“I feel exhausted”: Kate Middleton on parenting in the pandemic
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, opened up in an open video chat with other parents about the challenges of raising three children and home-schooling during the lockdown. Catherine revealed this parenthood duringThe pandemic left her “exhausted” and joked about her children, who withdrew in “horror” when she started doing their hair.
The mother of three and school principal Melissa Loosemore took part in a conversation with three parents whose children are attending Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury, north-west London. In a show and tell exercise during the chat shared on Instagram and the Royal Family YouTube channel, Loosemore directed everyone to answer questions by writing them on a piece of paper. The first request was to “write down a word that describes parenting during this pandemic”.
The Duchess upheld the word “exhausting” while the other parents joined in with feelings similar to “challenging”, “hectic” and “patience”.
Catherine explained her feelings by saying, “I became a hairdresser to this horror, to the horror of my children when I saw mother cutting hair. We had to become a teacher – and personally I feel drawn in so many different directions, and you try your best with everything, but at the end of the day I feel exhausted. “
She added, “I think as a parent you have the day-to-day elements of being parents, but I suppose we had to take on additional roles during the lockdown that others in our communities or in our lives might have us supported and helped us. “
During another exercise, the school principal asked parents to write down who their greatest support was during the pandemic. The Duchess wrote down “William”, her husband.
The final exercise encouraged parents to evaluate their math skills after months of home teaching their children. While the others gave themselves an “eight”, the Duchess rated herself “minus five”. She laughed and admitted that she was “at the bottom of the class”.
The Duchess added, “When you can share your own experiences with others who are going through the same thing, it feels less daunting and you feel less isolated.”
The group also discussed the parents’ loneliness at this unprecedented time. With parents feeling isolated from friends and family, Kate’s Early Years – a national survey of early childhood care and development in the UK – found that loneliness rose from 38% to 63% during the pandemic.
To address the problem, the Royal Foundation, in partnership with the National Center for Children and Families by Anna Freud, Place2Be and Young Minds, launched The Mentally Healthy Schools, a free website that provides reliable and practical resources to help improve awareness and knowledge provides and trust in the promotion and support of the mental health of students.
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