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What We Learned from Michelle Obama's Honesty in 'Becoming'

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What We Learned from Michelle Obama's Honesty in 'Becoming'


November 13, 2018

By Joanne Rosa

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s long awaited memoir is finally available. Becoming uncovers Michelle’s life, sparing no details about her childhood, relationship with Barack Obama, infertility, dealing with criticism as the First Lady, and more.


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We’re finally here! I’m so excited to share my memoir with all of you today! As I’ve reflected on my journey, I’ve learned so much about where I came from, about the people and moments that shaped me, about all of the struggles and the growth along the way. But mostly, I learned to embrace the fullness of my story—every bit of it. As I write in the preface, “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” I hope this book is meaningful to you, even in the smallest of ways. I hope you find something in it that resonates with your life. Most of all, I hope that each of you can embrace the beauty of who you are, and I wish you all the best in your own process of becoming. Go to and share your own #IAmBecoming story with me.

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Here are our top three takeaways from Michelle Obama’s honesty in Becoming.

She Grew Up Humble & Stayed Humble


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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson grew up in a working class neighborhood. She lived in a home that her family inherited from previous generations of Robinsons. Like many in her neighborhood, she came from a working class family. Her father, Fraser, was transparent with Michelle and her brother Craig about their finances. Michelle once watched her father show Craig the money he earned and how much they had left to live on after paying bills.

In her memoir, Michelle isn’t afraid to publicize her adolescent experiences and also opens up about raising Malia and Sasha to be the adults she hopes they become. “Sometimes we treat our children too preciously because of the issues they’ve dealt with,” Michelle told InStyle. “I can’t cherish you to death… You can’t be so afraid that life will break them that you don’t prepare them for life.”

She Strived for Success in All Aspects of Life

Michelle Obama

Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

“I was a box checker,” Michelle admitted in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s 20/20. She was intuitive, vigilant, and pushed through any obstacle that crossed her path. By 25, Michelle created a thorough game plan for her life, outlining her path to succeed. She got into Princeton, went to law school at Harvard, and worked at Sidley law firm. She swore off men so she could focus on her career.

If that wasn’t enough, it should speak volumes that Michelle was Barack Obama’s mentor when he was a first year law student and she wasn’t impressed! Let’s just say everyone was falling all over Barack and he was late to his first mentor meeting with Michelle. “Is he trifling?” Michelle told Robin. “The black man’s gonna be late on the first day?” She became drawn to him but resisted his advances for months, holding onto the view that he was off limits. Once she came to realize that they were both on the same path of success, she was open to letting him into her life a little more each day.

One of her biggest obstacles in life was being true to herself while trying to excel in her career. Of course she surpassed all of her expectations. It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for willpower to do more then just survive, but to thrive and make a real difference.

She Was Honest About Her Experience With Infertility & Marriage Difficulties

Barack & Michelle Obama

Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Even the most successful married couple in America can run into trying times in their relationship, and it would take more than an ice cream coated kiss to make it all OK. Keeping in tune with her straight-shooting candor (our kind of woman), Michelle opened up about struggles she faced in her marriage with Barack.

“It turns out that even two committed go-getters with a deep love and robust work ethic can’t will themselves into being pregnant,” Michelle detailed in Becoming. Women don’t talk about their experience with infertility enough, and having the conversations are long overdue. For a long time Michelle felt broken because of failed efforts to get pregnant on her own, and living through a traumatic miscarriage. “The biological clock is real, because egg production is limited,” Michelle declared to Robin. “I think it’s the worst thing we do to each other as women is not share the truth about our bodies, and how they work, and how they don’t work.” Through the help of IVF, the former first daughters, Malia and Sasha, were born.

Michelle was also open about the marital troubles she and the former president had. Through counseling, the Obamas learned to communicate better as partners in life, and it made Michelle realize that she was the only one responsible for her happiness. Michelle and Barack love each other, they set a remarkable example of what a marriage should be, and they weren’t afraid to get help to work through their issues and make their marriage stronger.


Becoming is available for purchase today!



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