Michelle Obama reveals she’s ‘moving toward retirement’ to be with Barack
She also opened up in a People exclusive about living during quarantine and getting unexpected time with their daughters again.
In an exclusive interview with People magazine, Michelle Obama reveals she’s “moving toward retirement” to settle in and be with her husband, former President Barack Obama.
Like most of us, Mrs. Obama had an unexpected 2020 dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. While the public saw the first Black First Lady in her acclaimed Netflix documentary, Becoming, and in her various appearances supporting President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, she had to handle the challenges of a COVID-crushed year, its pain and pitfalls. Mrs. Obama opened up to People magazine about her year and what she is looking forward to as we slowly yet surely inch towards a post-pandemic reality.
She revealed to the magazine that she quarantined with her husband and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, who are 22 and 19. “These have been challenging times,” she explained. “Many people have struggled: jobs lost, people going hungry. We’ve learned to count our blessings, the importance of health and family.”
Just when the couple began their new chapter as empty nesters, their children came back home. Spending their time in Washington D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard, Mrs. Obama revealed, “Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of my nest. I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go. Well, they’re back!”
Still, she was able to recognize how special the moment was and found some silver linings in the process. “This time has allowed us to get some stolen moments back with our girls,” Mrs. Obama explained. “Those recaptured moments have meant the world to us, and I think they’ve made our relationships with our children even stronger.”
With family reunions, of course, comes shifting dynamics, especially when your children grow into adulthood. “There’s something about witnessing your children become adults and developing a different relationship with them,” she noted. “They didn’t come back into the house into the same set of rules because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence. They came back as young women, and our conversations are more peer-oriented than they are mother-to-daughter.”
In a revealing moment, Mrs. Obama also described experiencing a “low-grade depression” during the summer of 2020.
“We had the continued killing of Black men at the hands of police,” she said. “Just seeing the video of George Floyd, experiencing that eight minutes. That’s a lot to take on, not to mention being in the middle of a quarantine. Depression is understandable during these times. I needed to acknowledge what I was going through, because a lot of times we feel like we have to cover that part of ourselves up, that we always have to rise above and look as if we’re not paddling hard underneath the water.”
Towards the end of the People exclusive, she opened up about her future retirement plans with her still-popular spouse, which may be sooner rather than later.
“I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer. Barack and I never want to experience winter again,” said Mrs. Obama. “We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other — and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do.”
You can read the full interview with Michelle Obama and People magazine here.