The Co-Parents in Chief

In honor of President’s Day, here’s a little nugget from Shine Yahoo about what the Obama’s really argue over. Says Michelle: “I don’t disagree with him on a lot of policy stuff. I mean, we end up disagreeing about little stuff at home, like where are we going to go on vacation or whether Sasha’s going to do a clinic…”

That’s right, they argue about parenting! Like so many couples, the Obamas found early on that parenting issues placed at the top of their debate list. Especially in the early, exhausting years of diaper duty, there was a lot of dissent. Before entering the White House for his first term, Obama told Ladies’ Home Journal:

“I still remember when I was a state legislator and Michelle called close to tears because our wonderful babysitter had quit and decided to go back to nursing. And Michelle’s thinking to herself, “What am I going to do?” because she had depended so heavily on this person to kind of hold it all together. And she was, frankly, mad at me. Because she felt as if she was all alone in this process.”

Sound kinda familiar? Exhaustion and resentment are at the top of the co-parenting stress list when kids are babies and toddlers. What makes the problem worse: not acknowledging how tough it is. As Michelle put it: “Those early years are a whole lot of work. But the truth is that everybody struggles with it — we just don’t talk about it out loud.”