When Michelle Obama was the First Lady, she often seemed like the fun class mom we all wished we could be and have: Self-assured, warm, and fully into whatever activity she’d been tasked with, whether by choice or by official duty. Now, after spending so much time reading her books, watching her documentary, and enjoying her interviews and speeches, we know that there’s so much more to the attorney-turned-politician’s-wife-turned-media mogul — and we’re taking the time to honor all the wisdom she’s shared about motherhood.
As Michelle raised daughters Sasha, 21, and Malia, 24, in the public eye, we were able to get a glimpse of her mothering style, even with her and former President Barack Obama guarding their daughters’ privacy pretty vehemently. But she’s spent the past few years revealing more about the parenting that went on before they moved to the White House, as well as some behind-the-scenes moments once they were there.
Like any mother, she doesn’t feel like she did a perfect job. But when she looks at the young women Sasha and Malia have become, she should be satisfied with the people she raised — we know we admire her for it!
While promoting her memoir Becoming, Michelle opened up about the difficult journey she and Barack took to become America’s mom and dad. She discussed the hard work her own parents put in to give her and her brother Craig a happy childhood and a good education, and she revealed the steps she took to make sure her much more privileged girls wouldn’t grow up spoiled. Now that both she and Barack are looking to keep inspiring future generations, Michelle continues to drop wisdom about making sure our kids know love, freedom, and the drive to do good for others.
We’ve already gathered inspirational words of parenting wisdom from both Obamas, but we could continue to fill up dozens more pages with Michelle Obama’s best mom quotes — which is what we’re doing with some of our favorites here.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2021.