*Michelle Obama may have it all together as the mother of daughters, but she’s just like any matriarch who experiences ups and downs in taking care of and raising their children.
In Mrs. Obama’s case, the worst “down” occurred years ago when she was adjusting to being a new mom to 4-month-old Sasha as well as taking over when her babysitter quit.
“[It] was probably the worst time of my motherhood. I was so devastated because that balance, that work-family balance is so fragile, and you realize how fragile it is that with a blink of an eye of a broken toilet, a sick child, a sick parent, that that balance is thrown off,” Mrs. Obama told Robin Roberts while relaying her own experiences as a working mom.
The First Lady’s thoughts on motherhood come amid the first White House Working Families Summit, the Huffington Post reports. On Monday, President Barack Obama addressed festivalgoers with regarding plans to improve the experience of U.S. working parents. Among the policies the presidents vows to tackle are paid family leave and affordable childcare. To bolster her husband’s argument, Mrs. Obama explained the importance of these changes.
As for how she dealt with the lack of a babysitter, Mrs. Obama admitted that she felt defeated and was going to quit working altogether. However, a call from the University of Chicago Hospital about a job opportunity changed that way of thinking.
As a result, Mrs. Obama brought Sasha, who was 4-months-old at the time, to the interview with her.
“Who I was at the time was a breastfeeding mother of a 4-month-old — and I didn’t have a babysitter, so I promptly took Sasha to the interview with me. And I thought, look, this is who I am,” she remembered. “I’ve got a husband who’s away. I’ve got two little babies. They are my priority. If you want me to do the job, you’ve got to pay me to do the job and you’ve got to give me flexibility, and flexibility means that I will work my tail off for you, but you better pay me and value my family.”
Compared to how it was back then, Mrs. Obama confessed that life as a working parent is easier for her and the President nowadays. After all, they live in the White House now, she pointed out, with whatever resources they might need. An upgrade, if there ever was one.
“The fight isn’t about us. It’s about every mother and father out there who doesn’t have the leverage to make those demands,” the First Lady said. “… And it is not lost on either me or Barack how tough it is, which is why we all have to be in this fight. This is something that we’re doing for each other.”
To see Michelle Obama’s entire interview with Robin Roberts, check out the video below. She talks about the “worst” time of her motherhood at about the 7:00 min. mark.