Now that Barack Obama and Michelle Obama‘s daughters — Malia and Sasha — are both adults, they’ve been trying to find their own identities outside of their parents.

“Malia and Sasha couldn’t be more different,” Michelle, 55, gushed about her kids who’ve grown into smart young women in the upcoming September issue of British Vogue, guest edited by Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. “One speaks freely and often, one opens up on her own terms. One shares her innermost feelings, the other is content to let you figure it out. Neither approach is better or worse, because they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths.”

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Even though Michelle didn’t feel too sad when it was time for Malia to leave the nest, she admitted that it was hard for her learn how to let go and not feel too attached to her kids. “Try as we [moms] might, there’s only so much we can control,” the Becoming author explained. “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 continued. “What’s both humbled and heartened me is seeing the resiliency of my daughters.”

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Most of all, Michelle knows she wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for her family. Her daughters taught her so much about being a parent and Michelle will always be grateful for that.

“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,” she said about her kids. “Not who I want them to be or who I wish I was at that age, but who they are, deep inside.”

We like the sound of that!