Michelle Obama has revealed how she made the White House into a family home for her daughters Malia and Sasha. The former First Lady, who lived in the presidential residence for eight years while her husband Barack Obama served as President, has shared some new behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotes in her new memoir, Becoming.
The mum-of-two said she wanted not only for her own children to feel at home there, but also for other guests. Writing a caption for a photo that showed her skipping outside the White House with a group of schoolchildren, Michelle explained: "I wanted the White House to be a place where everyone would feel at home and kids could be themselves. I hope that they’d see their stories reflected in ours, and maybe have a chance to jump double Dutch with the First Lady."
Michelle Obama has shared photos from the White House in her new book, Becoming (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Michelle also made an effort to welcome her daughters home from school each day, which she says was one of the perks of the job. "I tried as often as possible to be home to greet the girls when they came back from school," she captioned a photo of herself hugging Sasha. "It was one of the benefit of living above the office."
Michelle said meeting her daughters after school was a perk of the job (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The White House sits on an 18-acre plot of land, and the gardens were clearly a favourite spot of Michelle's. One photo shared by the former First Lady shows her reclining on the grass with their pet dog Bo, with the caption: "We made good on our promise to Malia and Sasha that if Barack became president, we’d get a dog. In fact, we eventually got two. Bo and Sunny brought a sense of lightness to everything."
The couple bought two dogs during their time in The White House (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
As well as playing in the gardens with her children and their pets, Michelle also enjoyed gardening at the White House, something she encouraged as part of her Let's Move initiative. Another photo released in her new book shows Michelle getting her "hands dirty" with a group of children, explaining: "The White House garden was designed to be a symbol of nutrition and healthy living, a springboard from which I could launch a larger initiative like Let’s Move! But I also loved it because it’s where I could get my hands dirty with kids as we rooted around in the soil."
Michelle also enjoyed gardening in the White House (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Barack and Michelle Obama moved out of the White House when Donald Trump took over as President in January 2017, but the family have stayed nearby in Washington so that Sasha can finish school. Michelle previously told Ellen DeGeneres about their new life since leaving the White House, saying that little has changed other than their address. "What I learned in those eight years is home is where we make it,'' she said. "We were in the White House for eight years, but it wasn't the house, it was us in it. It was our values and our love for each other, and we just move that to another house."
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