An open letter to the former royals during #Megxit

Dear Meghan and Harry,

I don’t really know what’s going on with this whole #Megxit situation—though I have to admit I am a fan of the hashtag. I just wanted to let you know, you’re not alone.

Navigating extended family relationships as newlyweds is no easy feat. Add a baby to the mix, and it’s a whole new game.

One of the only pieces of advice I give to friends who are about to have children is that when you’re expecting a baby, you know your life is going to change. You are probably also aware that your marriage will change. But what you may not realize is that your relationship with your extended family—on both sides—will change.

Change isn’t always bad. Those relationships can be even better than ever. Babies bring people together, give families focus, and can help strengthen bonds.

But the relationships can also get much more complicated. You might get advice and giant stuffed animals from all sides. You might feel that the importance of your own core family unit is not valued by your relatives—that they think that they have the right to give your child candy or criticize how you’re parenting or expect you to attend family events even when they’re scheduled during naptime.

It might turn out that the grandparents or the aunts or uncles or cousins think they deserve the full royal treatment on every level. And you might struggle with how to navigate that situation as a couple.

If you’re smart, you’ll set some boundaries—together. And you’ll focus on what matters most:

#1. Your marriage.

#2. Your family of three.

#3. Everything and everyone else.

I can’t say that I’ve done any of these things well myself. But when I saw the #Megxit news, I thought maybe this is what you two are up to—and I admired you for it. The expectations and pressures on your family seem intense. You’re in the spotlight in a way that most families will never experience. And you’re still figuring out your relatively new life together.

So, I wish you well. Make the most of this time. Enjoy whatever new freedoms and opportunities come your way. Mute the family texts. And enjoy your little Archie. He might never be king, but I suspect he’s the little prince of your household. And know that this time of transition will pass.

Warmly,

Someone who will never be queen

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.