In her book, the charismatic Michelle Obama speaks about the challenges of being America’s First Lady and also, a parent of young children. Use insights from her life story to become better parents.
By Ashwin Lobo
It’s not easy being the First Lady of the United States of America, the world's biggest economy and super power. It requires an individual to display grace and character. When her husband Barack Obama became the President of the USA in 2008, Michelle Obama took on the responsibilities of the First Lady in her stride. It wasn’t always easy, but she managed in an admirable manner. In her recently launched memoir 'Becoming', she discusses her life and challenges, with characteristic wit and wisdom.
Considering the fact that, alongside her duties as First Lady, she also raised two daughters, this is a book every parent should read. We bring to you six key takeaways from the book:
1. Never give up: Few know how accomplished Michelle Obama is. Before she met and married Barack Obama, she had already earned degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. However, her road to the Ivy Leagues wasn’t easy. While discussing the admission procedure with the counsellor at Princeton University, she was told, “I’m not sure you’re Princeton material.” But Michelle didn’t give up on her dream. She got into Princeton, earned good grades and successfully graduated in 1985.
2. Support each other: As a young couple, Michelle and Barack Obama were eager to start a family. And, when they came to know that Michelle was pregnant, the couple were elated. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and Michelle ended up having a miscarriage. The couple were heartbroken. But, they decided to stay strong and keep trying. Eventually, they went on to have two beautiful daughters — Malia and Sasha.
3. Show empathy: In her book, Michelle says that she could feel Hillary Clinton's pain and disappointment at losing out in the 2016 presidential election. Her heart went out to Hillary who was vying to become the first woman President of the United States. This incident shows how empathetic a human Michelle is.
4. Understand yourself: Michelle reveals that the early years of their marriage were not as rosy as one may think. Barack Obama was a star in politics and hence, forever busy. Because of this, the couple could not spend much time together and needed to go for marriage counselling. The sessions helped Michelle understand her vulnerabilities better and express it to her husband in a way that he too would understand.
5. Be tolerant: The last presidential election in the United States was remarkable for the acrimonious exchanges between the various candidates in the fray. Being a feminist, Michelle Obama found it hard to agree with the views of Donald Trump. However, once the results were announced, both she and Barack Obama gracefully greeted Donald Trump on his win.
6. Take a leap of faith: Michelle Obama never imagined that her husband would one day become the American President. Even when he was in the running, Michelle thought it highly unlikely that people would vote for him. “Barack was a black man in America, after all. I didn't really think he could win,” she writes in Becoming. Despite her misgivings, she put her faith in her husband and supported him wholeheartedly throughout the campaign.
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