herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

It's hard being perfect with one child, Kate, never mind rearing two little monsters

Kate Middleton with baby George
Kate Middleton with baby George

I HAVE three children. When people ask me if I'll have another one - because that is the sort of thing people ask, even though they shouldn't - I say no.

Or rather, I would, if only I had staff. I love babies. But having them is such an exhausting process, that I couldn't subject myself to it again without paid help.

So, barring an accident, I think my family is, as they say, "complete".

Kate Middleton on the other hand has plenty of servants to help out. One does read lots of praise for her in the press about how "hands-on" she and her mother were with Prince George.

toddlers

Not like the Olden Days when Nanny presented the children to Her Majesty before supper. Now, the rumours are that she's pregnant again and, if so, she'll have two toddlers.

I remember that phase. I don't think I ever got over it. The work is relentless.

Still, there'll be someone to answer the phone, do the ironing and hold the child while she goes to the toilet in peace.

Until I had children I never fully appreciated the importance of being able to lock oneself in a bathroom and stay there without the slightest risk of calling a premature halt to proceedings due to the demands of a third party. So yes, Kate will have help. But will it be enough? Is there enough help in the world to save this poor girl from her enslavement to the pressure a second child will put on her?

Alright, she's not poor at all and her problems are the sort of problems some of us might like to have.

And yet, every time I see a photograph of her my heart sinks. There's a reason those clothes look so nice on her: she is so thin, stick thin.

If she is pregnant I'm amazed she's managed it.

Think about how hard it is to stay that thin. How every morsel has to be measured; how much exercise is required; the clothes planning; the relentless hair care.

The standing there, smiling rigidly and never, ever, ever, saying anything remotely controversial.

The knowing that every single time you put your foot outside the door if you do not look completely perfect, national headlines will be created.

And actually, every time you put your foot outside the door you create headlines anyway.

misery

And now put on top of that the physical misery of pregnancy, followed by the misery of exhaustion, followed by the misery of keeping two children and a husband and the world's press happy.

And just last week I noticed a magazine cover on a shelf saying she was spending too much money.

If she incurs the wrath of the press over money, they'll destroy her.

The pressure is insane.

What this girl needs more than anything else in the world is permission not to be perfect.

Otherwise, she'll crack. She could help the process by not being perfect all the time.

If it was me, I'd start going outside in a tracksuit with my unwashed hair tied up. Just to see what would happen.

This is one of the personal qualities that renders me unsuitable for aristocratic life.

She won't do it, of course. She will toe the line if it kills her. I know women like her. Nice daughters who have been reared by ruthlessly nice families to be perfect.

I know their coat-hanger smiles and brittle laughs a mile off. They've got the Being Perfect Disease. And Kate is Queen of the Being Perfect Classes.

It's not too hard to be perfect with one child, but the system starts to crack with two.

So that's why Kate needs to learn now that failing to meet impossibly high standards is no failure.

If she can't learn to live without being perfect, all the money and servants in the world won't save her from a lifetime of unhappiness.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News