Michelle Obama Recalls Pushback From Daughters On ‘Doing Their Own Chores’ While In White House

In her new Netflix documentary 'Becoming,' Obama discusses the changes she made living in the White House, which included begging housekeepers to let daughters make their own beds.

The Former First Family's 2015 Easter portrait.
Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images

In her new Netflix documentary 'Becoming,' Obama discusses the changes she made living in the White House, which included begging housekeepers to let daughters make their own beds.

In her new Netflix documentary Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama discusses life in the White House from her perspective, including raising her two girls to be able to make their own beds.

According to Hollywood Life, Obama knew there were things within the White House she wanted to alter on behalf of her girls. Malia was 10 years old and Sasha was 7 years old when they moved into the most famous house in the country and Obama shares many anecdotes about how the girls adjusted to their mother’s rules in the documentary, which is based on her memoir of the same name.

“I didn’t know what the residence part of it looked like,” she explained during a conversation with Stephen Colbert on her book tour. “But I do know when I went to visit and have tea with Laura Bush, there were butlers there, fully-dressed in tuxedos, which they wore all the time, most of them African-American and Latino older men.”

She knew ahead of time that she wanted to change the feel of the place, admitting that she spent a lot of time wondering how she could make the White House “feel like a home for two little girls.”

Obama ended up deciding to scale back some of the staff’s duties and switch up the dress code.

“I didn’t want them [my daughters] growing up thinking that grown African-American men served them in tuxedos,” she expressed.

She also opened up about having to “beg the housekeepers” to refrain from making Sasha and Malia’s beds.

“These girls have to learn how to clean their own rooms, and make their beds, and do their laundry,” recalled Obama. She continued, telling Colbert and the audience that she knew this was the right decision because the girls were not going to reside in the White House forever. She also jokingly said she did not want to raise kids who “don’t know how to make a bed.”

As young girls would, Sasha and Malia pushed back at the strict rules. Their mom recalled the girls rebutting, saying “they make your bed.” Her response simply invoked her being the first lady and having a college degree.

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Growing up, every time I’d come home from school with a story to share, my mother was there with a snack and a listening ear to hear about what was on my mind. When I came home with a tale about my disastrous second-grade classroom, she marched into the school to figure out what was going on. And as I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path. She’s always listened more than she lectured; observed more than she demonstrated. In doing so, she allowed me to think for myself and develop my own voice. From an early age, she saw that I had a flame inside me, and she never tempered it. She made sure that I could keep it lit. Mom, thank you for kindling that fire within me, and for your example as a mother and a grandmother to our girls. We would never be who we are today without you. #HappyMothersDay, Mom. Love you. ❤️

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The documentary is centered around Obama’s journey as a girl from the Southside of Chicago to America’s 44th first lady. It also includes moments with her husband, Barack, and their daughters.

As The Inquisitr reported, Malia visited her mom after a book tour stop and admitted she still cries when she watches her mom speak.

“This has demonstrated in a way, it’s just like ‘damn those eight years [in the White House] weren’t for nothing,'” Malia opened up to her mom.

Another clip in the documentary shows Malia and her younger sister, Sasha discussing their mother’s memoir in 2018. The former first daughters rarely accept interviews but took the time to praise their mother and her memoir. The two girls, now college students, said they were excited for their mom to be proud of something she has done. Sasha followed up, saying that the “most important thing for a human to do” is to be proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Both girls have been focused on getting their college education, with now 21-year-old Malia completing her junior year at Harvard University, while 18-year-old Sasha finished her freshman year at the University of Michigan.