‘They can be happy if they choose to only focus on their career’: Michelle Obama says she doesn’t want her daughters Malia, 24, and Sasha, 21, to feel pressure to get married or have kids before they ‘know who they are’
- Obama, 58, shared her thoughts on the societal expectations put on young women during an interview that aired on the Tamron Hall Show on Monday
- The former first lady explained that ‘too many young people are rushing to check the box of marriage before they even know who they are’
- Obama said she wants her daughters ‘spend some time with themselves’ and understand that ‘happiness looks like a lot of different things’
- Malia and Sasha share an apartment together in Los Angeles, where they are building their own lives out of the public eye
- The mother of two noted that her daughters can be happy ‘if they choose to only focus on their career’ and ‘never have kids’
Michelle Obama has opened up about how doesn’t want her daughters Malia and Sasha to feel pressure to get married and have children, saying they need to understand that ‘their happiness is in their own hands.’
The former first lady shared her thoughts on modern mothering and the societal expectations put on young women during an interview on the Tamron Hall Show that aired on Monday.
‘Too many young people are rushing to check the box of marriage before they even know who they are, and then they’re surprised when they pick the wrong person, or they don’t know how to struggle through hard times,’ Obama, 58, explained.
‘I want my girls to spend some time with themselves to develop some skills to understand that they can make it with or without, that they can build their happiness with all the bells and whistles and they can be happy if they choose to only focus on their career, to never have kids. I want to make their worlds bigger for them.’
Michelle Obama, 58, opened up about the societal expectations put on young women during an interview that aired on the Tamron Hall Show on Monday
Obama said she doesn’t want her daughters Malia, 24, and Sasha, 21, to feel pressure to get married or have children before they ‘know who they are’
Obama and Hall agreed that people are constantly being hounded about when they are going to get married and how many children they plan on having, saying it is something they have both experienced.
‘Happiness looks like a lot of different things, and we as women, we are constricted by these narrow definitions of how we can be happy when that is not the truth, right?’ Obama said.
‘If we have chosen some alternative path, maybe getting married, maybe not, maybe never having kids, maybe focusing on careers, we feel somehow guilty about all those choices.
‘And they may work for us,’ she continued, ‘but then somebody else comes up and goes, “Oh, you only have one child? Oh,” and you’re like, “I was happy with one — or none.”
‘I want my girls to spend some time with themselves to develop some skills to understand that they can make it with or without [marriage],’ she said
Malia and Sasha share an apartment together in Los Angeles, where they are building their own lives out of the public eye
‘I’m trying to break that cycle of those subtle expectations that we throw at all young people, but a lot of times our girls, so I want them to know that their happiness is in their own hands, and that part of being in a happy relationship if they choose to have it is being whole yourself.’
Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, were 28 and 31, respectively, when they tied the knot in 1992. They welcomed Malia in 1998 and Sasha in 2001.
The couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last month by recreating their honeymoon along the California coast.
The Obamas’ daughters seem to have heeded their mom’s advice as they have both moved to Los Angeles and are sharing an apartment together while they pursue their passions out of the spotlight.
Malia, 24, scored a lucrative job as a screenwriter on Donald Glover’s upcoming Amazon show after graduating from Harvard University last year, while Sasha, 21, is finishing college at the University of Southern California.
Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, were 28 and 31, respectively, when they tied the knot in 1992
The Obamas (pictured in 2004) welcomed Malia in 1998, six years after they tied the knot. Sasha was born in 2001, three years after her big sister
The Obamas celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last month by recreating their honeymoon along the California coast (pictured)
They are both believed to be in relationships at the moment, with Malia being linked to music producer Dawit Eklund and Sasha dating Clifton Powell Jr., the son of ‘Ray’ actor Clifton Powell.
The Obama girls spent the pandemic in lockdown with their parents, and their mother is happy to see them back out in the world again.
‘Our kids are getting out of that habit of connecting in real life, learning how to make that extension to another person, and then we wonder why our children are reporting high rates of anxiety,’ the ‘Light We Carry’ author said.
‘I encourage young people, especially young professionals, even when they have the option to work from home, to go into the office to get in the practice of getting outside of their bubbles because when we isolate when we get locked into our sameness our worlds start to narrow.’
Looking back on her own experience in the pandemic, she shared how she took up knitting because her ‘mind was spinning’ and she ‘needed to quiet that.’
Obama shared that she is ‘more clear-headed’ now that she is approaching 60 while encouraging women to embrace their age
‘I feel like I can own my wisdom,’ she said. ‘I feel like I’ve had enough experiences to say, “This is how I see it”‘
‘My worrying mind was drilling me down. It was taking me down into a deep depression,’ she recalled. ‘We all do this. We get in our own heads and those negative thoughts are on a loop. “How do we get here? The world is so broken. Did our time in the White House matter? How did this guy get in the White House? How is this okay?”‘
Obama said picking up a pair of knitting needles and focusing on mastering a new skill was what helped her get out of her funk.
‘Knitting is a metaphor for our need to use our hands and let our minds rest a bit. It is like meditation to me. Probably a lot like what faith is,’ she explained. ‘Faith is letting it go, giving it over to something higher than us.
‘So when I get hopeless, I focus on “what can I do right here right now?” You know, I can’t stop climate change right here right now, but I can help a kid see their light and that may lead them to do something better in the world. That kid I lit up might have the answer to the bigger problem.’
Obama noted that ‘we don’t want great to be the enemy of good’ and then ‘underestimate the power of the thing we have control over.’
Obama also recalled how she questioned if her family’s time in the White House mattered during the pandemic, saying she took up knitting to quiet her mind and focus on things she could control
Obama has been busy touring the country while promoting her second book, ‘The Light We Carry,’ which was published last Tuesday
‘I want young people to understand that too,’ she added. ‘Because a lot of young people want to fix the world today, and they get frustrated. They flame out, but the truth is that their “knitting” is their education. It’s like, “I want you to care and to try some big stuff, but you got to do your homework.”‘
Obama also opened up about how she is ‘more clear-headed’ now that she is approaching 60 while encouraging women to embrace their age.
‘Our wisdom comes in our age because we so second guess ourselves in our 20s and 30s and 40s,’ she explained. ‘When we’re climbing the career ladder and uncertain, we haven’t found love and all the things that we’re supposed to be. We don’t even take time to acknowledge the wisdom that we’ve developed. We can’t own it.
‘Men own their wisdom way sooner than they have it. It takes us a while to feel like, “Okay, I do think I understand this now because I’ve tried so many things. I’ve been through more things.”‘
‘I feel like I can own my wisdom,’ she added. ‘I feel like I’ve had enough experiences to say, “This is how I see it.”‘