Michelle Obama - mom-in-chief
"There's something about your daughters that just breaks your heart. ... The finite amount of time you have with your children, and the joy they bring on a minute-to-minute, day-by-day basis -- the idea that that's not there all the time is something that can hit me hard sometimes." – Michelle Obama during an interview with People Magazine As possibly one of the most proactive First Ladies in American political history, Michelle Obama is a busy woman. From campaigning on behalf of her husband to managing her own initiative against obesity [called “Let’s Move!”], to making frequent public appearances, one would imagine that taking time out to raise her daughters would be something of a struggle. On the contrary, however, Obama has made it a point to structure her life in a manner which gives her two daughters, Sasha and Malia the highest priority on her list, while husband Barack occupies pretty much the same position. Her strict demarcation between “family life” and “public life and the white house” has ensured that Barack Obama’s day is not the subject of discussion at the dinner table, and that the children grow up as normally as possible, albeit amid constant public scrutiny and gun-toting bodyguards! Obama is a self-professed health and family oriented person, and makes it a point to be a positive influence towards her children without stifling them. Family life is all about spending time together, healthy eating and “date nights” which sometimes include the President when he is not occupied. The young Obama girls have grown up in the spotlight, and from all appearances, seem to be as pleasant and “normal” as can be expected. 15 year old Malia stands as tall as her mother while 13 year old Sasha is fast catching up. It is not unusual to spot Obama having fun with her girls outdoors; it is one of the things she wants them to do. From coordinating sleepovers to getting music suggestions from her daughters, it is obvious that they share a healthy and loving relationship. Michelle Obama did raise a few eyebrows, only slightly, when she lamented during an interview about the pressures of being a single mother. Naturally, she is not, by the standard definition of the term, “single”, but one can empathize with the additional parental responsibilities which she has had to take on, given the demands of her husband’s job. Decisions pertaining to discipline, school work, outings, vacations, and other seemingly simple tasks need to be managed by her, along with her own engagements, which are equally, if not more challenging. It is an endearing sight to watch the Obama family spending time together, and Michelle does her best to balance her first job well. The constant spotlight and criticism, which is occasionally aimed at her children, does not sit well with her when they are targeted, but in her trademark fashion, she chooses to work with her daughters on handling the public, rather than work with media who might misconstrue her good intentions. Seeing that she has raised her children to be as independent, free-spirited, dignified and physically and emotionally healthy as she is, Michelle Obama’s parenting skills deserve both applause and respect.