Top 10 Things I Learned Spending Time with Michelle Obama

At an intimate roundtable at the White House, I, along with a small group of online reporters - most of them moms, had a chance to chat about motherhood with the First Lady.

1. She's Just Like Me. Just Like Us.

Okay, no she's not exactly like me/us. She's married to the leader of the free world, has the power of the bully pulpit and has definition on her arms that most of us can only dream about but beyond all of that, Michelle Obama is a mom -- a tiger mom -- with a laser focus on her girls. "I'm just hoping I don't mess them up," she said. Such honesty and exactly what most of us moms think -- most of the time.

2. She's Disciplined.

Admitting she'd be a forager at night if snacks were around, she has asked the White House staff to keep all "junk" -- especially the salty kind -- out of the kitchen in the residence. If a bag of potato chips were around, she'd eat the whole bag, she said. Aha, another way the First Lady and I are alike but too bad I am not as strong as she is. There's no ban on sweet stuff at my house.

3. She Sticks to Her Passions.

There are "thousands, millions of issues" that she could be focusing on as First Lady, she said, but instead of "picking a set of issues" that other people might think she should focus on, she's sticking to what she is truly most passionate about -- combating childhood obesity, for one, and raising awareness of military families.

Watch why Michelle Obama is the iVillage Woman of the Week.

 

4. She Starts Early

She's known to be emailing her staff around 5:00 am EST but she says she doesn't expect her team to get back to her right away. It's just that she has time at that hour to catch up on email. Sorry Mrs. Obama. There is NO way your aides won't be emailing you back the minute you send them a note regardless of the time you send it.

5. She Likes Target.

Yes, another way she's like me/us. She made that now infamous visit to Target recently and wore a Target dress -- a darling maroon and brown sleeveless one -- to our roundtable.

6. She’s Got Great Taste

On her iPod, for her workouts, she listens to Beyonce, Jay Z, The Beatles, Sting, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige.

7. She Tolerates the Kardashians

By now you've heard President Obama is no fan of Malia and Sasha watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, according to Mrs. Obama, but she doesn't mind because she talks to the girls about how "crazy" it all is. And it is crazy.

8. She Wants to be a Role Model to Her Girls.

And not just for her work as First Lady but for how she makes herself a priority. "I want my girls to see the model of a mother taking care of herself, because, quite frankly, my mother didn't do that," she told us. Wish I could be more like Mrs. Obama on this score especially since I haven't been to the gym since my first daughter was born five years ago!

9. She Says Every Mom Needs a Personal Assistant and a Chef

Agree 100% and she has both so she should know!

10. She's Down to Earth.

I found her so easy to talk to and I think every other reporter in that Old Family Dining Room felt the same way. It was as if we were just chatting with another mom trying to do right by her children.  We were!

Kelly Wallace is Chief Correspondent of iVillage. Follow Kelly on Twitter (@kellywallacetv). 

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