The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's three children may be on their best behaviour during royal appearances, but Kate has revealed that they too experience the ups and downs of parenthood behind closed doors – especially following the pandemic.
MORE: Kate Middleton reveals her worst homeschooling subject – and parents will relate
Kate Middleton is mum to three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with husband Prince William. So what the doting royal mum has said about caring for her big brood?
From relatable homeschooling struggles to experiencing mum guilt, we look at all the times she has revealed her own personal parenting struggles…
Duchess Kate on… homeschooling
WATCH: Kate Middleton candidly discusses exhausting homeschooling struggles
The Duchess has revealed she finds homeschooling her kids just as tough as the rest of us! During a virtual discussion with three parents, whose children attend Roe Green Junior School in Brent, she admitted to feeling "exhausted."
"I think as parents you've the day-to-day elements of being a parent, but I suppose during lockdown we have had to take on additional roles that perhaps others in our communities, or in our lives would have perhaps supported us and helped us with," Kate said.
"I've become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children's horror, seeing mum cutting hair.
"We've had to become a teacher - and I think, personally, I feel pulled in so many different directions and you try your best with everything but at the end of the day I do feel exhausted".
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Duchess Kate on… mum guilt
During an interview for the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast hosted by Giovanna Fletcher back in February, Kate opened up about that common parenting topic, mum guilt.
Asked if she ever experienced pangs of ‘mum guilt’ herself, the Duchess – who has a nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo - replied: "Yes absolutely – and anyone who doesn’t as a mother is actually lying. Yes – all the time."
Kate feels like mum guilt like the rest of us sometimes
She added: "There’s such a pull, but I am such a hands-on mum, and whatever you’re doing you want to make sure you’re doing the uttermost best job you can for your children.’
Giving listeners an insight into her daily life, Kate revealed:
"And you know, even this morning, coming to the nursery visit here, George and Charlotte were like, 'Mummy how could you possibly not be dropping us off at school this morning?'
"But no, it’s a constant challenge, you hear it time and time again from mums. Even mums who aren’t necessarily working, aren’t pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life – there’s always something."
The Duchess added: "And always sort of questioning your own decisions, and your own judgments, and things like that, and I think that starts from the moment you have a baby."
Duchess Kate on… parenting in lockdown
In an interview with the BBC in April, the Duchess admitted that the experience has had its "ups and downs," and spoke about getting the balance right when talking to the children about the virus.
She said: "George is much older than Louis is, but they are aware, I'm always surprised. And although you don't want to scare them and make it too overwhelming, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways and age-appropriate ways."
The Cambridges clapping for the NHS in lockdown
Kate also opened up about the challenge of Zoom calls with young children after William said they've been staying in touch with the rest of the royal family and Kate's parents by video calls.
The Duchess added: "I think your father [Prince Charles] and my parents and our families and things like that have really loved keeping in touch with the children because it’s really hard. It gets a bit hectic, I am not going to lie, with a [nearly] two-year-old."
We know EXACTLY how this feels Kate.
Duchess Kate on… having a newborn
The royal has been through the newborn stage three times now so knows about the highs and lows. In a 2019 visit to the Lewisham headquarters of the charity Family Action, the Duchess spoke of first years as a mother.
William and Kate with baby Louis
She said: "It’s so hard. You get a lot of support with the baby as a mother particularly in the early days, but after the age of one, it falls away. After that there isn’t a huge amount — lots of books to read."
"Everybody experiences the same struggle. Even for me, who has more support at home that most mothers do not. Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother."
"For many mothers, myself included, this can at times lead to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance."
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Duchess Kate on… getting the kids ready
The challenge of getting the kids ready for school cannot be underestimated, and this comment from Kate in June 2019 made her even more relatable.
Getting ready for the school run can be a struggle
During a visit to Cumbria, Kate revealed that she had got Princess Charlotte ready for nursery before she set off on the trip, but that she had struggled with something that morning.
The royal had been admiring a little girl's hairstyle, and told her: "I love your plaits!" The mum-of-three then added: "I tried to do a plait on Charlotte this morning, and it didn't really work very well."
Kate, we've been there.
Duchess Kate on… learning to parent
While attending The Royal Foundation's 'Mental Health in Education' conference in February 2019, Kate spoke of learning about motherhood.
The Duchess discussed the importance of children's early years
Drawing on her own experience, Kate shared: "When I first started out and I've learnt a lot in a short period of time working with organisations, I was very naive myself as a parent, of really just how important particularly the early years are for children's futures. And how critical it is, everyone looking after children at a critical time, teachers, parents, and everyone who’s caring for them, how important it is that we get it right."
"I didn't know what some of the issues that perhaps we take for granted here as experts know about, but it’s being able to translate it to those who don’t have the training in a way that the points come across clearly," she added.
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