Michelle Obama Uses Family & Dinnertime to Keep Her Daughters Smart

michelle obamaI'm pretty darn thrilled that Michelle Obama has joined CafeMom and is answering moms' questions. I think my favorite so far has to be this one from Mellypoo. She asked about how Michelle and Barack manage to give their daughters' education attention when they're both so busy, often running literally to the ends of the earth.

How do you and the President, as a parenting team, balance the incredible demands on your time with the growing educational needs of your daughters? How do you both ensure that your presence is felt at times when duty to the nation requires one or both of you to be half the world away from them on any given day? Are you able to sit down with the girls and participate in their homework assignments with regular frequency, or even daily?  

I have to admit, Michelle's answer made me just a little bit envious. It sounds like they make it work because they're fortunate enough to have a third parent in their family!


Michelle's answer:

I am so blessed to have a husband who, despite his extremely demanding job, works so hard to make our family a priority. We try to have dinner together every day at 6:30, we help the girls with their homework when we can (although the math is getting a little too advanced for us!), and Barack tells us every single day how much he loves us.

Things can certainly get hectic and busy -- especially these last few months when we've both been traveling so much -- but the truth is that we are incredibly lucky and blessed. I know that there are lots of moms out there who have two or three jobs, and don't have their mother living with them to help or a husband who supports them like I do.

I keep forgetting that the Obamas brought Michelle's mom with them to the White House -- the First Mother-in-Law, if you will. I'm not sure how much help Grandma is with homework. Michelle mentions that math is getting hard for her, too. But I think the important thing for parents (and grandparents) is more to just check in and make sure it's getting done and that kids have everything they need to get it done. So even when the Obamas can't be there, Grandma is.

I like that Michelle mentions family dinner, too. There's something about sharing dinner together, turning off all the electronics, and just talking about your day that I think really supports schoolwork. Kids can talk about what they're working on in a more relaxed setting. The Obamas are lucky that, for the most part, dad works at home. I think that's how they're able to have dinner together. But I also know a lot of families who make dinner together a priority, even if that means getting back on the laptop and working some more after dinner. I know I do that often enough.

Check out some of Michelle Obama's answers to other moms' questions.

How does your family balance work and supporting your kids' education?


Image via The U.S. Army/Flickr

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