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Royal Expectations: Lessons Learnt From Kate’s Pregnancy

The extreme pressure felt by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, to deliver a royal baby, is a…

While the news of 31-year old Kate’s pregnancy is certainly uplifting, the intensity of the media’s focus over the last 19 months on any sign that she may be expecting (top headlines around the world included reports on her choice of water instead of wine or momentarily resting a hand on her stomach) serves as a reminder for all couples who are about to marry.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital where the Duchess was being treated for acute morning sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) on December 06, 2012 (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)

For there is something about a woman publicly displaying an engagement ring with the accompanying wedding band, but without a trail of small children following her, that can cause nosy relatives and also complete strangers to openly question her on expected timing for the baby that she must surely be rushing to have.

Recent examples shared with me include just-wed Knotties approached in supermarkets and department stores by random strangers, who firstly want to admire their said rings, and then brazenly grilled them as to when there would be children on the way.

While generally all with good intentions, this probing often seems to come from a generation more used to a wedding being immediately followed by efforts to conceive a house full of children. They do not necessarily appreciate that in this century building a career is often a woman’s immediate priority, with the children, while being just as important, something to focus on once professional life is properly established. Additionally, these days more couples seem to be choosing not to have children at all, deciding instead to concentrate on other areas of life.

The best advice we can give if you feel under pressure to conceive but it’s not your highest priority right now? Come up with a standard, non-committal answer that you and your husband will give to family, friends, and even strangers, when the question of children arises, such as, “All in good time – we may have a family though not just yet.” Brush inquisitions off lightly. And certainly don’t get weighed down feeling responsible to conform to the hopes of others. It’s your life, not theirs! And, if you do decide to have children, hopefully you won’t have people reporting on your morning sickness, betting on what your choice of name will be or deciding you’re having twins without any reliable evidence whatsoever.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge official announcement via their website

Q. Have you had nosy family, friends and strangers ask when you’ll be starting a family yet?

Read about some tasks that you may want to focus on after your wedding Just Married: Your Post Wedding To-Do’s

by Alicia Richardson


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