That primal desire to have your mom hold your hand or guide you—it's not a sign of weakness. It's how women have been birthing from the beginning of time.
One of the most powerful women in the world is about to have a baby. Which means that Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's wife and the Duchess of Sussex, could have access to any expert, any accommodation her heart desires.
If she wants a doula, breastfeeding expert, pediatrician of the highest caliber or even tea and scones, it's all available to the Duchess. (And like every pregnant mama, she deserves it ALL.)
We've been reading about her plans to keep her birth private, possibly even via home birth, and know that the entire British medical community is attuned to her now-full term pregnancy.
But on the brink of her due date, it's reported that what she really wants is her mom, Doria Ragland, at her side.
And I TOTALLY get it.
Birth has a way of making even the most independent women want their mamas close by.
That primal desire to have your mom hold your hand or guide you—it's not a sign of weakness. It's how women have been birthing from the beginning of time. It's actually a powerful sign of mothers' strength.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had an instinctive need to keep my mother and mother-in-law close. They weren't present in the birth rooms, but they descended from out-of-state on our little family in the weeks before and after baby's birth.
These mothers (and new grandmothers) were a reassuring presence during the biggest milestone of my life.
They were birth angels who helped share in our amazed excitement on the brink of baby's due date.
They were cleaning fairies who helped keep the house organized while I was too pregnant to bend over, or too overwhelmed to do the laundry.
They were breastfeeding ninjas who held my boob as I learned to nourish my son with my body.
They were doting grandmas to this brand new baby boy when we were all learning about the new person around whom our worlds began to revolve.
They were motherhood mentors who told me I was a wonderful mother even when I felt like I was a failure in those exhausting early days.
They were sleep coaches—for me and the baby—when I endured yet another sleepless night when a cranky newborn.
They were self-care guides encouraging me to change my clothes, brush my teeth, or take a shower when I felt newly unable to care for my own basic needs.
They were a sign of hope that these intense new days wouldn't last forever, and that someday, somehow, I would become as competent as they seemed to be.
They were a source of new strength and admiration, as I realized as a new mother myself just how many things I took for granted as a child (meals, a clean home, my mom's constant, reassuring presence.)
And no, those weeks weren't perfect. I do remember "words" exchanged at a few key moments. And I know that for some women, keeping their own family members at a distance is the happiest and healthiest thing they can do, especially right after a baby is born. The closeness can just me too much sometimes. I get it.
But women, mothers and daughters, have been helping guide one another into motherhood for as long as we've been having babies.
When I look back on big moments in my life, and meaningful seasons when I felt closest to and most grateful for my mother and mother-in-law, I think of those weeks fondly. I think of their sacrifice. I think of their generosity. I think of their love. I cherish their presence.
Megan Markle is about to experience one of the greatest crowning achievements of her life: becoming a mama. It just makes sense that she wants her mama, her queen, by her side.