In a newly-released Netflix documentary, former First Lady Michelle Obama called having her children a “concession” that cost her “aspirations and dreams.”
Obama made the remarks in Becoming, a biographical documentary, while talking about her desire to attain “equality” with her husband, former President Barack Obama.
The film, described as “an intimate look into the life of former first lady Michelle Obama” follows her on a 34-city book tour in 2018-2019 promoting her memoir by the same name.
“My relationship with Barack was all about our equal partnership,” she recalled. “If I was going to have a unique voice with this very opinionated man, I had to get myself up and set myself off to a place where I was going to be his equal.”
The birth of their two daughters, 21-year-old Malia and 18-year-old Sasha, however, “changed” the course of the couple’s relationship.
“The thing that really changed it was the birth of our children. I wasn’t really ready for that. That really made it harder,” Obama explained. “Something had to give and it was my aspirations and dreams.”
“I made that concession not because he said ‘you have to quit your job,’” she added, “but it felt like ‘I can’t do all of this so I have to tone down my aspirations, I have to dial it back.’”
Michelle Obama also made headlines this week for a scene in Becoming in which she called it a “slap in the face’’ that some black Americans stayed home from the polls during 2016 presidential election.
“It takes some energy to go high, and we were exhausted from it … when you’re the first black anything,’’ Obama stated, referring to her and her husband’s failed efforts to hoist Hillary Clinton into the White House. “You know, the day I left the White House, it was painful to sit on that stage, and then a lot of our folks didn’t vote — it was almost a slap in the face.”
“It wasn’t just in this election, but every midterm, every time Barack didn’t get the Congress he needed, that was because our folks didn’t show up,” she added. “After all that work, they just couldn’t be bothered to vote at all. That’s my trauma.”
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