Michelle Obama headed down to New Orleans for the 2019 Essence Festival, where she talked candidly about raising her teenage daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama in the White House.
"I credit my own upbringing, me and Barack," she shared with host Gayle King. "We were regular folks, up until he gave that speech at the convention and it was like all of the sudden he was shot out of a rocket."
"Our focus was to make sure they did what they needed to do, and that meant pretend like all the craziness around them wasn't happening," she explained. "For eight years we were like, "Yup, your dad's president. That doesn't have anything to do with you. Take your butt to school. Yes, you have security, just ignore them, they're not here for you.'"
"'Your goal is to go to school, come back, get some decent grades. Don't act up. Don't embarrass us,'" Michelle added.
Michelle also spoke about the challenge of her daughters growing up with the Secret Service in tow.
"My kids had armed guards with them at all times," Michelle shared. "Imagine trying to have your first kiss [around] a bunch of men [with guns] and earpieces."
"Imagine having Malia and Sasha come to your house for a sleepover. This is the call: 'OK, we're gonna need your social security number, we're gonna need your date of birth. There will be men coming to sweep your house. If you have guns and drugs, just tell them. Because they're going to find them anyway. Don't lie. They're not gonna take 'em, they just need to know where they are. And by the way, there will be a man with a gun sitting on the front porch all night. Let him come in and use the bathroom, it would just be nice.'"
"I mean, I'm surprised my kids have any friends, you know?" she added.
The former First Lady also spoke about the difficulties of being a Black woman in the White House:
"For a minute there, I was an angry Black woman who was emasculating her husband. As I got more popular, that's when people of all sides -- Democrats and Republicans -- tried to take me out by the knees and the best way to do it was to focus on the one thing people were afraid of the strength of a Black woman," she said.