'It's OK to not be OK': Moms react to Meghan Markle's recent interview

There's a reason why the Duchess of Sussex's moment of vulnerability is resonating so strongly with mothers.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Terri Peters

When a London news anchor asked the Duchess of Sussex about her physical and mental health since giving birth, the new mom spoke emotionally about her struggles, and her words are resonating with mothers around the globe.

"Look, any woman, especially when they're pregnant — you're really vulnerable," the former Meghan Markle told London's ITV News. "So that was made really challenging. And then, when you have a newborn, you know?"

"For all the women out there feeling this way, going through something similar: It's OK to not be OK."

"It's really a lot," she continued. "So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed."

The "this" referenced in the interview is intense media scrutiny Meghan has faced since marrying Prince Harry, becoming pregnant and delivering son, Archie, 5 months ago. The Duke of Sussex has recently spoken out in his wife's defense, and the couple has filed several law suits against British tabloids and newspapers.

"Also, thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I'm OK," Meghan says later in the interview.

When the reporter asks if her answer means that she's really not OK and has been through a struggle, Meghan responds "Yes."

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

Mothers in particular are speaking out in their social media feeds in support of her candor, relating to the new mom's struggles.

"I remember how hard it was to be a new mom," wrote one Twitter user. "I feel for her. I found, when I went through it, that people do forget to ask how new moms are doing, as it is usually all about the baby. We need to do better."

"For all the women out there feeling this way, going through something similar: It's OK to not be OK," wrote another. "Thank you, Meghan Markle, for such brave honesty."

One Instagram user was quick to point out that all moms deserve support.

"Mental health can affect anyone no matter their circumstances," the post reads. "Every mother deserves support, care and consideration. Sending lots of love and support Meghan’s way and I salute her for being so brave by speaking honestly."

Katie Couric praised Meghan on Twitter, saying, "I so admire Meghan Markle for being honest, open and vulnerable about the struggles she’s faced as a new mother and very public figure. #WeLoveYouMeghan."

Dr. Bethany Cook, author of "For What It's Worth: A Perspective on How to Thrive and Survive Parenting Ages 0-2," says Meghan's words are resonating with mothers everywhere for good reason.

"Our society has not shifted that far from old school ideas about what a mother should be, including the false concept that a new mother should never complain about how hard it is," Cook told TODAY Parents. "For a public figure like Meghan, there is a heightened expectation that she'll keep her new parenthood struggles to herself. After all, doesn't she have all the money and the help in the world? What could she possibly have to complain about?"

Never miss a parenting story with the TODAY Parenting newsletter! Sign up here.

But Cook says regardless of how much help a mom has or how much money is in her bank account, the basic challenges and exhausting aspects of motherhood are the same for everyone.

"You are thrust into the role of parenting, while keeping another human alive and happy and pretending you're not dying on the inside."

"It doesn’t matter how many resources you have to help you raise your child," Cook explained. "What Meghan is responding to is the sudden loss of time for herself. She has all the same responsibilities as before, but now she has a baby to care for and worry about 24/7. When we have a small child, our brains now have to make room to think about all the needs of this person, leaving less mental space for ourselves."

"Overnight, you are thrust into the role of parenting and have to figure out your new identity, while keeping another human alive and happy and pretending you're not dying on the inside," Cook continued, adding the Duchess of Sussex's situation is magnified because she lives under the spotlight of media attention.

"People are responding to Meghan because her words validate their personal experience of parenting. It is lonely. It sucks a lot of the time, and there is nothing glamorous or mentally stimulating about taking care of a small child day after day, even if you are a duchess."