Women in Black History

Michelle_Obama_2013_official_portrait by Chuck Kennedy. Michelle Obama, U. S. First Lady/Lawyer/Activist

We could not end the series without recognizing the incomparable Michelle Obama. As the 44th First Lady of the United States she is the first African American woman to hold this title. Rising from humble beginnings, Obama has become a role model woman, wife, mother, and community activist. She grew up in a one bedroom apartment with her parents and older brother in the South Side of Chicago. Always having an emphasis on education, Obama was a gifted student graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school and moving on to ivy-league universities. It was in law school that she became involved with community activism by participating in demonstrations to demand more minority students and professors at Harvard Law School.

Obama met her future husband, Barack, while working at a law firm in Chicago. Soon after they married she began her career in public service. While working at the University of Chicago she developed the school’s first community service program. As First Lady Obama has remained passionate about helping the community. She has focused her work on supporting military families, helping working women balance family and career, and encouraging national service. At the top of her service list sits the fight against childhood obesity. Obama has launched several campaigns and programs to get kids eating healthier and exercising more.

Throughout her career, political affairs, and other obligations Michelle Obama has remained committed to her family. She has been a true supporter to her husband, and has kept their two children priority above anything else. When asked to describe herself she always begins with being Malia and Sasha’s mother. A role model in every aspect, Obama was once named one of Essence magazine’s “25 of the World’s Most Inspiring Women.”

“We should always have three friends in our lives — one who walks ahead who we look up to and we follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journeys; and then, one who we reach back for and we bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child…and to Keep It’s Mother Sane

Community

I received an unexpected text from the wife of a former coworker the other day. She gave birth to a baby girl a few weeks after I had my son. I never spoke directly with her while either of us were pregnant, nor did I authorize her husband to give her my phone number. But her text made me feel so good. She wanted to get together with the babies some time, to work out, go for a walk, go shopping, or just hang. My community of moms continues to grow and I never thought I’d even have one to begin with.

I thought my “village” would consist of mainly family, aunts, sisters, my mother and soon to be mother-in-law, etc. But I’m finding that I am so far from being alone in the newness of motherhood and it’s helping in more ways than one. I’m able to get out of the house and not be the only “baby mama” in the place. It’s giving me a chance to get moving, handle business, and really know that all of the things I’ve been feeling are normal, common, and okay to feel. 

I’m also able to help other new moms. Even though every pregnancy and parenting experience is different, it helps to discuss, exchange ideas and stories and suggestions. I can also get rid of all the stuff my son can’t use like bottles he doesn’t like and clothes he can’t fit. 

I said all that to say I’m excited to see my village grow. I appreciate all the love and support I get to give and receive. And another perk it brings for the future is that my son won’t have to party with all adults at his first birthday (I just hate that for kids).