Will we ever stop craving new details about the inner workings of the Obama family? In her interview with Meghan Markle for British Vogue, Michelle Obama said daughters Malia and Sasha are different when it comes to their personalities: how they interact with others and how they present their thoughts and feelings to the world. Color us intrigued — and read on for the details of what former First Lady Obama had to say.
Meghan kicked off her interview with Obama by asking what motherhood has taught her — a question that was no doubt weighing heavy on then-pregnant Meghan’s mind. “Being a mother has been a masterclass in letting go,” Obama starts her response. “As mothers, we just don’t want anything or anyone to hurt our babies. But life has other plans.” We’re sure every mother can relate to that sentiment and share in Obama’s next thought too: how “humbled and heartened” she is by seeing her daughters grow into strong young women and realizing that they don’t need her to protect them from the world.
Shifting gears to discuss her daughters directly, Obama gets into what she sees as the true differences between Malia and Sasha. “In some ways, Malia and Sasha couldn’t be more different,” she wrote. “One speaks freely and often, one opens up on her own terms. One shares her innermost feelings, the other is content to let you figure it out. Neither approach is better or worse, because they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths.”
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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. ❤️
To round out her answer, Obama returned to the theme of letting go, and trusting her daughters to figure things out for themselves. “Most of the time, my job is to give them the space to explore and develop into the people they want to be,” she wrote. “I need to be a safe and consistent place for them to land when they inevitably fail; and to show them, again and again, how to get up on their own.”
We really hope Malia and Sasha appreciate their mother’s exceptional talent for advice-giving (if not, maybe we can borrow her for the day?!) Obama’s lessons on motherhood say so much about the type of mother she is and strives to be, and shows how you can celebrate your children’s uniqueness without ever expressing preference or favoritism. Clearly, she admires both her daughters equally — and frankly, as a nation, so do we.