A few years ago, I wrote a post entitled “In defense of looking awesome the day you give birth” in response to critics who said Kate Middleton appearing in public just hours after giving birth perfectly coiffed and pulled together was setting up unrealistic expectations for new moms.
As a new mom myself, I felt differently. Putting on makeup, doing my hair, and wearing real clothes and even jewelry shortly after I had a baby actually felt indulgent and liberating, having just sweated and grunted my way through a painful labor. I remember posing for the first photo with my newborn and feeling great about myself. And why shouldn’t I? I did it! I gave birth! And still found time to apply mascara.
Flash-forward a few years, and as I approach my due date with my fourth baby, I have a different perspective. Call it age, or maybe just exhaustion. No matter the reason, today I saw the photos of Kate after having delivered her third baby, and felt sorry for her.
She looked exhausted behind all that makeup and glossy blown-out hair. And I started to wonder how I would feel if, just moments after I had my son in several weeks, I was bombarded by a hair and makeup squad wielding products, a straightening iron and an eyelash curler. I’m guessing I’d want to just roll over and take a big old nap.
And forget about being made to wear a designer dress and heels! Ladies, we all know what’s underneath that Jenny Packham frock; postpartum pants and pads and all sorts of totally unglamorous stuff.
Those photos made me want to give Kate a big hug and remind her how she deserves to focus on being a new mom, and how I wish her handlers would just make us, her fans, wait. But royal duties call, I guess, even after a princess pushes out an 8-pound baby. That’s why even though there are many aspects of the Duchess’s life worth envying, I wouldn’t trade the quiet moments I got to enjoy with my infant, away from cameras and the prying public, for all the fame in the world. Nor would I wish a team of hair and makeup people on my worst enemy right after she had a baby. Talk about wanting some space!
So a shower and a little lip gloss postpartum? Lovely and quite empowering if you ask me. Having to impress the world and look perfect mere hours after delivery? Sad.
Images by Shutterstock Premier and Melissa Willets