Barack and Michelle Obama weren’t empty nesters for long before a certain international situation changed their plans.
When schools shut down in March, Malia and Sasha Obama returned home, as many college kids did around the country. At first, they were excited to all be back together.
It’d been a while since they were all under the same roof for an extended time. In the time before that, their nest was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The young adults were looking forward to having a more traditional at-home experience with their parents.
That excitement has come and gone, Michelle revealed.
She appeared on Conan with Conan O’Brien to share some updates. As the fall sets in and everyone gets back to work, quarters are starting to feel cramped.
While the 19- and 22-year-old women may not be hiding the fact they’re over it, Michelle is most grateful they’re safe after hearing all the stories coming from college campuses across the country.
Michelle Obama loves her family. She also loves her space. The former (and forever) first lady recently appeared on Conan to share the peaks and pits of having her daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha, home again amid the health crisis.
Like many college students, Malia and Sasha returned home when their respective campuses shut down in March. At first, the family of four was thrilled at their unexpected time together.
“We were being all organized and we would spend the days apart doing our respective work — the girls were still in classes in the spring — and so we would be working and then doing a little exercise, and then come together in the evenings,” Michelle explained.
“And we would have these activities — we would have cocktails, and then we would work puzzles, and play games,” she continued.
“Barack taught the girls how to play spades. We actually had some organized things — like we had an art exhibit day, where we all went off and did like water color paintings and then we showed it.”
But even the Obamas couldn’t have a perfectly scheduled, Instagram-able period of months at home.
“Now, Conan, this was in the early stages,” Michelle emphasized. As time went on, the joy of togetherness definitely diminished.
“I think first our kids got a little sick of us … which was fine, ’cause we were pretty much sick of them,” she explained.
“And so the summer started happening, and then we could be outside a little bit more, and we came to the vineyard, where we still are, and so there’s more room to roam around … that was good, ’cause it helped us break it up.
“And now the kids are back in Zoom land with classes. They’re doing it remotely. And they’re no longer thrilled about being with us.”
Michelle and Barack often joke about the little spats in their marriage. After making it through an entire presidency, the two know they can make it through anything with a good laugh. It was no surprise when Michelle joked that he had “limited time” to get on her nerves over the summer because he was working on his new book, A Promised Land, due out in November.
Michelle also discussed the When We All Vote campaign. She has been a very active advocate of getting the youth engaged in the political process since her time in the White House. This year, she wants to emphasize the important role each person plays in a democracy.
“Every vote absolutely matters,” she told Conan.
She and Conan decided to surprise some volunteers for the organization on a Zoom call. There, she praised their time and efforts.
“The work that you’re doing couldn’t be more important,” she said.
“I am so proud of you, and it’s like, when I see your faces, that makes me want to work harder, because I think you all deserve leadership that reflects who you all are.
“Keep working hard, please.”
Michelle also shared another update on her beloved family earlier Wednesday. She appeared on an Instagram Live with Jennifer Lopez, part of Michelle’s National Voter Registration Day Instagram takeover. There, she told the fellow mom that she’s most grateful that her kids are safe.
“My girls are studying from home,” she said of the current school year.
“We’re itching to get back to campus, but things are just confusing … not quite safe,” she continued.
“I’m just glad that they’re staying put, even if they’re sick of me.”
The Obamas may be looking forward to getting back to their respective corners of the country, but it’s clear that their bond can’t be broken, by distance or proximity.