The Duchess of Cambridge opened up about mom guilt and her tough pregnancies during an appearance on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Babypodcast released on Saturday. Mother to three children -- future king Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 -- Middleton admitted to finding it hard to leave her and Prince Williams' kids when she has to go to work.
"Yes, absolutely, and anyone who doesn't as a mother is actually lying," the 38-year-old royal said. "Yep, all the time. 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?'"
“It’s a constant challenge," she continued. "You hear it time and time again from moms, even moms who aren’t necessarily working and aren’t pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life."
"[You're] always sort of questioning your own decisions and your own judgements and things like that, and I think that starts from the moment you have a baby,” Middleton said.
Middleton also touched on her battle with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a form of severe morning sickness, that she experienced during all three of her pregnancies.
"I got very bad morning sickness, so I’m not the happiest of pregnant people," the duchess expressed. "Lots of people have it far, far worse, but it was definitely a challenge. Not just for me but also for your loved ones around you, and I think that’s the thing, being pregnant and having a newborn baby and things like that, impacts everybody in the family."
Middleton also revealed that her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, even felt helpless during her pregnancies.
"You know, William didn’t feel he could do much to help and it’s hard for everyone to see you suffering without actually being able to do anything about it," Middleton explained, adding that her morning sickness was "utterly rotten."
"I was really sick. I wasn’t eating the things I should be eating," she recalled. "But yet, the body was still able to take all the goodness from my body and to grow new life, which I think is fascinating."
Elsewhere in the interview, Middleton also shared what parts of her childhood she wants to give her kids.
"If I take the experience from my own childhood, coupled with what I know now and what I’ve learnt from the experts in the Early Years sector, I think there’s a few things that really stand out for me," Middleton -- in her first ever podcast interview -- began. "One is quality of relationships. So, those moments that you spend with people that are around you."
"I remember that from my own childhood. I had an amazing Granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us, and I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now," she recalled. "There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment."
"As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s so great for physical and mental well-being and laying [developmental] foundations. It’s such a great environment to spend time in, building those quality relationships without the distractions of ‘I’ve got to cook’ and ‘I’ve got to do this’. And actually, it’s so simple," Middleton noted.
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She also took a moment to acknowledge her new mental health initiative "5 Big Questions," a survey that helps people across the U.K. provide their views on raising children. The duchess wants to continue to focus on sparking conversation about early childhood to help future generations.
"I think, ultimately, if you look at who’s caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of 5, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that," she explained. "And although I’ve spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it’s so important to listen to families. What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges?"
"What we’re doing with the survey is asking people what is it that matters for them in raising their children today," Middleton said.
Meanwhile, it was just last month that Middleton recalled her early years of motherhood and the isolation she felt when George was a newborn baby.
"I was chatting to some of the mums. It was the first year and I'd just had George -- William was still working with search and rescue -- and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey. It was so isolated, so cut off," she told other parents, according to royal reporters. "I didn't have any family around and [Prince William] was doing night shifts. So... if only I had had a center like this."