Michelle Obama: It's ‘Practical’ to Put Myself First on Occasion

Friday, 23 Dec 2011 01:25 PM

By Andra Varin

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The first lady says it’s OK for her to put herself first sometimes. In fact, it’s “practical.”

Michelle Obama told ABC’s Barbara Walters in a “20/20” special that like many women, she gets so busy taking care of others that she has to make a point to put herself higher on her own priority list. She said it may sound selfish, but it’s not.

“No, no, it's practical. It's something that I found I needed to do for quite some time, even before the presidency. And I found other women, in similar situations, balancing career and family, trying to do it all, and a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we're so busy caring for everyone else,” she told “20/20.”

The first lady said she wants her daughters, Sasha and Malia, to grow up with a strong sense of self-esteem.

“One of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others,” she said.

For Obama, putting herself first means making sure she gets time to hang out with her girlfriends, “pulling in people in my life who give me strength and joy,” and taking time to exercise, she told “20/20”.

And it turns out the first lady envies the first dog’s life of ease. Walters asked Obama who she would want to come back as, if she could be reincarnated. The answer: Bo, the Obamas’ Portuguese water dog.

“He’s got a great life,” she said.

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