5-4 Kate Middleton

Photo credit: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty

On Saturday evening, the newest member of the royal family was introduced to the world. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her public debut at 6:12 PM Saturday evening, a mere 10 hours old. But what caught the attention of royal-enthusiasts and moms everywhere was new mother-of-two Kate Middleton’s appearance. That blown-out hair! That perfectly made-up face! The heels! She gave birth to a healthy, term baby girl that same day and looked as if she stepped from the cover of a magazine. And some moms around the world thought, “How does she look like that so soon after having a baby?”

I think this just brings light to the variant experiences we have with childbirth and the differential circumstances that we bring children into the world. I certainly wasn’t ready for heels a 1/2 day after giving birth but that may have to do with complications I endured and the C-section I had to undergo. Many women labor for days are are thoroughly exhausted by the time they start skin-to-skin and feeding their newborn. Many of us would have no interest in being in front of the world’s cameras 1 day after child birth. Some of us would, of course…

All this: a reminder that some women have wild support systems and elastic rebounds after childbirth while some take time to heal, recover and transition to the extraordinary privilege of being a mom. Some women deliver babies alone and without support, some have royal birthing suites. You can only imagine the team of people who helped support the Duchess’ worldwide unveiling. Kate’s appearance caught on camera reminds us ever so gently again that as parents we’re happiest when we don’t compare ourselves to others. When we focus on where we are with our own children and the gifts and challenges we often find coming our way, we typically can poetically enjoy this wild ride with such increased joy. In my opinion, competitive parenting abounds — comparing ourselves to the Duchess will always lead us astray.

As Mother’s Day beckons, we can put the hesitancies we may feel about our own circumstances in perspective and gift moms and women here and around the world. Perhaps consider giving a donation to One By One (a group providing support and cure to women with postpartum fistulas) or Women’s Opportunity Network (a group supporting women with micro-financing to start their own businesses and support their families around the world). If you want to honor your own mom and support children and their mothers here at Seattle Children’s, please consider doing that too! You give away $5 to another mother and all of the sudden Kate’s gorgeous yellow dress fades into the background…