Michelle Obama Gives Meghan Markle Parenting Advice: What She’s Excited for Prince Harry and Markle to Experience

Who better to get parenting advice from than former First Lady Michel­l­­e Obama? British Vogue guest editor Meghan Markle got more than her fair share of motherhood nuggets, including a sweet bit of advice about having a new baby.

Michelle Obama Meghan Markle parenting advice vogue
Meghan Markle | @SUSSEXROYAL/AFP/Getty Images

Markle interviewed Obama for Vogue

As part of her duties guest editing the September “Forces for Change” issue of Vogue, Markle interviewed Obama and was surprised and delighted to have the former First Lady provide thoughtful answers rather than brief responses for the Q&A feature.

Markle shared in the introduction of her interview: “Turns out British Vogue famously has a back page Q&A feature that is equal parts informative and whimsical, with a special guest each month. My 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.”

She explained that “the back page of Vogue comprises a few simple questions to garner a few simple answers” and she was left “speechless” with how “[Obama] could have answered with a sentence or two” but shared “a thoughtful, reflective and beautifully curated narrative – a gentle reminder not of how but of why she has become such a globally respected public figure.”

What motherhood has taught Obama

When asked what motherhood has taught her, Obama reflected: “Being a mother has been a masterclass in letting go. 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.”

She further noted, “What’s both humbled and heartened me is seeing the resiliency of my daughters,” sharing that “they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths.”

Obama explained how she has learned that “most of the time,” as a mother, “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 shared that she’s also learned “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 shared her advice for new mom Markle

Obama’s wisdom as a mother of two is definitely something Markle can use as she travels the road of parenthood, but the former First Lady also offered some advice to the Sussexes as they just start out as new parents.

When Markle asked, “What is the most beautiful sound that you’ve ever heard?,” Obama shared it was the sounds daughters Malia and Sasha made as newborns when they were asleep. She noted: “We loved to listen to the little sounds they’d make — especially the way they cooed when they were deep into dreaming.”

She continued: “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.”