You can take the Obamas out of the White House, but you can't take them out of Washington — at least not just yet!
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

You can take the Obamas out of the White House, but you can’t take them out of Washington — at least not just yet!

In a new, exclusive at-home interview with PEOPLE, Michelle Obama reveals that she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have pushed back plans to move from Washington, D.C., to Chicago, citing their daughter, Sasha, 17, as one of the main reasons.

“When Sasha comes home for breaks, she’s going to want to come home and see her friends in D.C.,” Mrs. Obama says of their younger daughter, who is finishing her final year of high school in the nation’s capital. “If we’re in Chicago, we’d be competing with that. So we’re gonna be in D.C. for a few more years, for sure.

“And then, we’re up in the air,” the former first lady adds in the sit-down about her post-White House life and new memoir, Becoming, on sale now. “We’ll see where our kids land and plant ourselves where we’re close to them in their lives.”

The former first lady
| Credit: Miller Mobley/

For the full PEOPLE interview with Michelle Obama, including intimate details of her new laid-back life with Barack, pick up the new issue on newsstands Friday.

Michelle Obama on the cover of PEOPLE
| Credit: Miller Mobley/

After leaving the White House in January 2017, the Obamas, who are also parents to daughter Malia, 20, a sophomore at Harvard, rented (and later purchased) a stately 9-bedroom home in D.C.’s historic Kalarama neighborhood. (“My friends still trip out when I answer my front door,” Mrs. Obama laughs. “We’ve been out a couple years, and they’re still like ‘You’re at the door!’ It’s like, ‘I live here, this is my house.’ “)

Obama New Home
Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP. Inset: Sean Gallup/Getty

But the family still owns the Chicago home they abruptly left in 2009, when Obama took office, and had planned to return there after Sasha graduated from high school. Mrs. Obama grew up on Chicago’s South Side, while her husband fondly refers to Chicago as his hometown after living and working there for several years.

Credit: Miller Mobley

Though Mrs. Obama says they still love their Georgian revival mansion in Chicago’s Hyde Park, she and her husband realized as their daughters grew older that “the flow of their lives was really in D.C.”

But, the former first lady adds of their Chicago home, “I can’t let it go yet. … So we’re going to wait and see.”