The Duchess of Cambridge attended the launch of Best Beginnings’ Out of the Blue series at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which is a charity partner of one of her patronages, the Heads Together campaign. The film series promotes mental health for parents and their children, which is a cause that Kate holds close to her heart.

After viewing one of the films, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped up to the podium (in a bespoke red and white gingham skirt suit from Eponine London, might we add) to make a rare speech on motherhood.

“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience,” she said. “However, at times it has also been a huge challenge—even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not.”

She then continued to talk about how motherhood unfortunately doesn’t come with a rule book and that nothing can really prepare you for the “overwhelming experience.”

“It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love and worry, all mixed together,” admitted Kate. “Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual to suddenly being a mother first and foremost.”

For someone who always looks so effortless in every public experience, these admissions might have come as a surprise to some. Yet she reminds us again and again that she’s not that different from the rest of us.

“Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent—pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it,” continued the Duchess. “It’s right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s OK not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.”

Watch Kate Middleton’s full speech below: