Meghan Markle's recent interview with ITV forces us all to ask the question - are we really asking new mums if they're OK?
Meghan Markle’s raw and honest interview has united her with mothers across the world. In the midst of her life of royalty we can see that she is deeply connected to us all in her vulnerability as a new mum.
“How is the baby?” “Is she sleeping well?” “Is she good for you?” “Is she windy?” “How’s the feeding going?” – just some of the many questions I am asked on a daily basis when I’m out and about with my five-month-old baby.
The truth is I’m used to it now and I really enjoy talking about my baby. I’m so proud of her and when people take an interest in how she’s doing, I find it endearing. But what if I wasn’t OK? What if I was drowning in it all? What if, just for a moment, I wanted someone to ask me if I was OK?
The Duchess Of Sussex has been praised worldwide for her compelling ITV interview. When speaking to Tom Bradby, the duchess spoke about the sheer weight of being a woman, a new mum and a newlywed. Women all over the world were nodding along in agreement as Markle spoke about the fact that, quite simply, “it’s a lot”.
"Not many people have asked if I’m ok ... it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."
Meghan reveals to ITV's @tombradby the intense media spotlight has left her struggling to cope while becoming a mum #HarryAndMeghan https://t.co/Uy21iE6ozJ pic.twitter.com/kZqhZV66OL
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
This very intimate interview portrayed a woman who, despite being in the very public eye, was feeling exceptionally not OK. It brings to mind the famous quote that we have all referenced in solidarity at one point or another. It would seem that “it’s OK to not be OK” unless of course you are deemed to not even warrant the question.
It begs the question – are we asking new mums if they are OK? In literal terms, are we simply asking the question? The reality is that those who are struggling are very unlikely to reach out and for this reason, we all need to reach in. There is something profoundly human about her exchange with Tom Bradby during this part of the interview. She seems to be thanking him so genuinely for asking her such a basic question.
Through this interview, we are acutely reminded of just how complex motherhood can be, particularly when it comes to your identity. So many of us are playing a variety of different roles at the same time and yet “behind the scenes” we are navigating our way through the very intense and overwhelming realities of being a mother.
At one point during the candid chat, Prince Harry can be seen in the background cradling their baby boy. Viewers were endeared by the fact that he is unaware that he is being filmed and for those few moments he is just Harry the dad.
I am just one mother who could relate to Meghan’s words which spoke to me in so many important ways. They reminded me to acknowledge the hugeness of being a mother and to be a little less hard on myself, to be grateful for all of the people in my life that regularly ask me if I am OK and perhaps most importantly to be the person that asks another mother if she is OK.
are all in this together.