Perhaps what's been most admirable about Meghan Markle has been her ability to set boundaries and occasionally “break the rules” for the sake of living in alignment with who she truly is and having the impact she desires both at home and in the world. Be it with the public, the press, or as seen most recently, her husband’s family, Markle is a true example of how setting boundaries can actually be the thing that sets you free.
Being a working mother has many challenges, that’s a given. No matter your circumstances, royalty or otherwise, we are still faced with a multitude of decisions: where to live, what to feed our children, how to educate them, on top of the choices we make about work-life balance. And it goes without saying that all of these decisions run through the powerful filter of “is this the best choice for my family?” But parents should never forget there is a choice involved. That is, you can choose what you say yes or no to. You can choose to set boundaries to protect your family, stay true to yourself, and follow your intuition.
As a single mother of two boys and co-founder of a female run company with a strong focus on women’s empowerment, I teach other women how to take a look at who they are and what they want. It is in this space of looking at what’s working and what isn’t, of choosing, setting, and evaluating boundaries, that we reach a place of empowerment; a place where we can feel a sense of "I’ve got this."
One of the most important lessons I have learned on this journey is that you have to listen to your intuition. Otherwise, something is bound to feel off, and you will be faced with that predicament again and again until you fully commit to making a change, as uncomfortable or nontraditional as it may be. And this is where empowerment lies. This is where discovering and holding tightly to your truth will feel significantly more comfortable than, yes, even a palace.
Illustration by Sarina Finkelstein; Getty Images (1) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
Here are a few lessons I think all moms can take from Markle:
Follow your intuition when it comes to knowing what’s right for your kids.
Last October, I watched Markle’s interview, eyes welled with tears (hers and mine) as she said, “not many people have asked if I’m OK,” and I felt that deeply. Something was not working for her as is the case for many new moms. We are literally learning how to navigate a totally new life, with a totally new life to care for. We are constantly wondering if we are doing it “right.” We try new things, test things, fail, reevaluate, and at times just go to Google and hope there is someone else with the same worries, wonders, or fears. These are the moments to look inward and choose: Choose how you want things to go, choose what works best for you and your family, and make the tough choices. Markle sure did.
Recognize the value that comes with financial independence.
When I broke it off with my ex and became a single mom, I knew I had to be financially independent and the fact that I was, was liberating. We never know what may happen, but if we know we can hold down the fort if things don’t go as planned, there is a true sense of peace. By resigning from her duties in the royal family and declaring financial independence, Markle has told the world that she, too, wants to have the freedom and ability to make her own money on her terms.
Your purpose is just as important as parenting.
“New mom” is an exciting and important title Meghan Markle now holds, but that does not make up her entire being. Neither, as evidenced, did her title of Duchess of Sussex. Markle has never allowed others to pin her down and she truly shows us what’s possible when you follow your truth. Especially for those new mothers out there, take a page out of Markle’s book. You have one life to live so ask yourself some questions: What is your passion? Where do you want to leave your mark? How can you be Mama and also live your purpose?
Make the hard decisions and move forward.
Being a mother and being out of alignment with ourselves simply does not work. Markle is a prime example. Parenting is hard work and at the end of the day, we’re all doing the best we can. Let her serve as an important reminder that we can choose, we can set boundaries, we can define who we want to be, and sometimes it’s the scariest decisions that truly set us free.
Liv Chapman is the co-founder and COO of Inner Glow Circle, a company that helps women who want to work for themselves, not by themselves as an entrepreneur. Inner Glow Circle trains clients to become an accredited life coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and helps them to create a sustainable business they’ll love through group training programs and masterminds. In her spare time, Chapman enjoys spending time with her two sons, writing, catching up on the latest episode of Real Housewives, and sipping rosé.