Why Women Can’t Have It All

The idea that women can ‘have it all’ is ridiculous, Michelle Obama has claimed.

The US First Lady said she was sick of women ‘beating themselves up’ trying to balance motherhood and a career.

US First Lady Michelle Obama and television presenter Oprah Winfrey participate in the White House’s United State of Women summit in Washington. Picture: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Obama, 52, revealed she had been forced to make sacrifices to support her husband and raise her daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 15.

Obama was speaking at the White House State of Women summit on Tuesday night.

And she said it still moves her ‘to tears’ to recall the first day she sent her daughters off to school in a Secret Service car, when she thought to herself: ‘What on earth am I doing to these babies?’

But Obama insisted ‘having it all’ was a ‘false notion’, saying: ‘It’s hard to get it all. I don’t want young women to beat themselves up and think if they’re not having it all they’re failing. It’s a ridiculous aspiration.’

She added: ‘When your husband is President and you have children, something has to give. I’ve made compromises in my life and career. Sometimes I have to put things on the backburner to give them the things that they need.’

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