Royal Sanctimummy

by Meghan Daum

Kate and Wills will be doing this very differently from previous generations of Royals. The two are said to be planning to break with the long standing tradition of a formal nanny (or many nannies) taking control of childcare in the Royal household. Instead they advertised for a housekeeper to help with multiple household chores and help watch the Royal baby, with Kate and William expecting to do much of the hands on care taking themselves. — Daily Mail, July 22, 2013.

Just days after giving birth to the newest heir to the British throne, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is already eschewing royal custom and taking a hands-on approach to parenting. Friends say that the Duchess, who is “just like any other mum,” has changed several diapers and already visited the popular parenting site Urban Baby seeking confirmation that the infant’s “output” is normal.

Prince William, too, is showing himself to be quite the involved dad, announcing the baby’s arrival on Facebook and sharing a photo taken of the exhausted Duchess just moments after delivery. He also provided the baby’s weight, length, and exact time of birth down to a sixteenth of a second. The post immediately generated thousands of “likes” and comments, including one from a former schoolmate who quipped, “sleep’s not the only thing you won’t be getting anymore, old chap.”

William refused to take the bait and instead spoke earnestly of the “sleep sharing” philosophy the couple planned to employ and the benefits of the family bed.

“You won’t understand this until you have kids,” the Prince wrote, “but it’s important to promote closeness between the father or non-nursing partner and the baby. All the science is behind co-sleeping. We’re totally stoked.”

Back at her computer, having ascertained from dozens of anonymous Urban Baby users that the royal infant’s output showed signs of genetic abnormality or possibly contaminated breast milk due to his mother’s non-organic diet, the Duchess stumbled on another thread. Initially mistaking it for a discussion about pacifiers, she read with horror and fascination as it devolved into shouting match about working mothers versus stay at home mothers and which was more closely aligned with the Nazi party. The next thing she knew it was 4 a.m.

“OMG, got barely a wink last night,” she posted on Facebook. “Guess that’s new motherhood for you!”

Sleep deprivation aside, the Duchess remained determined not to be just some MORFMOT (Member of Royal Family Mooching Off Taxpayers, as they coined it on Urban Baby) but your average mom. So, not two days after the royal birth, she launched her own blog, where she has already described her labor and delivery in graphic detail and weighed the pros and cons of vaccinating. An insider says the Duchess plans to write an essay (“well, more of listicle, really”) called “What Parenting Has Taught Me About Astrophysics,” which the source believes is a shoe-in for reprint on HuffPost Parents.

Despite the blog’s instant popularity, however, the Duchess’s third day post-partum proved challenging. She felt stung by mean comments on Twitter, her Tumblr account, and even on Facebook, where Prince William’s posting of a photo of the baby in an Arcade Fire onesie set off a round of commentary positing that Arcade Fire “sucks balls” and that exposing such music to a baby was tantamount to child abuse.

Having now suffered criticism on several other blogs, including a number of child-free communities that accused the royal couple of contributing to global overpopulation (“Typical selfish breeders!” offered a user named NoBrats4Me. “Why don’t they just adopt?”) the Duchess found herself crying at the drop of a hat and begging her mother for help.

Mrs. Middleton reportedly described herself as “not up on the latest social networking philosophies” but was said to have gently suggested that the couple accept a more appropriate level of professional help and “stop trying to be supermum and dad.”

Conceding the point, the Duke and Duchess have reluctantly added an Instagram photographer to their staff, as well as a full-time blogger who, as the young prince grows older, will also be responsible for Facebook posts relaying adorable yet thought-provoking quotes from the child (“mommy, why don’t we have a last name?”) as well as endearing accounts of the boy placing various objects in his nostrils. The couple is said to feel guilty but also relieved, as this will free them up to play an active role in assisting the housekeeper in the raising of their son.

“Kate was hoping to be more involved, but I told her that some mums just don’t have it in them,” said a source claiming to be the Duchess’s close friend. “It’s not a judgment. She should just be thankful she has the choice.”

Meghan Daum is an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times and the author, most recently, of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House. Image from Flickr.