Yesterday I read a really thoughtful piece (comments not withstanding) on Kate Middleton’s pregnancy from Lisa Belkin, who happens to be the queen of thoughtful pieces. It’s called What Kate Middleton Lost When Her Pregnancy Was Announced. (Cleverly optimized for SEO and clicks by editors with the permalink: “Kate_Middleton_Secret_Pregnancy.”)
The gist can be summed up in the opening sentence: The space between the moment you learn you are pregnant and the one when you reveal that to the wider world is the most intimate time in a woman’s life. And her main point was one I had never considered–that forget the tiara, the title, the ring, the notoriety, whomever you are, as a first-time mom-to-be especially, there’s something magical about that brief period of “just between you and me.” And now it’s gone for her.
It’s not sad like sick children sad, but still, I sympathize.
Indeed, we live in a world where the moment your pregnancy is public, you are the target for criticism, commentary, and advice both wanted and unwanted, on anything and everything, from the people you know and the people you don’t. I still remember comments on my weight, my skin, what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating, what I shampooed with, what kind of pillow I was sleeping with. I remember the barista (before Starbucks retrained all of them to the peak of awesomeness) who questioned my grande coffee order–which happened to be for Nate. The raised eyebrows when I ordered a glass of Pinot 41 weeks into my second pregnancy. The concern from some friends when I went to a concert with loud music.
(Oh noes! Not the loud music!)
Next, the commentary moves onto baby names–yours is too Brooklyn, too midwestern, too celebrity wannabe, too popular, too pretentious, too strange. It’s too hard to pronounce, too lacking in meaning, too old-fashioned, too much like a dog’s name, too hard to find on a pre-printed license plate key chain in the Orlando airport gift shop one day.
And wait, didn’t your cousin’s best friend’s sister already give her kid that name? Come on, you should really pick another. That’s not even cool.
Of course once the baby is here, we all know how much your personal decisions are of EXTREME IMPORTANCE to everyone in the world. Why, if you don’t exclusively breastfeed for some determined length of time, surely you are dooming your child to failure. If you sleep train you’re ruining the world as we know it. If you co-sleep you’re a damn dirty hippie. Maybe even communist. Buying baby food instead of pureeing it all yourself from organic peaches grown in your own yard? Slacker. And don’t even get me started on watching Sesame Street a single day before the second birthday comes along.
(BUT BUT…THE AAP SAYS…oh, forget it.)
If you go back to work then someone else is raising your kid. If you go back to work but can afford not to, you’re selfish and horrible. If you don’t go back to work you’re wasting your education. And aren’t you aware that every daycare provider, nanny, and preschool teacher that ever walked the planet is a secret felon? It’s on the internet, I swear.
Then one day–although it will take a few years–it slows down. Around that time, you will also realize that none of that judgment matters. Not even a single lick.
And this is all just regular old us. Regular moms living our regular lives, without 18 long-lens cameras hidden in the bushes across the street waiting to stake out our every move. The entire world is not actually judging our pregnancies and motherhood the way it will judge Her Royal Highness Princess William Arthur Phillip Louis, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus.; it just feels that way.
So when I start seeing articles from otherwise respectable magazines asking “Is Kate too skinny?” “Will Kate be a good mom?” “Will Kate have a miscarriage?” “Did Kate get pregnant too soon?” I want to scream.
I’m not playing the game, media. I’m not clicking to your articles, I’m not giving you page views, and I’m not going to judge her the way people on the street judged me. I’m just going to sit here and wish her well and hope that another healthy baby is born to another loving mother, because the world needs all of those that we can get.
But mostly, I’m not going to give her pregnancy advice unless she asks me personally. Mother to future mother, it’s the least I can do for her.
36 thoughts on “Can we leave Kate Middleton alone please?”
Exactly. I feel terrible for her because all of the advice and judgment we got as regular moms, she’ll get on a much larger scale. And can you imagine having the Queen in on it?! I hope she feels better and can enjoy her pregnancy, paparazzi lenses in her face or not.
I join you in your sympathy. I think my biggest eye roll came when I heard the tease for a morning show segment about what the baby “might” look like.
I feel absolutely awful for BOTH of them right now. The headline I read the other day, “Kate comes out of the hospital looking MORE pregnant than when she went in – faking it?”
I’m with you completely – I will not click on a single article speculating anything about their marriage, their child(ren) – nothing. It’s the least I can do for them.
Uh what? I’m glad I didn’t see that. What does that even mean?
And then there’s the speculation that a nurse at the hospital may have committed suicide, perhaps due to intense pressure because she fell for a hoax by some idiot DJs from Australia, who called, pretending to be Q.E. asking how she was doing. What? They are indeed public people, on the public payroll. That does not mean that they give up their right to privacy. Leave them alone. And William is SO gunshy about the paparazzi already, because of his mom. He has been so careful and thoughtful about bringing her into his realm. I’m with you, I feel for them.
I read that story and was horrified from beginning to end. In what insane world is it okay to take a dangerously ill patient–whomever she is–and prank call her room? Especially once you’re over about 10 years old.
Thank you for writing this! I felt so bad for Kate when the news kept reporting she looked “a little tired”. For the love of all that is holy, I didn’t have hospitalization-worthy morning sickness and I could barely put one foot in front of the other by the end of the day during my first trimester, let alone have to stand around and smile for the paparazzi. Give the poor woman a break! I hope that William & Kate can find a small place in all of the insanity to just enjoy all the joy, nervousness, and excitement that comes with being first-time parents.
I was simply excited to hear the news in a way I would be happy for a friend, a neighbor, or cousin to become a mom for the first time. To me, there was something so exciting about that time….I totally get what you and lisa b. are saying about now that everyone knows – her little secret is burst. Must be why the second time around, I didn’t tell anyone until I was 20 weeks.
That, and the fact that I didn’t want any advice. Period.
Agree Lisa Belkin’s piece was great. It is too bad to be deprived of those days or weeks or months when you alone (or with the baby’s father) try to readjust your lens on the universe and reset it from self absorbed young adult to parent. It takes a bit of time and a lot of thought and is best accomplished away from the glare of others.
Funny, but no one stops me to give advice about my eleven year old. heh.
I remember people stopping me and giving me ‘advice’ in stores through each pregnancy. Strangers telling me how to sleep train when I didn’t even know if said baby was a boy or girl yet. Telling me not to ever use the evil devil pacifiers, as I’m looking in the isle. The helpful, that was my dogs name and she was a horrible dog comments. People are insane. I’m a nobody, but oh how everyone wanted to tell me what to do. I can’t imagine it for her. Personally I don’t care a bit what celebs do in this country, so I can’t be bothered in the least to care what they do abroad. But I do feel bad for her.
No one stops me to give advice about my eleven year old.
I think you need to print that with letterpress on to very nice card stock and had it out in every hospital ward in the country.
I too read Lisa Belkin’s piece and was saddened for Kate in a way that I had not ever thought I would be. I can only imagine the months of totally unneccessary judgment that lay in her future. I can only imagine that this first secret of hers will not be the only one stolen from her.
Already the mights about gender and hair color and name are making me scream for her. I’m with you: not reading overly hyped headlines, don’t care about idiotic what ifs, not clicking, not clicking, not clicking. There will always be something said, something written, some conjecture, some judgment. Lisa had it right: that time, that precious time, that should have belonged to them and ONLY to them. The idea that every facet of a person’s life is open and on display to the public saddens me. Sometimes, it angers me. I’m done with it all. I hope the baby and she remain well and that’s all I got.
I fell of the chair when my usual BBC world service news (aired couple of times in the morning on local radio) was substituted (by BBC itself) with real-time coverage of the wedding? Really? One wedding day is more important then number of lives lost in Iraq and the death-toll of the latest flood in South-East Asia?
Then it came the topless. Ah, she has boobs??? Unbelievable and worthy of pictures and court squabbles about privacy. First of all, this is Europe, and topless is the norm. Second of all, WHO the hell is interested in topless muddy picture??? I don’t get those people. But the backlash from royal couple was also (to me) slightly royal-ish. There was no plight to stop this kind of paparazzi stupidity in general, but to protect HER only. I know, I know, you can’t expect her to represent every paparazzi/mass media victim out there, but I hoped…
Then this. Is there an end to media (and society) obsession with private lives of SOME people? What the heck? WHY is this selling papers and airtime? It is beyond me.
Then the backlash on hosts of the radio program that pulled the prank is (to me) equally ridiculous. Is someone supposed to lose a job because they cater to the mass-mania about celebrities? They have that particular job because society wants this kind of grub, but now, that same society judges them for doing it. Talking about having prosecutor and judge one and the same.
And please, can we all, collectively, look somewhere else for entertainment? Being royal does not give carte blanche to everybody to salivate over minor details. One paparazzi-induced death is enough.
Oh, no. I’ve only learned about the nurse late last night. I apologise for my inconsiderate comment and will shut up permanently.
I teach high school and have a colleague I have deemed my “working-mom patron saint.” My kids are 1 and 2, hers are 8 and 10. Not only does she reassure me that my kids are fine and I am doing the right thing by them, she promises that my intimate knowledge of the public school system will be the envy of all my mom friends one day. She calls the d hay that her youngest went to kindergarten as the day “all was right with the world” and I get it and wait in the promise that one day people will have less to say about the choices I know are right for our family.
Personally, I don’t understand the obsession with the royal family, but I find it ironic that people most interested in news about Kate seem to really like her, but if they really liked her they would allow her a respite from being in the news.
I hope she gets a break. Pregnancy and parenthood is hard enough when nobody’s watching. I can’t imagine the nightmare of being scrutinized to that degree.
Well said! And no, I’m not that Kate, but I am married to Will, too. 🙂
Now doesn’t that make life fun these days?
Yes, I completely agree with all of this and in fact, I also wrote a blog post the other day about why I’d want to be pregnant at the same time as Kate Middleton (see post here: http://www.ohboymom.com/2012/12/why-i-wish-i-was-pregnant-alongside-kate-middleton/
My reasons were that all the focus would be off of me and on the royal baby…
Can we all just stop? I mean, now we’re even talking about the suicide of the nurse who works in the hospital where she was? And the radio DJs who pranked her? Or something? I don’t know, I just see the headlines on Facebook.
I 1,000 percent agree with your last sentiment (and all the others, too) — I refuse to read the articles, support the media’s hype-machine or get caught up in the judgment game.
I really feel like she signed up for this. She chased the guy for years…used the paps to her advantage during their break-up…didn’t mind sexy bikini clad photos taken with her and another beau back then.
Don’t get me wrong I think the people who stalk celebs are bottom feeders…and I don’t defend them at all. But this is the life she signed up for..so chin up, Kate!
They will never have any type of normalcy to their life, it’s sad, but there are way sadder things in this world I will save my sympathy for:)
BTW I usually always agree 100% with MOM 101, but this time…not so much.
That’s okay, I agree with you not so much! So we’re even then?
Exactly. Also I’m sick of hearing about what she should wear during her pregnancy and the blogs actually spending time putting together collages and advice on wardrobes. I actually think she can figure that out for herself. Crazy.
She should be telling us!
Wait, you’re not supposed to subject your unborn baby to loud concert music? Because I went to like 3 or 4 loud concerts while I was pregnant. There might have even, possibly, been second hand smoke present in some of the venues. It could have even been cigarette smoke, I’m not sure. Thanks for enlightening me about this now rather than while I was pregnant! I did not hear that one but I sure did get dirty looks about the one sip of wine I’d take on occasion, the soft cheeses, etc.
I, for one, cannot care less about the royal pregnancy. It’s really all I can do to care about the ones that exist in my close friends and family. If people were to focus more of their energy in caring about things that matter to them, they would have a lot less of it to devote to making celebrities’ lives unnecessarily difficult.
I completely agree with you!! And on top of losing the intimacy and wonder of that special time, she is having god-awful morning sickness, which is terrible on its own, but can you imagine the entire world being updated on how much you’re throwing up and having diarrhea? That’s insane. Most women I know don’t want to even see another human being while they are battling morning sickness, much less be confronted by it on international headline news! It’s ridiculous. Announce the pregnancy because it’s an heir to the throne. But leave the poor girl some dignity and privacy .
My very first thought when I heard the news about her pregnancy was ‘OMG poor woman! The paparazi will be all over her now’.
I’m so tired of the Today Show and every other outlet treating Kate’s pregnancy and Harry’s naked partying as news. At best it’s celebrity gossip and should not be given priority over important political stories or what’s going on in the Middle East. If I want to tune into Entertainment Tonight to get the latest, I’ll do so. I love the Royal Family, but the constant crazy attention has got to stop!
If I were her I would hide for the duration.
that’s a pity but unfortunately such pressure is inavoidable in her position. There is nothing left but to wish her great patience!
I shudder to think I’m typing these words…she should have taken a cue from Twilight (insert barfing noise) and disappeared to a private island for her entire pregnancy. Call it an “extended vacation” and then surface wearing a t-shirt that says “I went on vacation and all I got was this lousy t-shirt…oh yeah…and a kid”.
I was pregnant with my son while Angelina was carrying the twins and I’m now in my first trimester with Kate. Empathy for both mamas.
Thank you for posting this. I am 9.5 weeks along in my first pregnancy, and my husband and I haven’t told anyone.
On the one hand I am bursting with excitment because we are making the annoucment to our families over Christmas.
However, on the other hand I am fighting back a feeling of dread. I am not looking forward to hearing everyone’s “two cents”. I understand that most people are well meaning, but sometimes it comes out as just plain rude. I know I’ll get through it, and probably have a good laugh or two (much like when we were planning our wedding), but this post was just what I needed. Thanks again 🙂
It is horrible how everyone thinks they have to have a say in everything going on in a celebrity/royal’s life just because that’s how it is. As in..well they are in the public eye so I have the right to give my two cents. I feel horrible that she was discovered in that way. I can’t imagine having morning sickness that badly that you have to be hospitalized. I had morning sickness of course it wasn’t that bad but it still made you feel crappy. And that whole “is she too skinny?” ew. come on people. She probably can’t even keep food down. And knowing how much I stressed over my weight I’m sure she is and doesn’t need someone else to put their two cents on it. I hope this pregnancy is easy for her and she can slide through the lime light. Of course after the baby is born they are going to compare her parenting skills to those of the late Lady Di. It never ends.
Comments are closed.