Huffpost Canada Living ca
Rebecca Zamon Headshot

'Get Out of the Palace' and Other Advice for New Mom Kate

Posted: Updated:
KATE MIDDLETON PREGNANT
PA

Two and a half years ago, I watched with a mixture of excitement and annoyance as Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement. I may have once wanted to marry Wills myself (what Canadian girl growing up in the '80s didn't?), but I was thrilled at the promise of a royal wedding to rival Di and Charles' for my generation.

I myself was in the middle of planning my own wedding, and therein lay the (admittedly entirely self-aborbed) annoyance -- what if those two got married the same day as me, and overshadowed my nuptials? But as it turned out, they wed three weeks after me, so instead of gritting my teeth, I got to wake up at 4 a.m. on April 29 and happily watch as their stunning wedding took place.

Now, our paths have crossed again, as Kate (who I feel I can call that because I kind of consider her a pal) becomes a mom. My own bundle of joy/spit up arrived just over four months ago, and while I didn't have to bear with the scrutiny of the world through every step of my pregnancy, our milestones happened closely enough that I feel qualified to offer some advice. It's a compendium of things I've learned on my own and things other, wiser parents, have passed along that I've found useful. Because no matter how much fame or money you have, there are certain truths of motherhood that are simply unavoidable.

#1: There's no such thing as too much help. There's a tendency for new moms to want to do everything themselves, and you're going to have plenty of offers of assistance -- so take them up on it. Babies love hanging out with their parents (and vice versa), but there will be lots of times when you'll wish for another set of hands, so if they're available, use them. In particular, make sure the grandparents, aunts and uncles get in quality time from the get go. While my dad may not be heir to any thrones, it's pretty funny to see him play peek-a-boo, so you can bet Charles will be good for a laugh or two there.

#2: Dad is awesome at stuff too. Wills is not only a bonafide life saver, but a guy who has expressed his excitement at being a dad many times. Let him get involved right away, whether it's changing diapers or washing bottles. Oh, who I am kidding? Just be sure to let him do things his own way with the kid, even if your mom instincts are screaming "but that's wrong!" He'll figure it out eventually, and will feel more confident because of it.

#3: Get out of the house. Whether you're staying at the palace, your parents' house, or your little "shack", you and the baby will benefit from getting out into the world as much as possible. I appreciate this will be more difficult for you than the average mom, given the swarms of fans that await, but take advantage of a royal garden or two and give the kid some air. It's easy to feel happy sticking to where all the clothes, comfortable feeding areas and extra hands are, but you'll both enjoy leaving the walls behind and feeling a semblance of normality (if that even exists in your world) by taking a walk.

#4: Don't be too cool to sing. It's a rare twenty minutes that passes by in my house without a song being made up about anything from how fun it is to fold laundry to washing off my kid's face. Initially, I felt a little foolish rhyming every two sentences and belting out every song from "Grease", but music is magic for babies. The combination of your voice and a melody is often the solution to most anything.

#5: Take videos, as well as pictures. True, this little tot will possibly be the most photographed child in the world, but those professional snaps will hardly be in the albums you'll be embarrassing him/her with down the line. Videos, on the other hand, capture the sweet sounds and movements of babyhood in a way stills just can't, and as a bonus, you can edit a whole bunch together for a -- let's face it -- more interesting take on their life.

#6: Don't feel badly about forgetting things. You've heard all the jokes about "baby brain" already, and while some women experience changes in intellect, all women experience changes in memory. The fact is, you have to make room for caring about a whole other person and all of their various needs and wants, and sometimes, things like the word for that cold soup made with tomatoes (gazpacho, I'm finally able to remember) go out the window. And guess what? It's forgiveable, at least for the first few months.

#7: You can never have enough hair ties. You might have some of the most gorgeous hair in the world, but that baby won't hesitate to grab a clump of it for him/herself at every possible opportunity. Learn to love the ponytail.

#8: It's OK to resent your kid a little. Not all the time, and not even a lot, but since you've always seemed like a pretty down-to-earth person, Kate, you'll appreciate this piece of advice. You obviously wanted this baby (if not the hoopla surrounding his or her birth), and there will be so many moments of joy and happiness and even euphoria. But there will also be moments when you miss being able to be selfish and have your own life, and that is completely normal. In fact, marrying into the royal family might just have prepared you for this better than anything else.

#9: No one crawls down the wedding aisle. As months go by and the baby is meant to hit various milestones, you'll find yourself worrying that perhaps they aren't happening soon enough, or that the baby is depending too much on, say, a pacifier to get to sleep. It's tough to believe when staring into the eyes of an infant, but apparently babies do grow up and learn as adults -- so just remember to have perspective on any particular challenge and know it won't last forever.

#10: A happy mommy means a happy baby. As I mentioned before, even the most famous of moms isn't immune from everything, and one thing you may feel right away is an unassailable guilt. Whether it's because the baby cries all the time, or the diaper leaks whenever you put it on, or your milk hasn't come in, you will feel like you're doing something wrong for the first little while, and you'll feel awful about it. But the truth is, your kid is going to pick up on how you're feeling way quicker than he/she will care that their clothes aren't buttoned properly, and that will make all the difference. If you're comfortable, the kid is far more comfortable.

Close
Kate Middleton Pregnant
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

live blog

Oldest Newest

Speculation over the royal couple's choice of name has run wild in the time since the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy was announced, with Brits betting on front-runners with and without strong historical precedents.

Share this: tumblr

By choosing a polka-dotted dress for her hospital departure, Kate has inadvertently opened the flood gates to another wave of comparison to a woman she has never even met.

Share this: tumblr

Sin City has officially extended an offer for the royal baby to visit once he's of age. Do you think baby George's uncle, Prince Harry, will come along?

Share this: tumblr
Share this: tumblr

Your sex life will never be the same. In my day. What, not breast-feeding?

From diet tips to "little baby, little problems," sleep-deprived and super-stressed new parents have heard it all. And they want you to stop it.

As Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, move along on their parenting journey, it seems even the queen has had a what-not-to-say moment. According to a special edition of Us magazine on raising royals, she exclaimed soon after William's birth: "Thank goodness he hasn't ears like his father!"

Share this: tumblr

All of a sudden, there's a lot more interest in Carole Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's 58-year-old mom and the only biological grandmother of the littlest future king of England.

With Kate and her mom extremely close, and the new parents both eager to live somewhat of a normal life, you can be sure Grannie Middleton will want to be very hands-on in her new royal role. Here's what you need to know about Carole.

Share this: tumblr

...as told by GIFs. See them here.

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

The Telegraph reports that the couple hasn't yet finished decorating a nursery because they are waiting for the completion of their new apartment within Kensington Palace. According to E! Online, this 20-room space, also known as Apartment 1A, will be ready for the growing family in August. Prior to the renovations, this vacant area was serving as an office and storage space.

Share this: tumblr

The royal baby is here! Now that we've seen him and his parents have said some sweet words about the birth, we're left wondering... what is his official title?

Until Will and Kate choose a first name, the royal baby will officially be titled as "HRH Prince of Cambridge." It makes sense, given that his father is titled "Prince William, Duke of Cambridge" and Kate is titled "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge." In fact, the royal baby's title will be the first time "Prince of Cambridge" has been used in 194 years! Find out more about his royal title here.

Share this: tumblr

Kate Middleton gave birth to a son on Monday afternoon, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have not yet made their baby name choice public -- and if precedent is any indication, it could be a week or even a month before their selection is announced.

On leaving the hospital with his wife and newborn on Tuesday, Prince William said the couple are "still working on a name," assuring an eager public, "We'll have that as soon as we can."

In the meantime, the baby name frenzy, that's been brewing since Kate's pregnancy was announced, is at its peak. Find out which royal name is the favorite!

Share this: tumblr

Baby nailed that wave. on Twitpic

Share this: tumblr

Preliminary thoughts upon “meeting” the Royal Baby for the first time:

He waves! Our first Royal wave.

Kate didn't fall down the steps while holding her son. I held my breath just in case. After all, she was wearing heels.

Kate made absolutely no attempt to appear like anything other than a woman who has just given birth. Okay, her hair looked better than most new mothers, but

Read more

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

Kate Middleton and Prince William left St Mary's Hospital at 7:14 pm BST on July 23 with the royal baby boy in tow.

The duchess arrived at the hospital early in the morning on July 22 through a secret entrance. She gave birth to the 8-pound, 6-ounce baby at 4:24 p.m that day, more than a week after his rumored due date.

"I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older," Prince William joked to the press waiting outside the hospital. Kate stood beside Will holding her newborn son while wearing a bespoke blue dress by British designer, Jenny Packham. See photos here.

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

Though he may never escape the glare of the limelight, we hope the newborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be comforted by his many blessings: a beautiful home, famous friends, thousands of adoring fans and… oh yes, a hefty billion dollar inheritance. Read more about it here.

Share this: tumblr

Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog just became the latest heavyweights to congratulate Prince William and Kate Middleton on the birth of the royal baby.

Walt Disney Studios posted a video on Tuesday of Kermit and Miss Piggy on the set of the upcoming Muppets movie, "Muppets Most Wanted." Watch it here.

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

Share this: tumblr

When asked about the royal baby, the first-time grandmother said he's "absolutely beautiful."

Share this: tumblr

The majority of British residents would be comfortable if Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's firstborn child grew up to be gay, according to a new survey.

Share this: tumblr

Kate's mother and father, first-time grandparents, arrived at the Lindo Wing shortly after 3 pm on Tuesday.

Share this: tumblr

Within Will and Kate's first day as parents, revelers celebrate at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey tolls bells and royal artilleries launch gun salutes. Australia has already dedicated a building to the royal baby.

Share this: tumblr

middletons

Share this: tumblr

Queen Elizabeth's imminent vacation may speed an announcement along.

Share this: tumblr

Royal tots in Belgium, Tokyo and beyond just got a new playmate to join their exceptionally exclusive kids' club.

Share this: tumblr

Protection officers were spotted dropping off not one, but two pizza pies at the rear entrance of St Mary's Lindo Wing.

Share this: tumblr

The bells will ring from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm in London. Watch and listen here.

Share this: tumblr