Lessons from the Royal Wedding
by guest blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
After months of breathless updates, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is two weeks away. As a Canadian living in the United States, I confess a certain fascination with all things royal, an interest not generally shared by my American friends. After all, I grew up with Prince William’s grandmother on my currency, so it’s probably to be expected that I obsessively follow that family’s comings and goings.
That’s great, you say, but what does this have to do with the Mommy MD Guides?
In my royal wedding watch the other day, I read that according to “close friends of the couple” (are these people invited?), William and Kate won’t wait long before starting a family. If that’s true, they’ll be following in the tradition of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, who announced they were expecting him a mere four months after their July 1981 wedding. Where they’ll differ: Kate would be at least 30 before an heir to the throne arrived (she’s 29 now), and Diana was 20 when she got married (and almost 21 when William was born).
A whole decade. Kate will be a mom in her thirties, whereas Diana began her motherhood journey barely into her twenties.
What do those 10 years mean? Apparently, a lot of moms in their thirties wouldn’t have it any other way, even though older women face increases risks of pregnancy complications and other health issues. A cross-section of articles I’ve scanned lately recounts women who say that “age really does come before wisdom” when you’re an older mom. While acknowledging the decline in fertility that comes with each decade, women often write that “beyond laying the foundation for career fulfillment and a happy marriage, many women say delaying pregnancy until their thirties also meant the freedom to get to know themselves better, before taking on motherhood.”
Certainly Diana’s marital woes, which began right after the wedding and accelerated after William’s (and later, his brother, Harry’s) birth, affected her understanding of who she was. In the 1990s, a few years older than Kate is now, Diana was finally able to carve out an impressive niche for herself as a crusader for land mine safety, the homeless, and a host of other charities. Meanwhile, Kate has already held a number of jobs, and she is already making her presence known in philanthropic circles. Another key difference: the age gap between William’s parents and their relatively brief courtship, which both felt strained their relationship. William and Kate are the same age, and they’ve been dating for nine years. They seem to have created a strong partnership that would seem to bode well for a new Wales.
Diana and Kate. While they’ll never know and learn from each other, we can learn from them. As a mother, Diana’s skills were very much in evidence, and today her sons are the embodiment of her success. As a very young mom, she was able to give her sons the foundation they needed for a happy life. Chances are, as an “older” mom, Kate will do exactly the same.
So, as William and Kate prepare to walk down the aisle, let’s tip our hat to mothers of all ages: women with different perspectives based on life experience. Ultimately we all have one thing in common: the love we have for our children.