Former First Lady Michelle Obama knows a thing or two about being a mom, and she is lending a few helpful tips to new mom Meghan Markle. After being tasked with guest-editing the September issue of British Vogue, the Duchess of Sussex reached out to Obama to be featured in the Q&A on the magazine’s final page, as her “first thought was that it needed to be someone kind, inspirational, motivating, funny, with gravitas and as much depth as levity. My second thought: it needed to be Michelle Obama.”
Explaining that they discussed the project “over a casual lunch of chicken tacos and my ever-burgeoning bump,” Markle, who welcomed son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May, also revealed that she received some sound parenting advice from the mother of two.
“Being a mother has been a masterclass in letting go,” Obama wrote in a message to the duchess on Mother’s Day. “Try as we might, there’s only so much we can control. And, boy, have I tried — especially at first. As mothers, we just don’t want anything or anyone to hurt our babies. But life has other plans. Bruised knees, bumpy roads and broken hearts are part of the deal.”
“What’s both humbled and heartened me is seeing the resiliency of my daughters,” Obama continued, referring to her two daughters, 21-year-old Malia and 18-year-old Sasha.
“Motherhood has taught me that, most of the time, my job is to give them the space to explore and develop into the people they want to be. Not who I want them to be or who I wish I was at that age, but who they are, deep inside,” she wrote. “Motherhood has also taught me that my job is not to bulldoze a path for them in an effort to eliminate all possible adversity. But instead, I need to be a safe and consistent place for them to land when they inevitably fail; and to show them, again and again, how to get up on their own.”
Obama also reflected on what it was like to be a parent to infants, encouraging Markle to enjoy the early years with her son.
“When Malia and Sasha were newborns, Barack and I could lose hours just watching them sleep. We loved to listen to the little sounds they’d make — especially the way they cooed when they were deep into dreaming,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, early parenthood is exhausting. I’m sure you know a thing or two about that these days. But there is something so magical about having a baby in the house. Time expands and contracts; each moment holds its own little eternity.”
“I’m so excited for you and Harry to experience that, Meghan. Savour it all,” she concluded.
Since welcoming Archie, her first child with husband Prince Harry, on May 6, Markle has slowly been stepping back into the spotlight, with her guest editing position on the magazine marking her first major role. For the project, Markle not only selected the cover stars, but also chose the photographers and interviews to be featured.