Why Michelle Obama is a Role Model for All Moms

Why Michelle Obama is a Role Model for All Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Becoming, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s much anticipated memoir, released into the world in November 2018 and unsurprisingly soared to the top of the best seller charts. Many of my friends found their own copies wrapped under the tree this past holiday season, and I heard nothing but glowing reviews as they dove into her story. Since I was already a fan of Michelle and memoir is my favorite book genre, I used my latest Audible credit to purchase Becoming as my first read of 2019. I highly recommend consuming the book on audio, as Michelle reads it herself. In my opinion, hearing her voice tell her own story enhances the experience. I binged the entire 19 hours of audio in two days. It’s only January, but I’m already declaring Becoming as my favorite book of 2019. 

Michelle’s story is captivating, vulnerable, and inspiring. As someone who has stated many times that she dislikes politics, her memoir has very little political content. Instead, it is the story of her life and the path that led her to her role as First Lady and one of the most admired women in the country. Regardless of your political leanings, there is no denying that Michelle Obama is a class act who has used her huge platform to better our country, especially for families and children. She is an excellent role model for moms for several reasons::

She is vulnerable about her struggle with infertility

The Obamas suffered from infertility and a miscarriage, and eventually conceived their daughters, Malia and Sasha, through In Vitro Fertilization. Her description of the pain, longing, and sadness of that time is so relatable to so many women in this country. 1 in 8 American women will struggle with infertility, and when a high profile figure opens up about her own struggles, it encourages more mainstream conversation among everyday women . 

She is honest about the challenges of juggling career and family

Michelle had a thriving career before she became a mother and eventually, FLOTUS. When she gave birth to Malia, Barack was serving as a United States Senator, and Michelle was still working full time as a Vice President for community outreach at a Chicago hospital. Her life was busy, hectic, and it took a lot of trial and error to put systems in place that worked for their family {for example, figuring out a reasonable dinner and bedtime schedule with a husband/father with a high profile, demanding job}. In the book, she describes how she tried part time work, and for a time, being a Stay at Home Mom, but neither role suited her goals or personality. Her story proves that women often have to try on different roles {she calls them swerves} to determine which fits best for her life, and her family.

She is fiercely protective of her children

In Becoming, Michelle candidly shares her fears of raising daughters in the glare of national politics. She feared both for their safety and the emotional toll their role as the President’s daughters would take. She worried about moving them across the country to start at a new school mid-year when their dad started his first term as President. She worried about them making friends, and being hounded by the press. Throughout the book, she gave many examples of how intentional she was in raising Malia and Sasha, from their adventures on the campaign trail to making them do their own chores in the White House. 

She prioritizes her friendships 

A major theme in Michelle’s memoir was the value she placed on her female friendships. From her childhood friendship with Jesse Jackson’s daughter to the close relationships she made with work colleagues and fellow moms from her daughter’s preschool playgroup, it was clear she relied on other women for support and encouragement, as well as mothering and career advice. Michelle models the importance of mutual vulnerability with female friendships, which can be a lifesaver for moms deep in the trenches of raising small children.

She advocates for children’s health

As a result of some struggles with feeding her children healthy food while competing with a busy work/school schedule and a husband traveling more than not, Michelle admitted she needed help. Due to the education she received from hiring a chef to help her with cooking and meal planning, she became passionate about children’s health and fighting the childhood obesity epidemic. As FLOTUS, she started a vegetable garden at the White House and founded Let’s Move!, an initiative committed to making children more physically active, improving the quality and nutritional value of food in America’s schools, and providing better access to healthy, fresh food for all Americans. 

I absolutely loved Becoming, and its peek inside the private life of such an extraordinary woman and mother. The power of Michelle Obama’s story and the respect it fosters transcends politics. Despite her fame and platform, her struggles are universal and her success inspiring.  

Have you read Becoming?  As a woman, mother, and American, were you inspired by her story? Houston Moms Blog is hosting a discussion of Becoming on Thursday, January 24, at 8:30 pm on Facebook Live. We hope you’ll join us!

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