Former President Barack Obama also had a candid conversation about masculinity and fatherhood with Bruce Springsteen for their podcast

By Sean Neumann
March 22, 2021 02:03 PM
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Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner
Michelle Obama (left) and Jennifer Garner
| Credit: Jennifer Garner/Instagram

Former First Lady Michelle Obama talked parenting with Jennifer Garner in a recent Instagram video promoting Garner's new film, Yes Day.

Garner, 48, stars in the Netflix family comedy, which centers around two parents who agree to say "yes" to everything their kids ask for one full day.

Appearing with her on Instagram on Friday, the former first lady, 57, joked that her own daughters, Sasha and Malia, no longer listen to her and former President Barack Obama now that they're 19 and 22 years old. 

"Me and Barack would do the opposite of 'yes day,' where our kids would have to do everything we want them to do," Mrs. Obama told Garner. "Because now my kids are grown and they say 'no' to us. And we are like, 'Can we? Can we be your friend? Can we talk to you?' "

The Becoming author — who has been busy promoting her own new Netflix project, the children's cooking show Waffles + Mochi — said that the Obamas would need a "reverse 'yes day,' " where their daughters "listen to us and eat what we want to eat."

Garner told Mrs. Obama she has celebrated her own "yes day" with her three children for the past nine years.

Mrs. Obama playfully asked if Garner does it once a month or even more often — causing the actress to let out an enormous "Oh gosh!"

"Once a month? Oh my gosh, once a week? Bite your tongue, Mrs. Obama," Garner said, laughing, and explained it's only an annual tradition.

"I do 'yes day' usually at the end of the summer when I've run out of anything fun to do," the actress said.

"It scares me, the possibility of living like that with my kids," the former first lady quipped.

Mrs. Obama recently opened up to PEOPLE about parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced both her daughters to return home while their colleges paused in-person classes last year.

Sasha and Malia's unexpected return led to at least one instance of the former first lady telling her daughters "no," she said.

"My kids were midnight bakers, so at 1 in the morning, you'd smell cinnamon buns baking," Mrs. Obama told PEOPLE. "I had to tell them to stop because we can't have all those sweets!"

Former President Obama also opened up about being a parent this week, during a candid conversation about masculinity and fatherhood with Bruce Springsteen for their podcast.

Bruce Springsteen shares a moment with President Barack Obama
Bruce Springsteen (left) and Barack Obama (right) in 2012
| Credit: Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Obama recalled having conversations with his daughters' friends about misconceptions surrounding masculinity.

"So much of popular culture tells them that the only clear, defining thing about being a man, being masculine, is you excel in sports and sexual conquest," Obama said on the latest episode of their new Renegades podcast.

He later added that "there was never a full reckoning of what our dads — who our dads were, what they had in them."

"How we have to understand that and talk about that, what lessons we should learn from it," Obama said. "All that kind of got buried."

Renegades, which premiered in February, sees Obama, 59, and Springsteen, 71, engage in "deep and revealing conversation with each other, exploring a wide array of topics including race, fatherhood, marriage, and the state of America," according to Spotify.

The eight-part series airs on Mondays.