Posted by: Audiegrl
America’s mom-in-chief, Michelle Obama
USAToday~For Michelle Obama, mother of two very active girls, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, “taking care of family” comes first, Obama tells USA WEEKEND Magazine during an exclusive interview in the Map Room at the White House.
Obama’s self-appointed title projects the image of a mother in charge — a power-mom fully in command of her own brood who has decided to help the nation’s children, too. Her “Let’s Move!” initiative to conquer obesity in America’s children is a perfect extension of Obama’s own carefully plotted household.
Baring those famous biceps in an explosive fuchsia-colored dress and metallic heels, Obama is no Donna Reed from an era past. But when it comes to her family, her take is unapologetically and forthrightly old-fashioned. Even she is surprised at “how much I draw on my own childhood and my mother’s style of mothering.” Indeed, her mother, Marian Robinson, 72, lives right above the first family on the third floor of the White House and is a key part of the Obamas’ family support system. (Just before our photo shoot, we spotted Robinson taking a morning walk on the grounds.)
Even though Obama sought advice early on from her predecessors Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and even Tipper Gore, wife of former vice president Al Gore, she notes that “the beauty of this role [is that] it’s unique to the person who’s sitting in this position, and you define it.”
The goal is “regular little kids“
A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law, ex-corporate attorney and professional hospital administrator, Obama is applying her formidable smarts and pragmatism to focus intently on making sure that Sasha and Malia feel like “regular little kids.”
“You’ve got a lot of people who are willing to help and to make life easy,” Obama says. “We have to just make sure that people aren’t walking in behind them doing things they should be doing for themselves.”
“We have to set some pretty clear boundaries with the staff to ensure the kids still take ownership of their spaces,” she says. “We have to demand that.”
“First grandma” Robinson embraces the do-it-yourself message — she “has to sneak to do her own laundry.” The girls’ turn at tackling the dirty-clothes pile is coming. “Malia doesn’t know this yet,” Obama confides, “but she’s going to be doing her own laundry, too. She can’t go to college never having done her own laundry!”
Cover photo shoot by Kwaku Alston, Stockland Martel for USA WEEKEND. Michelle Obama’s Hair: Johnny Wright; Make-up: Derrick Rutledge.
Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama