There is no event more special in life that the birth of a child. It is a time of change, a time to reflect on one’s life, a time to reconnect with family, a time to be happy.
For some parents, the birth of a child is celebrated in more difficult circumstances. Illness, hardship, poverty, war or famine. Most of those living in UK don’t have these problems, and our biggest issue is how to find time to enjoy our new baby before the hordes of relatives start arriving. One must only peek at the threads on Mumsnet, with titles such as ‘AIBU to think that MIL should wait till I have been home a couple of hours before turning up on the doorstep?’ to see how common this is.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given, was not to tell anyone the exact due date. I am betting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are wishing that they had this option.
It is impossible to escape the reminder that this is Royal Baby Month as the shops are full of Royal Baby crap, to which the Duke and Duchess have given their consent – would be hard for them not to, since the birth of their child and resulting spending spree is estimated to bring the country a windfall of £243m.
More than the tshirts, the mugs, the onsies, the books, the iPhone covers… it is the relentless marketing of often completely unrelated stuff that gets my goat. Every PR company in the country seems to have seized this opportunity to market products or services with an incredibly tenuous link to the new arrival.
Do we need royal baby Krispy Kreme? And what is with this weird hotel suite? Marriot hotel Grosvener House has built a nursery for Kate and Will’s baby. Not that the baby will sleep there, but they reckon they can find customers willing to pay over £6k for a 3 night stay in the suite.
It is getting beyond ridiculous when a betting company sends creepy man-babies into Central London to persuade people to take a bet on everything from the baby’s name, date of arrival and even hair colour.
On Social Media it is even worse, as we are implored to guess the name of the Royal Baby to win, tweet a colour (pink/blue to guess the gender) to win paint – even the normally sensible Mumsnet gets in on the act.
I am heartily fed up of it all. Not just because I find it boring already, but because I believe that this is a wonderful event for the couple and their families, and this is no celebration of the people. This is a commercialised circus, where the only winners are the companies raking in the pounds.
It is funny cause I was very into the Royal Wedding celebrations, and found it incredibly funny to see the various souvenirs that were created. This is somehow different, as it is a little child who is being born, and this private celebration is being hijacked. Even though I realise that any celebration in the house of Windsor will never be private. They don’t have that particular privilege, amongst the many privileges that they enjoy.
The press are already camped out in front of the hospital, and Buckingham Palace. No MIL phoning daily to see if anything is happening, but poor Kate has to put up with the press and public waiting with bated breath. Kate has the entire nation squinting at her, wondering if her waters have broken, if she is in labour… IS ANYTHING HAPPENING YET?
So excuse me for being a bit Bah! Humbug! about this. I can’t help but remember those first hazy days of motherhood, and wish that William and Kate could find the peace and quiet to get to know the new addition to their family.