Kate Middleton has revealed parenting during lockdown has left her “exhausted” and joked about her children recoiling in “horror” when she became their hairdresser.
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke about the challenges of looking after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis during a chat with a group of parents, revealing William has been her biggest support during the pandemic.
The duchess also urged families to “reach out to loved ones and friends” to help them deal with their mental health.
She took part in a discussion with three parents, whose children attend Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury, north west London, alongside headteacher Melissa Loosemore.
As part of a “show and tell” exercise during the video call, the headteacher instructed the group to write down answers to questions with the first request – “one word that describes parenting during this pandemic”.
The duchess held up the word “exhausting”, while others joined in with similar sentiments including “hectic”, “patience” and “challenging”.
After being asked to explain her decision by the headteacher, she said: “I think as parents you’ve the day-to-day elements of being a parent, but I suppose during lockdown we have had to take on additional roles that perhaps others in our communities, or in our lives, would have perhaps supported us and helped us with.”
Chuckling, the duchess added: “I’ve become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children’s horror, seeing mum cutting hair. We’ve had to become a teacher – and I think, personally, I feel pulled in so many different directions and you try your best with everything, but at the end of the day I do feel exhausted.”
Parent Nicole Seidemann, who has four children aged 11, nine, six and four, described herself as “definitely a full-time teacher right now and struggling to do much else”.
Asked to describe her experience of home schooling, she echoed the duchess’ comments, saying: “It is exhausting at the end of the day.”
In another exercise, the parents were asked to write down who had been their support during the pandemic.
As the other parents wrote “children”, “wife and children” and “husband”, the duchess held aloft a tribute to her husband with the word “William”.
For the third exercise the parents were asked to rate their maths ability after several months of home schooling.
The duchess scored herself a “minus five” while the others all gave themselves “eight”, but the parents explained they had all improved dramatically during the lockdown.
The duchess laughed saying: “That’s pretty good! I am obviously right at the bottom of the class.”
“Being able to share your own experience with others who are going through the same thing makes it feel less daunting and makes you feel less isolated,” she added during the call.
“It’s really important to reach out to loved ones and friends.”