“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience,” she said. “However, at times it has also been a huge challenge. Even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not.”
During her speech, Kate, who also met with with other mothers at the event, spoke of one of the biggest changes that comes with parenthood — putting your children at the forefront, rather than yourself.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together,” she said. “Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
Kate said that those challenges have led her to feel, at times, a “lack of confidence” and “feelings of ignorance.” She then went on to discuss the importance of destigmatizing mental health, in particular, when it comes to new parents.
“If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor,” she continued. “Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.”
Prince William has echoed Kate’s sentiments in the past. In an interview with Talk Vietnam last November, he said that parenthood was an adjustment for him — but credited Kate’s support as a huge help, saying she’s a “fantastic” wife and mother.
“I’ve struggled at times,” he said. “The alteration from being a single, independent man to going into marriage and then having children is life-changing.”
Kate also offered words of sympathy and compassion for those affected by yesterday’s terrorist attack in London during the event.
This article originally appeared on People.com