If you need advice on marriage and life with kids, it’s hard to find someone more filled with incredible insight than former First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s never shied away from speaking candidly, never sugar-coating the challenges of long-term partnership and raising a family. In a new interview as part of her book tour for The Light We Carry, Obama opened up about how what marriage really looks like when parenting young kids, and it’s really refreshing.
Obama sat down with REVOLT Studios for a “candid, cross-generational discussion” with a panel of incredible women. Hosted by Angie Martinez, Obama was joined by Winnie Harlow, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Kelly Rowland, and H.E.R for a 1-hour-40-minute talk that hit many important topics —including openly discussing marriage and doling out marriage advice.
A clip from the interview — mainly Obama’s marriage advice — went viral on TikTok, which happened around 40 minutes into the conversation. In the section, Obama candidly discussed her marriage, touching on how it changed when she had little kids at home.
“I people think I’m being catty by saying this — it’s like there were 10 years [that] I couldn’t stand my husband,” Obama said. “And guess when it happened? When those kids were little... Because you can be all great individually when you’re just married, you got your life, he’s got his, you come together it’s like ‘oh, good to see you, bye, take it easy.”
“But the minute we had kids, it was like, ‘Where are you going?’ and, ‘How far?’ and you start measuring, ‘How many diapers did you change’ and, ‘Oh, you’re golfing,’ or, ‘Oh, [why are] you at the gym all the time?’” she continued.
“Little kids, they’re terrorists. They have demands, they don’t talk, they’re poor communicators, they cry all the time, they’re irrational, they’re selfish, and you love them more than anything, and so you can’t blame them,” Obama shared.
“So you turn that ire on each other, and for 10 years while we’re trying to build our careers and worrying about school and who’s doing what, I was like ‘Oh, this isn’t even.’ And guess what? Marriage isn’t 50-50 ever,” she added. “There are times [where] I’m 70 [and] he’s 30. There are times he’s 60, [and I’m] 40. But I would take 10 bad years or over 30.”
Obama went on to say that to get through those tough times when you’re juggling kids, you have to shift how you look at things.
“You gotta know your person,” she explained. “Do you like him? I mean, you could be mad at him, but do you still look at him and go ‘I’m not happy with you but I respect you,’ ‘I don’t agree with you, but you’re still a kind and smart person.’”
This isn’t the first time Obama has shared a wisdom drop like this about parenting. And hearing this from someone who has been through it, and is now on the other side of the hectic life with little kids, can be really comforting for those of us still in the thick of it.
To listen to the entire conversation, check out REVOLT Studios on YouTube.