In a new interview with Parents magazine, Dr. Jill Biden, the first FLOTUS to keep her day job, has some important words for tired, working moms like she was. Though she never had to balance kids and work AND a pandemic, the English professor knows our pain.
“Maybe you’ve made mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner one too many times,” she said to us, through the magazine. “Maybe your temper is shorter than usual. Maybe you’re too tired to be the ‘fun mom.’ It’s okay. You’re not failing. You’re strong. You’re resilient. And you’re doing your best to carry your family through one of the most difficult times in memory.”
Did the heavens just open up and a choir start singing? Maybe that was just inside my head, but I do know that was the message the Momiverse needed right now.
As a teacher who got her doctorate in education while raising three kids with her husband, President Joe Biden, Dr. Biden knows a lot about being a tired mom.
“When my school day was over, I’d grade papers on the bleachers while the kids played whatever sport was in season,” she said of her early days of parenting her stepsons, Hunter and Beau, and daughter Ashley. “Then I’d pile their equipment into our station wagon and rush home for dinner. Every meal I cooked had to take 30 minutes or less — otherwise, the boys would eat an entire bag of chips.”
Not only was she a tired working mom, but so many of her current students at Northern Virginia Community College are, too, and she sees firsthand how they are battling burnout.
“They are all dealing with so much: working jobs, sometimes more than one, caring for kids and family members, and trying to handle their schoolwork,” Biden told Parents. “What I tell them is that you have to find moments for yourself. You have to. We moms spend so much time questioning ourselves — at least I did. We need time to just quiet those voices in our head.”
We love that the first lady is so connected to real, everyday moms and can maybe put in a good word with the guy in charge (you know, that Joe guy we mentioned earlier) to get moms the support we need to actually have that time. Among the things she told Parents we need: “Equal pay. Affordable, quality childcare. Debt-free community college. Paid family leave.” Check, check, check, check!
This lady just gets us, you know? We are so excited to have an advocate like Dr. Biden in the White House, and hope she can improve the lives of moms, and families in general, across the country. The newest FLOTUS knows how lucky she was to have help from Joe (the new president, if you’ve had trouble keeping up) and family while their kids were young, but feels our country can do better than rely on chance to better the lives of our citizens. She said, “You shouldn’t have to be lucky to raise a family and pursue a career. My hope is that all parents will feel able to work and take care of their families.”
Cue the choir again!