Poor Michelle Obama.
I hate to ever say that because she is a person to be celebrated, not to be pitied. Unfortunately, upon Michelle's ascension to the role of 'First Lady,' she unwittingly inheirited the battle that Hilary Clinton, her husband's one time opponent fought when the crown was placed on her head. After 8 years of Laura Bush's quiet teacher like and traditional manners, Michelle Obama, with her advanced education and dynamic career, will have to balance not only the demands of the 'office' of First Lady, but the demands of motherhood, wifehood and self fulfillment.
Subtracting out the 'First Lady' job, the issues that Michelle Obama faces are issues that many women face-especially Gen X and Ys who are now trying to establish and maintain families and careers in climates that are definitely better than the climates their mothers dealt with, but climates that still have a long way to go before they are considered 'equal' or at least 'accommodating.'
Hilary Clinton was raked over the coals for pursuing things like Health Care Reform instead of taking care of her first and only duty, which was to be a mother to her daughter Chelsea. Of course she saw to Chelsea-a young woman the likes of Chelsea Clinton is no accident. Some strong parenting had to take place, especially in the midst of the turmoil that family endured.
Michelle Obama is the mother of two school age children who are intelligent and lively. While to be sure, they are her life, they cannot be the whole of her life. She is someone besides Sasha and Malea's mum and Barack's wife. The question to be answered is that can she balance it all without something having to give and that 'something having to give' not be her children or her marriage? Will she be fine fulfilling the First Lady's role in a traditional way, which does not always lend itself to career development (at least for some careers)? Would her balancing her duties less in favour of the traditional roles expected of women alienate her and by extension, her husband from those who see a more traditional mother, wife and First Lady role as being the important one?
BlogHer looks at this issue in this post: