In a recent interview with ITV presenter Tom Bradby, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, spoke openly about her struggles with pregnancy, new motherhood and the struggles of balancing them with the pressures and expectations of royal life. .
When Bradby asked her how she handled everything, Markle thanked him for asking the question and admitted that few people had inquired about her well-being.
Bradby then asked if it would be fair to say things didn’t go well, to which Markle quickly replied, “Yeah.” This moment resonated deeply with me because, although I have never been a member of the royal family or faced the scrutiny of the tabloids, I have experienced similar struggles during my own journey of motherhood.
Being a new mom is tough whether or not you’re in the public eye. Along with the physical toll of pregnancy and childbirth, new moms face a deluge of expectations about how they should care for their child and what kind of mother they should be. Social media can exacerbate these pressures by presenting an idealized image of motherhood that is not always realistic.
When I first became a mom, people often asked me if I liked being a mom or if I was in love with my baby. While I always answered yes, inside I struggled with a more complex narrative. I loved my child, but I also felt like I was losing part of my identity. I adored my son, but I didn’t always feel 100% connected to him every hour of every day. It takes time to adjust to the demands of motherhood, and it’s normal to not feel good during this transition.
Markle’s interview sparked a crucial conversation about the mental health of new mothers. As a society, we don’t always ask new moms if they’re okay, and when we do, we don’t always hear the real answer.
It’s time to change that. We need to let new moms know that it’s okay to be unwell and motherhood gets easier over time. We also need to find ways to support new moms and lighten their load as they do the important work of raising the next generation.
Sometimes a simple conversation with a friend, a walk with a partner or a cup of coffee can make all the difference. Let’s all take the time to show new moms that we care and are here to help.