Michelle Obama Says She Has 'More Emotional Energy' with Husband Barack After Becoming Empty Nesters
Malia Obama is in her third year at Harvard while sister Sasha began her freshman year last fall
On Saturday, the former first lady, 56, sat down with Oprah Winfrey on her Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus tour, where she opened up about the couple’s time at home now that both their daughters, Malia, 21, and Sasha, 18, are off at college.
“Parenting takes up a lot of emotional space … I put a lot of time and energy into parenting these girls but right now we are trying to make their lives normal — so that means weekends were a pain,” she said.
“We had to worry about what parties they were going to, whether there was alcohol, I had to know who the parents were, so every weekend for me was hard,” the mom of two explained of her time living with her daughters.
“And they’re gone, thank God,” the Becoming author joked.
Obama also admitted that while her daughters were home, she had to “get information about what they were doing or not doing just like everybody else,” which “takes some energy.”
Now that they’re away at school, she said, “all that energy I can now place back on me and spending time figuring out my next chapter, how I want to spend the rest of my life,” including more time with her husband.
“We have more emotional time, emotional energy,” she said of her empty nest with Barack, 58.
“It’s just me and him and [the family dogs] Bo and Sunny and dinner. And they don’t talk, the dogs,” she laughed.
As the couple approaches their 28th anniversary, the Grammy winner said she feels like they’re “coming back to this point where we see each other again,” adding, “Now I can look at him and recognize my husband, he’s still the man I fell in love with.”
Along with enjoying time with Barack, she has spent the past year picking up numerous accomplishments, including her first Grammy Award in January for best spoken word album, for the audiobook recording of her bestselling memoir, Becoming.
Mrs. Obama, who was one of PEOPLE’s “People of the Year” in 2019, was the second first lady to win a Grammy.
She is now on her way to EGOT-ing (also known as winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony) with her achievement. And it’s not out of reach — the former first couple also has a production company, Higher Ground Productions, which just earned its first Academy Award nomination for the Netflix documentary American Factory.