Contrary to what the Lean-In crowd wants to tell you, raising productive members of society is far more important than office work. One friend read this and scoffed at the idea that family responsibilities would take so much time: “That sounds great at first, except her kids are in school full-time, and she doesn’t have to do any of the things that moms who stay home to take care of their families do. Things like driving the kids where they need to go, cooking, cleaning, laundry, organizing family schedules, etc. So what exactly is she doing when she’s not working?”
I’d counter that managing household staff actually does take a lot of time. And even so, teenagers still need lots of hands-on time with their parents even if the laundry is taken care of by others. Further, Mrs. Obama has stated publicly that the kids are to make their own bed and clean their rooms, that they are to eat what is prepared for them and can’t watch TV during the week. You can’t count on household staff to enforce rules like these — only loving, if strict, parents can.
Also, people act like having a lot of money or power is easy, but I can imagine it being even harder to inculcate good character traits in one’s children under such circumstances. So kudos to Mrs. Obama for trying, however much I may disagree with her values.