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Michele Obama Makes Herself a Priority For Her Family

In the November issue of Prevention magazine, First Lady Michele Obama shares her take on motherhood and happiness, noting that her family and health benefit from her good moods. She says:

  • On learning "what not to do" from her mother, Marian Robinson:
    "She'd say being a good mother isn't all about sacrificing. It's really investing and putting yourself higher on your priority list."
  • On making the right choices:
    "Throughout my life, I've learned to make choices that make me happy and make sense for me. Even my husband is happier when I'm happy. So I have freed myself to put me on the priority list and say, yes, I can make choices that make me happy, and it will ripple and benefit my kids, my husband and my physical health. That's hard for women to own. We're not taught to do that. It's a lesson that I want to teach my girls."
  • On her definition of happiness:
    It's when daughters Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, "are good and when my family is whole. My happiness is measured against theirs. When they're in a good place, I feel really good."

It's nice to see her attitude toward parenting and happiness is so positive, and that she makes an effort to put herself at the top of her list. Are you able to do the same?

Image Source: Getty
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FrenchCactus FrenchCactus 7 years
I agree 100% with what she says. My mother ended a career she was interested in to raise my older brothers and I, and 35 years later she is a bitter mess. She is not financially independant, has no social life, is subject to bouts of depression and these are all consequences of her sacrificing herself. I love my mother but she depresses me and she is the model of what I never hope to be.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Very well put, Chrstne.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I am not a parent, but I do think it is extremely important to put yourself first. You cannot love others, bring happiness to others and enjoy others if you cannot do those things with yourself first and foremost. It may sound selfish, especially when you have a partner and children, or even just one or the other, but I believe you need to look out for number one, and then turn your attention to the other people in your life. If your kids see you sacrificing yourself and your relationship at all costs to please them, then that is what they will do to themselves. If you make it known that you are important, that your relationship with your partner is important, *and* your kids are important, it's much more balanced and healthy that way. Looking out of number one doesn't always have to be a selfish thing. It's doing what is right for you and not doing what is not right for you. It can be as simple as taking an hour long bubble bath, or spending an hour at the gym, or having a date with your significant other every weekend. Kids need to see their parents being human beings and not just mom and dad. I guess it's hard when you have kids, but trying is so important. I will try to do that when I have children. I can't give what I do not have, and I just want my kids to see that to be loving, you do not have to forget about yourself and put everyone before you. I want them to know that they are loved and cared about, but they need a mommy who loves and cares about herself first and foremost.
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