A couple of years after she interviewed Kate, the new Princess of Wales, about motherhood, I’m A Celebrity winner Giovanna Fletcher has revealed the royal was nervous about opening up on the subject of ‘mum guilt’.
The podcast and TV personality explained Kate’s fear came from her concern that “everything she says is dissected”. And no doubt an understanding of how hard it is for mums who don’t have the trappings of royal privilege to relate.
But it’s important for women, whatever their background, to share relatable stories about being a mother – the good, bad and the ugly.
Photographer Andi Galdi has done just that with her new book Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared And Now I’m Back, a photo essay which chronicles the reality of being a new mother – which is messy, mundane but also magical.
It’s certainly the kind of book I wish I’d had as a first-time mother. Because for all the wonderful moments, most of us mums can never escape the fear that we’re doing it all wrong.
When I had my soon-to-be 18 year old son, there was no Instagram or Tik Tok to take the mickey out of us over-anxious newbies. So it is almost impossible not to set unrealistic standards.
Over the years I’ve become far more relaxed. But still I can’t shake the feeling that my best isn’t quite good enough.
Which is why I was brought to tears by a recent message from the mum of my youngest son’s best friend. He was staying with them for the weekend as I was away on a work trip.
I woke up to a morning message that said: “Good morning, mum. What a lovely weekend. Your son is the most amazing young man.
“You have all the credit for raising such an upright little boy and he is so polite and kind. He is a true gentleman.”
Even reading it back now makes me feel emotional.
No one tells you when you get things right as a mum, we obsess about what we get wrong. Look at the stick Kate got when Prince Louis basically acted like a typical four year old at the Platinum Jubilee. I bet she was mortified.
We all need to hear that we’re doing all right, and as Galdi says, I too have come to terms with the fact that I can’t be perfect, I can be my best, and that’s OK.