Obama’s Advice for Moms and Kids
During the “Bring Your Child to Work Day” at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama gave everyone a treat and opened up to all their burning questions.
Here are a few highlights.
On Being First Lady: I feel like Michelle, like I’ve always felt. But now I have this work to do. So I’m just trying to make sure I do good work. Because you’re not First Lady forever, you’re First Lady for a short period of time — so that when we’re done, I want to make sure that the time I spent here, I helped some people, so that when it’s time for me to move on and be something else, I’m fine with it.
On Staying Healthy with Her Kids: We don’t talk about weight, we don’t talk about health, we don’t talk about diet — we just do it. So then it doesn’t feel like ‘My mom is making me do this’; it’s just a part of what they do.
On Her Kids Playing Sports: I think team sports are important particularly for girls, where they learn the camaraderie of being dependent on other people for the victory. And I think my girls need to learn how to compete. Whether they choose to do it long term, I just think it’s an important opportunity for girls to have.
On Loving Superman: The whole construct of powers that he has and the fact that he is like a real person most of the time, living amongst us. Malia was saying, ‘Don’t you hate like when Superman who had these super powers and then people think that you’re a nerd and you just want to tell them you’re Superman?’
On Discussions with Her Husband (Hers happens to be the President): We talk about everything. And the interesting thing — I don’t disagree with him on a lot of policy stuff. I mean, we end up disagreeing about little stuff at home, like where are we going to go on vacation or whether Sasha’s going to do a clinic or — I mean, it’s the little stuff. But we talk, yes. We talk all the time.
On Picking Friends: You attract people who bring you joy, right? Friendships shouldn’t hurt, right? And when they do, you move on from them. You don’t stay in relationships or friendships that don’t make you feel good.
On Being a Working Mom: I have been a working mom. I have been a not-working mom. But it’s been totally based on what I need in my life at any given point in time. I tell young, professional women you may feel one way today and then you have a child, I guarantee you, you will feel differently. And then, you have two, you’ll feel differently. And then, when they get a certain age, you’ll feel another way. Then, you’ll get to a certain age and you’ll feel another way. This is all very fluid. And what gives me a sense of calm is that I know that I have to figure out what works for me at any given time.
On Moms Being the Best Role Model: You know, I think in the end our kids look up to us, first and foremost, whether they admit it or not. We are our kids’ first and best role models, and that’s true for me. I mean, all the wonderful people I’ve met — my mom is my rock. Her messages are ones that spin around in my head. Everyone else is just a symbol of something. You don’t really get to know them well enough to idolize them or to have them impact your lives unless you’ve had a unique experience.
For more on Michelle Obama, watch the video below.