For many of us parenting young children, the word “privilege” likely doesn’t come to mind when we’re changing diapers or debating lunch choices or reminding them to keep their hands to themselves.
But let us not forget that—really, truly—parenting these little humans is among the greatest honors in life, even for often-honored royal Kate Middleton.
The soon-to-be mother-of-three “feels it’s an incredible privilege to be a mum,” Peter Fonagy, head of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and personal friend of Middleton, tells People.
So often the conversation about parenting revolves around what we could, should, would do. But while there’s no getting around the fact that raising children is a big responsibility, it’s also important to take the moment to appreciate what a wonderful responsibility that is: We are the most influential people in their lives. And our children—with their beautiful world views, imaginations and sense of curiosity—should be the most influential people in our lives, too.
It’s clear that Middleton not only finds a lot of joy and fulfillment in motherhood, but she’s also committed to helping other parents feel the same way through her advocacy work with organizations like Heads Together, which promotes healthy dialogues about mental health in families. As Fonagy adds, Middleton is “genuinely interested” in bringing professionals and parents together to “positively influence the lives of children.”
“She’s very keen on children and keen that they should be happy,” says Fonagy, who’s worked with Middleton through Heads Together. “Part of her interest in prevention is to make sure that she does things right in her own parenting.”
As Middleton herself has said before, her advocacy work has “definitely had an impact on how I look at how I mother, how we work as a family and how we hope to bring up our children.”
For Middleton, that means acknowledging her young children have real, important emotions of their own about life changes. Now that baby number three is due any day, sources close to the royal couple say expectant parents are preparing 4-year-old George and 2-year-old Charlotte for the inevitable shift to follow their new sibling’s arrival.
Says Sarah Dixon, a former maternity nurse close to the royals, “The family will be doing all they can to talk about the new baby and get the children as involved as possible, including them assisting with nursery decoration and choosing toys for the new arrival.”
Then, soon enough, Middleton will be back to her work with advocacy groups. But, like she seems to know, let us not forget that the most meaningful work we do starts in our own homes.