If you are like me (and obviously you are since we are both on the Internet) you are getting amped for The Royal Wedding. Perhaps you are planning a fancy hat party to watch the festivities (no, that’s just me? Whatever). I’m not going to pretend I’m above it. I love weddings, I love history, and spent many hours in high school fantasizing about marrying Prince Willy. I might be more upset that he picked Kate over me if he still had all that gorgeous floppy hair. But still, she’s pretty lucky and on Friday she will become a Princess. It’s compelling and magically and sort-of bizarre. Just a common obscenely wealthy country girl gets to be Rooooyal. A true fairy tale wedding for all the world to admire.
And. Then. Bump. Watch.
I guarantee some tabloid writer has already marked a date on his calendar approximately nine months from now and written the story “Honeymoon Baby!” with the note “find photo of Princess Kate wearing shirt flapping in wind and/or post-burrito lunch.” Sooner or later a baby will come and Kate will enter the very elite club of People-Society-Feels-Entitled-To-Openly-Babyjudge.
We’ve got plenty of those club members here, namely every celebrity dumb enough to go places in public with their children. I’m not sure how our culture became so obsessed with the offspring of the famous. But isn’t it? From Teen Moms to Suri Cruise’s gummy penis candy, kids are just as gossip worthy as romances and wardrobe malfunctions. I certainly don’t think it’s fair that these kids are assailed with paparazzi flashes every day and yet I know I’m part of the problem. I really like seeing celebrity moms (not the teen moms, I can’t handle that). I like to compare what I wear to the park to what Jennifer Garner wears to the park (often strangely manish shoes). And I definitely like it when I feel like I’m doing something better than them. Pacifier on a 5 year old, I win! Junk food to a toddler, I win! Tantrum in public, I win! Of course, if I had people stalking me and taking my picture everyday, I’d be shocked if Child Protection didn’t show up at my door. I wish it ended with the celebs. However, I think we are all guilty of judging any parenting we see, famous or not. It’s bad juju. Lots of very impressive people have come from very judge-worthy homes. Wealth and privilege does not guarantee you’ll turn out to be a successful or likeable person. Then again, poverty and piss-poor parenting doesn’t mean you can’t grow up to be an enlightened and useful person. It’s just so easy to compare ourselves and our kids to those more or less fortunate and discount both groups as entitled snobs or no-chance pity cases. This is definitely my struggle. The best thing for me is just to try and be a better mom today than I was yesterday. But I won’t stop judging manish shoes. I am human.
The scrutiny on the Royal family seems much more extreme than on celebrities. Probably because the citizens feel a little more entitled to a family that they pay taxes for but who don’t actually DO much. It honestly does seem brave to me for Kate to marry into this circus. Yes, the perks are undeniable. But to have the most watched wardrobe, then wedding, then marriage, then womb, then parenting skills is a pretty overwhelming prospect.
As if that much public pressure wasn’t enough, William and Kate have said that they will live without any of the traditional domestic support that comes with the gig. Does that include a nanny? Both Charles and William have very close relationships with their childhood nannies. Wills’ nanny’s son is even a page boy in the wedding. So will Kate break this tradition and be a stay-at-home-princess-mom? The Princess job involves a ton of travel and various figureheady appearances. What will the kiddos do during those? Travel with them? Hang with Charles and Camilla? Who knows. This couple seems determined to chart a different course than previous heirs and more power to ‘em. I sincerely hope that they are happy and make lots of adorable little royal babies and raise them however they’d like.
I’d like to offer some advice for their journey but my extensive research into the subject (Princess Diaries 1 & 2, Prince and Me, Princess Protection Program, etc.) yielded no useful information on raising royal but normal children. So good luck with that! I’ll be judging watching!
~ Leslie Harper Foss
Salt & Nectar thanks Leslie for guest blogging today. Leslie lives in Orange County, CA. She graduated from Law School and passed the CA bar and currently uses her very expensive degree to negotiate trades in the sandbox for her 19-month-old son. They have a lot of playdates. When not being a lawyer (always) and not being a mom (never) she enjoys checking facebook incessantly, watching low-quality television, and eating whatever her husband cooks. She bakes her own bread and is very smug and superior about it. You can follow her on her blog Ipso Momso.