During her time as the First Lady of the White House, Michelle Obama not only proved herself as a leader, but as a working mother. She led by example and was a role model to all, there was no demographic immune to her charm. But when the pandemic hit, even the Obama’s found themselves navigating unchartered terrain. Having just become empty nesters, Barack and Michelle suddenly had their college-age daughters return home to attend classes online when their campuses shut down.
In a recent interview with People magazine, Michelle explained how they family dynamic changed once everyone was back living under the same roof again. “Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of the nest. I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go,” she described.
But rather than see the moment as a setback for her daughters, Michelle said she and Barack embraced the opportunity to reclaim “stolen moments” with their daughters.
“This time has allowed us to get some stolen moments back with our girls. Those recaptured moments have meant the world to us, and I think they’ve made our relationships with our children even stronger,” she said.
Michelle added that her relationship with Malia and Sasha changed once they were back in the same house and that she wanted to treat them like “young women”, rather than see them “miss out on independence.”
“There’s something about witnessing your children become adults and developing a different relationship with them. They didn’t come back into the house into the same set of rules, because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence. They came back as young women, and our conversations are more peer-oriented than they are mother-to-daughter.”
Michelle revealed that she’s enjoying the opportunity to see a new side of her daughters in the classroom, since they have continued their studies at home. “With everybody homeschooling, what’s interesting for me is to listen in on some of their classes to hear how they interact with their professors. When your kids are off in college, you don’t get to see that part of them,” said Michelle.
As for what Michelle is looking to do in the future, she told the publication she’s inching closer to retirement. “I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer. Barack and I never want to experience winter again. We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other – and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do,” she explained.
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