During an interview at the Essence Festival, former First Lady Michelle Obama got real about her daughters’ time in the White House and jokingly said she’s “surprised” they have any friends following the presidency.
The mother-of-two explained to “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King that making friends during their stay at White House felt like a chore.
“Imagine having Malia and Sasha come to your house for a sleepover. It’s like, ‘Hello. OK, we’re going to need your Social Security number, we’re going to need your date of birth. There are going to be men coming to sweep your house. If you have guns and drugs, just tell them yes because they are going to find them anyway. Don’t lie. They’re not going to take them, they just need to know where they are. And, uh, thank you for having Malia and Sasha over. Oh, and by the way, there is going to be a man with a gun sitting outside all night. If you let him use the bathroom, that would be nice.'”
Because Malia and Sasha didn’t have a regular upbringing, the former First Lady joked:
“I’m surprised my kids have any friends.”
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With #MothersDay just a couple days away, I find myself thinking a lot about the way my mother raised me. And even though our family was crammed into a tiny apartment, one of the greatest gifts she gave me was the freedom to explore and develop into my own person. For instance, even though we didn’t have much money, she and my dad cobbled enough money together to send me on a high-school trip to Paris, which opened up the world to me in so many ways. And now that I’m raising kids of my own, I wanted to pass that lesson on to my own girls. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to travel with Sasha and Malia all across the country and around the world—experiences my mother never would have dreamed of back when I was their age. But though the settings may be different, the message is the same, and it’s one I hope mothers everywhere pass on to their daughters—in seeking out new perspectives and reaching outside of our comfort zones, we can discover more about ourselves.
She admits she often rolled with the punches and “pretend like all the craziness around them wasn’t happening.”
During her husband’s presidency, Obama found herself hard at work to keep her kids grounded. She said she had to keep reminding her children:
“Yep, yep, your dad’s president, that doesn’t have anything to do with you, just take your little butt to school […] this isn’t about you.”
However, Obama told King that she credits her mother for helping her raise her kids.
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Growing up, every time I’d come home from school with a story to share, my mother was there with a snack and a listening ear to hear about what was on my mind. When I came home with a tale about my disastrous second-grade classroom, she marched into the school to figure out what was going on. And as I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path. She’s always listened more than she lectured; observed more than she demonstrated. In doing so, she allowed me to think for myself and develop my own voice. From an early age, she saw that I had a flame inside me, and she never tempered it. She made sure that I could keep it lit. Mom, thank you for kindling that fire within me, and for your example as a mother and a grandmother to our girls. We would never be who we are today without you. #HappyMothersDay, Mom. Love you. ❤️
In an Instagram post, the former First Lady said of her own mom:
… As I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path.
Marian Robinson’s guidance also helped Obama raise down-to-earth daughters.
Watch the video below: