The Royals, they’re just like us … times a thousand! They grow up, go to college, meet a special someone, get engaged.
Sure, Will and Kate’s engagement and impending nuptials have been speculated on for years and discussed in breathless detail in the lead up to the big day (finally, after a three-decade wait). But once Kate’s sporting a baby bump, she and Will will become part of a club that so many of us have long been members of:
Parenthood, the state in which we’re not only judged as equals, but we’re all equally judged.
In the next decade or two when, presumably (as if they have a choice), William and Kate will join the rest of us in parental judgment. Here are 10 ways they’ll be judged by their families, friends, community — and random people online that they’ve never even met (times a thousand!).
If Kate thinks the paparazzi are bad, wait until she joins a moms group!
Kate Middleton is 29 years old, but with fertility, you never know. Say she has trouble getting pregnant, folks will want to know why she waited so long for her Prince Charming. What was with all the fun during her prime child-bearing years! Some will suspect frigidity. Others will blame her diet. “Relax!” the headlines will scream. “Royal’s Consider Surrogate” some others will suggest.
2. Pregnancy weight-gain
Fertility crisis-averted, we can focus judgment on how Kate handles the pregnancy. She will either gain too much weight or not enough, eat too much junk or not enough, get too much exercise or not enough. She will be reviled is she doesn’t get stretch marks.
2a. Post-pregnancy weight-loss
Not a pound should remain at the one-year mark, lest experts speculate that she’s depressed, having relationship troubles or unleashing a suppressed disorder. Of course, if she loses the weight too quickly, there will be speculation that … she’s depressed, having relationship troubles or unleashing a suppressed disorder.
3. Non-pregnant partner weight-gain and support
Is Will a supportive enough partner? Does he carry Kate’s purse, help her step into the limo, and gently touch the belly protruding from Kate’s one-of-a-kind Stella McCartney maxi-maternity dress? Does he test-drive strollers? Try on slings? Attend birth classes? Gain a few sympathy pounds? The answer in this day and age had better be yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
3. Labor and delivery
Kate’s pregnancy will be high-risk, no matter how healthy mother and child are. No one’s taking any chances with the future of the Kingdom. Still, there’s always room for judgment. If Kate goes with a popular midwife, she’ll be taking unnecessary risks with her own life and that of her child. If she heads straight to the OB/GYN, she’ll also face scrutiny for not believing in her amazing self. Here’s hoping she has neither a castlebirth nor a c-section; that if she gets an epidural, she only asked for it near the end and had the anesthesiologist turn it off so she could push; which she did neither flat on her back nor on her hands and knees, with more than ice chips but less than a turkey sandwich to nosh on between contractions.
4. Dad in the delivery room
Just saying, Will better be there, holding Kate’s hand and saying supportive words but nothing that could be construed as related to hypno-birthing or Lamaze. In the event of a vaginal delivery, Will should be willing to stand at least as far south as Kate’s knees. He’ll get less judgment, more praise (and extra distance from his own uptight father) if he moves in to catch the baby. C-section? Put on a cap and booties, he needs to stay with the baby, while also finding a way to put a comforting hand on Kate’s head, until her hands are free to hold the child.
5. Feeding the baby
Oh, Kate, here’s wishing enough — but not too much — breastfeeding success! But as any mother will tell you, feeding your baby is the battle you can’t win. Kate will either nurse too much or too little, too openly or too hidden, she’ll pump too much or use formula too much or be strangely fixated on/disgusted with mouth-to-nipple contact. She will wean too soon or nurse too long. Her brand of formula won’t contain DHA, which is why, we’ll suspect a few years down the road, the next generation of royal babies isn’t walking or talking at the right time (whenever that is).
Kate and Will will get plenty of help. Oh, how the rest of us envy the frequency of Royal date nights! Which causes us to ask, is the child actually being raised by its mum or are too many nannies involved? You never see Kate out with the baby, she’s always empty-handed. Does she even love this child? Is she too focused on herself? Her needs? How could she put a half-hour speech at some humanitarian event ahead of holding her sleeping baby? She’s going to miss all the milestones!
What about Prince William? Come on, the guy’s got a life, a job. He can’t stay home chasing kids all day.
7. Changing diapers
The wrath Will should endure if he doesn’t change a few every once in awhile — and talk about it a lot.
8. Carrying the baby
To ensure a secure bond, some will insist both parents tote the wee one in a sling or one of the many front-pack carriers on the market. Tip: if the Royal parents prefer pushing the baby in a stroller, feign back pain. It’s the only way out of sling/stroller judgment.
The Royals should steer clear of rock-n-roll onesies, which cause many to question whether the parents are ready to grow up. Also, layettes that include only luxury brands make the rest of the world think the Royals think they’re better than us. Not too much pink and frill if it’s a girl — you’ll be accused of raising a little princess (which, in Kate and Will’s case … whatever). Not too little pink if it’s a boy — it’s a post-gender world out there and a prince of the people should be willing to embrace it!
10. Family life
Too much time together and Kate will be accused of cutting the kids off from everyone else for her own selfish needs. Too much time apart and we’ll hear a lot about history repeating itself. They should look to the Obamas for a model of public parenting in a judgy world. You can’t escape the commentary completely — any mom or dad can tell you that. But you can love the kids, love each other, do your best and rise above. As most new parents eventually figure out, most important is to not give a rip what anybody else thinks about your parenting. In the case of the Royals, they shouldn’t give a rip … times a thousand.
What else will the Royals face as new mum and dad?