“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel — from yourself and from others — can sometimes feel like a lot,” the Becoming author said.
“So my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything,” Obama continued.
Obama’s experience as a mom who raised two daughters, 17-year-old Sasha and 20-year-old Malia, in the public spotlight makes her perspective particularly relevant for Meghan, who is expecting her first child with Prince Harry in the spring.
“I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work,” Obama elaborated to the magazine. “I think it’s okay — it’s good, even — to do that.”
Obama also discussed the Duchess of Sussex’s power to make a difference.
“What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that — and I think Meghan can [maximize] her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” Obama said.
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Meghan has indeed used her platform for good in the months since her royal wedding in May. In September, she helped launch a cookbook that features recipes from women affected by the fatal Grenfell Tower fire. In October, she delivered a speech about the importance of women’s rights in New Zealand.
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Obama, who started the Let Girls Learn initiative, understands that desire to better women’s lives.
“In many ways, things are harder for young women today,” she told Good Housekeeping. “But what’s inspiring to me is that so many of the young women I’ve met are triumphing in incredible ways. Unlike my generation, they’re not as held back by the societal belief that girls and boys can’t do the same thing.”
“They’re charging forwards in sports and maths and science and technology,” Obama added. “They’re speaking up and speaking out, not just in classrooms but in the public arena at a young age. I find great hope in this generation of young women.”