Michelle Obama has been candid on her podcast about everything from meeting husband, Barack Obama, to experiencing a “low-grade depression” as a result of the pandemic, civil unrest and upcoming presidential election.
During the season finale of The Michelle Obama Podcast, Michelle brought her mother, Marian Robinson, and older brother, Craig, as special guests to discuss the challenges of parenting.
After chatting about her own childhood in Chicago, Michelle opened up about the parenting readjustment she experienced when the Obama family moved into the White House in 2009.
“I mean, you talk about being raised in a totally different world than I ever knew,” Michelle said of bringing up Malia, then 10-years-old, and Sasha, then seven-years-old, in the White House.
“It’s like, plucking these little girls out of our normal life on the South Side of Chicago with Craig, and mom, and our way of doing things, and our community, and then, putting them in a historic mansion with butlers and maids, and florists, and gardeners, and Secret Service, and then trying to make sure that they understood boundaries, understood responsibility,” she said, adding that she tried to raise her girls with the same values she was raised with - with the help of her mom, Marian, who moved with them.
Michelle also noted that it was important to her that her daughters appreciate their time in the White House, which often meant juggling Barack’s schedule to maintain some sense of normalcy for Malia and Sasha.
“I always tried to make sure that I wasn’t pouting in front of the kids when Barack wasn’t there,” she said, adding, “If I had made a big deal out of it and said, ‘Oh my god, your dad’s not here again! Oh, he’s missing this’ or ‘Oh, I just wish…’ then that’s the signal to them, ‘Well this isn’t normal,’” Michelle explained.
“Even as Barack being the President of the United States, he worked his schedule around their schedule. They weren’t waiting until 9 o’clock at night to eat because dad was running late. They never couldn’t not go somewhere or do something because of dad. I never wanted them to resent the presidency, or resent what their dad did,” she said of Malia and Sasha, who are now both in college.
“I think the girls did really well with what they had to deal with,” Michelle’s mother weighed in, confessing that she would sometimes sneak them a little extra candy. “They pretty much just went about their schoolwork as just a normal child, even though the Secret Service was standing outside their door."
Watch: Barack Obama's Memoir, 'A Promised Land,' to be released in November