That last one? Yeah, that's a doozy. It's lovely to think that breastfeeding just makes the baby weight fall off a new mom like drops of dew delicately spraying off a waterfall amid a rainbow at sunset on a secluded lagoon somewhere in the South Pacific. But for real women in the real world, the time it can take to lose the baby weight (or any weight, really) varies, and it's almost never that easy.
Then there are things new moms can do to irk all other moms, particularly if the new mom is famous and the other moms are not.
Kate Middleton's grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, is turning 90, so Kate and Prince William are in India celebrating the milestone (as one does). At a party there, someone asked her how she lost the baby weight after having two kids. Never mind who would ask that of anyone they don't know—and especially not the future Queen of England. But, according to People magazine, Kate gave the dreaded answer: "I am running after my kids."
Yes, there are some celebrities who will have you believe that while babies are tough, being a mom is the best job in the world and somehow, without even noticing—hey! look at that! poof!—the baby weight just came off. What hardly any of them will say, of course, is that nannies watch the babies while personal chefs prepare the meals and private trainers in the home gyms have them working out basically before the episiotomy is complete. And if that fails? Industrial-strength Spanx, home-delivered juices or a diet of air and a vision of what they need to look like for awards season usually do the trick.
Kate's silly answer at what amounts to a silly cocktail party was just plain silly. But the implications—intended or not—can be hurtful and far-reaching.
Kate Middleton was thin before becoming a mom, and she was stunning hours after becoming one, too (as we all know from the photos of her on the steps of the hospital). Some women have genes like that. That's OK; it is what it is. Most people will not (openly) begrudge a woman for being naturally gorgeous. However, if you say what Kate just said, beware the wrath.
Whether the Duchess of Cambridge said it as a joke or not, in the history of humans, not one mother has ever lost weight simply by chasing her kids (unless her kid is Wile E. Coyote). New moms (if they're at home and not back at a paying job) are nursing (or bottle-feeding; no judgments here), not sleeping, not showering, not cleaning and not not crying.
You can ask a new, non-famous mom what she does, exactly, and she will likely not be able to tell you where the day went and yet, still, how little was accomplished. To hear a new, famous mom tell you she's running after the kids conjures an image of cushioned Reebok sneakers, toned calves, unlimited cases of Smartwater, grilled organic/local/free-range chicken served on a bed of fair-trade, fairy-made spinach, giggly babies, and tired but happy through-and-through moms.
It's can be a painful image, frankly, for new moms with much fewer resources who wish that was their life. By all accounts, Kate Middleton is a terrific mom with a loving partner and they are raising fabulous children. When you are a princess (or a duchess or a countess or an actress), though, that should be your life. It's a privilege to be able to run after you kids. It's a privilege to only come out in public after your glam squad came together to make magic.
Kate's silly answer at what amounts to a silly cocktail party was just plain silly. But the implications—intended or not—can be hurtful and far-reaching for for almost every other woman. For a woman presumably trained to be delicate and diplomatic, it would seem as if a few more classes might be in order.