London - I have lots of sympathy for all those women who, over the past few days, have pointed out the stark difference between their own birth experiences and that of the Duchess of Cambridge.
And I completely understand why they feel that her version of mother- hood - in and out in a matter of hours, no pain relief, smiley, wavy photo- call - is unrepresentative of most women’s experiences.
Leading the way was former Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill who said: "I wanted to shout 'Nooooo Kate'. I don’t expect to see a woman hours after giving birth wearing tights and heels and earrings."
They are completely right.
But that doesn’t mean what Kate does is wrong. And it certainly doesn’t mean that her picture-perfect version is any less worthy than my - or anyone else’s - experience.
In fact, for every woman defiantly showing off her "just crawled from a train wreck" photos this week, there were also those quick to show how they, too, liked to keep up standards and felt there was absolutely nothing wrong with making sure your roots were touched up, and your make-up bag packed among your baby essentials. Births are like babies - no two are the same.
Don’t get me wrong. I find the Duchess’s ability to pop sprogs without them appearing to even touch the sides extremely irritating.
Bad enough that she never seems to put on an ounce of extra weight, or that her ankles have never once - in three pregnancies - exhibited even the tiniest hint of water retention.
The fact that she’s in and out of the labour ward in the time it takes most new mothers to get dressed in the mornings just contributes to the overall sense of a woman who is too good to be true.
It’s this perfection that annoys people. They see it as some kind of implied judgment of their own failings, a sign of superhuman abilities they somehow lack. They, wrongly, infer that the Duchess is somehow acting as a self-appointed role model for new mothers everywhere.
This is, of course, completely irrational. Kate can’t help it if she’s good at having babies. Nor should she be made to feel guilty about it, or forced to pretend otherwise. It’s just one of those things: some women have easy births. I envy them, of course. But I don’t judge them.
As to the rest - the dress, the hair, the make-up - Kate isn’t trying to prove a point at all.
She’s just doing her job, which is to put on a good show for the British public.Daily Mail