Dr. Jill Biden Just Delivered Some Frank, But Powerful, Advice On Motherhood
“I used to think, ‘This is going to get easier.’ It doesn't.”
Dr. Jill Biden is a working mom who (despite all the naysayers) has managed to gracefully juggle her job as an educator with her role as the First Lady. To say that she is busy is a serious understatement. So who better than Biden to sit down for an interview and share some pearls of wisdom on managing motherhood while having a successful professional life. The First Lady was relatable and open as she offered tips for raising small kids, too. She also had some pretty presidential things to share about managing mom guilt and how (close your ears, newbie moms) —motherhood only gets harder.
The First Lady is a mother to a grown daughter named Ashley, who she shares with President Joe Biden. She is also the step-parent to President Biden’s adult children from his first marriage, Hunter and Beau, who tragically passed away from brain cancer in 2015. In an interview with Real Simple magazine, Biden talked about that soul-sucking phenomenon known as mom guilt. When asked if she experienced that seemingly inescapable mom guilt that so many of us suffer from, FLOTUS responded with an emphatic: “of course!”
“Especially when you have kids, right? You're always thinking, ‘Did I spend enough time at his game?’ Or, ‘Should I have said that?’ You're always questioning yourself because you want to be the best mother you can be, the best teacher you can be. You're thinking, ‘Did I give that student enough attention.’ I think it's just part of human nature. You want to make sure you do a good job at anything you do,” Biden continued.
When it comes to being a busy mom, Biden might inspire you to bust your thesaurus. She is not a fan of words like “juggling or “balancing,” and instead prefers a more meaningful word like “managing.” According to Biden, “You can't do anything in a haphazard way. You have to have purpose while you're doing it, and it has to be organized. That's the key to it.”
But the First Lady also knows how important it is for working mothers to take care of themselves and battle burnout. In an interview with Parents, she shared her beliefs on prioritizing self-care. “You have to find moments for yourself. You have to. We moms spend so much time questioning ourselves — at least I did. We need time to just quiet those voices in our head.”
Although Dr. Biden’s daughter Ashely is now an adult, the First Lady still fondly remembers her early motherhood days and offered some tips and tricks for creative ways to divide child care between parters. “Joe would come home at about 7:40, and I'd have eaten dinner with the kids. I'd give Joe his dinner, and the kids would have dessert with him. And he always wanted to put them to bed and talk to them about their day — that was his special time with them, which gave me a bit of a break so I could grade papers or read. Getting a master's in English and then my doctorate, I was always reading. You have to find a way to manage it all, and each family works it out differently,” Biden shared with the magazine.
And while the First Lady gushed about motherhood, referring to her time with her children as a gift, she also kept it very real: ”You're always a mother. If I can tell you anything as a mother, it's this: It never gets easier. I used to think, ‘This is going to get easier.’ It doesn't. Life gets so much more complicated.”
But just because being a mom is difficult, doesn’t mean that FLOTUS doesn’t have words of encouragement and the pep talk tired mothers need to get through the day. “Maybe you've made mac 'n' cheese for dinner one too many times. Maybe your temper is shorter than usual. Maybe you're too tired to be the ‘fun mom.’ It's okay. You're not failing. You're strong. You're resilient,” the First Lady told Parents magazine.
With such powerful and frank advice from a mom who has been there and done that, we’re definitely ready to sign up for the Dr. Jill Biden masterclass on modern motherhood. And while we’re at it, maybe Michelle Obama can prepare a syllabus, too.