On the latest episode of Archetypes, Markle was discussing the “B-word” (and yes, she actually says “B-word” instead of the actual word because she really does not like it) with several guests, including Starbucks CEO Mellody Hobson. The businesswoman shared her story about being raised as one of six children by a single mother in Chicago, and how that experience helped to make her so self-sufficient. So much so that when she was 12 years old, she arranged to get her own braces and set up a payment plan with an orthodontist to make it happen because their family couldn’t afford the dental work all at once.
“My mom was very unique. She gave me the hard truths of life with so much love and support,” Hobson told Markle. “But she never wanted me to go through life not being prepared for all that would come. So she taught me what to expect as a Black woman and a Black person, and I really do appreciate that aspect of her. I call it ‘brutal pragmatism,’ but with so much love.”
That got the mom of two thinking about the way she parents her own two kids. “I have to rethink my parenting style!” Markle said. “Because if that’s what yields you, then I’ve really got to up my game with our kids being self-sufficient.”
To be fair to Markle here, Archie and Lilibet are still rather young to be learning self-sufficiency. And she certainly has already been thinking about how her children will move through the world as adults. Markle spoke to Variety about the kind of children she and husband Prince Harry are trying to raise, noting that she would even support them going into acting if that brought them joy. “When you become a parent, you genuinely want your kids to find the things that bring them complete joy. They’re our kids, obviously, and they’re part of a legacy and a tradition and a family that will have other expectations,” Markle shared with Variety. “But I want them to be able to carve out their own path. If it’s the entertainment industry, great. And also, good luck.”
Trying to strike that balance between taking care of your children and fostering self-sufficiency is a struggle for most parents, but seems like it would be even more of a challenge for parents of privilege like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Markle probably doesn’t need to rethink her parenting. Like most parents, maybe she just needs to give herself a bit of a break.