In her 2013 book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead’, author Sheryl Sandberg believed woman can “have it all.”
But can a woman really have it all: a healthy relationship, a flourishing career, balanced family life, etc.?
Probably not—at least, not at the same time, according to Michelle Obama.
Speaking at the Brooklyn, NY stop on her Becoming book tour, Michelle Obama opened up about her struggle to balance her marriage and career and advised the audience to abandon the notion that “having it all” exists.
During the conversation, the night’s moderator, Elizabeth Alexander, brought up a line from the book in which Michelle Obama stated, “Even a happy marriage can be a vexation,” to which Obama replied, “[Marriage], it is hard.”
“I love my husband and we have a great marriage and had a great marriage but a marriage is hard work. And I say that because I see too many young people who frivolously enter into marriage, they think the love and the courtship part has something to do with what marriage is and it doesn’t,” she explained.
Elsewhere in her response, Michelle recalled her struggle to reconcile that marriage isn’t exactly equal. While Barack was campaigning to become senator of Illinois, Michelle was left to take care of their two children, Malia and Sasha Obama, and balance her career as a lawyer.
“Marriage still ain’t equal y’all, it ain’t equal. I tell woman that whole ‘you can have it all…’ nope, not at the same time–that’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to ‘Lean In,’ cause that sh-t doesn’t work,” she continued, as the crowd erupted after witnessing the Former First Lady swear.