When it comes to being president of the United States, "busy" has got to be an understatement. While most of us can imagine the highest office pulling a "working dad" away from his children — almost to the point of neglect — President Barack Obama says it isn't so.
In an essay written for the July/August issue of More magazine, which first lady Michelle Obama guest-edited, the commander in chief reveals that being president actually helped make him a better, more attentive father to daughters Malia, 16, and Sasha, 14.
"People often ask me whether being president has made it more difficult to spend time with Michelle and the girls. But the surprising truth is that being in the White House has made our family life more 'normal' than it's ever been," the president writes.
President Obama recalls when his daughters were little and the frequent trips to Washington from Chicago, where he was a U.S. senator, as well as when he was on the campaign trail for the presidency. Those times kept him away from his family, "and the burden disproportionately — and unfairly — fell on Michelle, as happens to many women," he writes.
But the White House is entirely different.
To put it in the president's words: "[I]t is pretty good to live above the store."
Living in the same building as where he works has allowed President Obama to literally walk upstairs and have dinner with his family at 6:30 p.m.
"That's inviolable," he adds.
And during that time, the focus is on his daughters and their day — school, friends, activities — and not his.
After all, President Obama writes, "those moments where I can just be Dad — even if it's 'Daaaaaaad' — well, there's nothing better."
Happy Father's Day to the president. The issue hits stands on June 23.