Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast - "Kids Just Want Our Gladness" with Hoda Kotb

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Higher Ground and Audible Originals present

The Light Podcast with Michelle Obama.

Okay, I am so happy to be here today.

And we are gonna talk about the light we carry.

All right, so y’all, you know the people who,

when they walk into the room, it lights up?

You walk in the room and the lights go on.

Sometimes it’s bright, sometimes it’s soft.

But I was just backstage talking to one

of the brightest lights I have ever met.

Mrs. Michelle Obama.

Hi everyone, this is Michelle Obama,

and I am thrilled to welcome you to the very first episode

of my new podcast called The Light.

Like so many of you over the past couple of years,

I’ve sometimes felt isolated, disconnected, and discouraged.

So much of our lives were thrown up in the air.

Our daily rhythms were stopped.

We were pulled apart from one another,

and we were left to put the pieces back together alone.

The conversations in this podcast are about the ways

I’ve tried to regain my footing,

to reconnect with the people

and the practices that keep me afloat.

We’ll be exploring the topics and questions

that so many of us are wrestling with.

Questions like, how do we overcome fear?

How do we connect with others

when it feels like folks are drifting apart?

How do we build ourselves up

in a world that wants to tear us down?

I know there aren’t neat solutions to any of this.

There are no hard and fast rules

that apply to everyone or every situation.

But over the course of my life,

I found a few tools and attitudes

that stand the test of time,

principles that keep me balanced.

And I’m so excited to dive into them with all of you.

To help me along the way,

I’ll be bringing some friends from my book tour along.

Some are folks you might know on a first name basis,

Conan, Ellen, Oprah.

Others are longtime friends of mine,

like Elizabeth Alexander and Gayle King.

And in these conversations,

we’ll be discussing everything from friendship

to raising good kids to going high

when other folks are taking the low road.

And we’ll be hearing from some folks just like you too,

with some stories and reflections

from members of the audience.

So I am excited about this podcast

and I’m even more excited about this episode.

Y’all, there are a million things to love

about Michelle Obama.

But the best thing is, is she shares her journey.

She shares her hurts, her joys, her triumphs with all of us

so we can all take a page

and learn a little bit about her life.

She has picked up incredible tools,

ways to deal with all the things that we all deal with.

And she’s gonna share them with us today.

So forget about lighting up the room.

Let’s light up this whole place, ladies and gentlemen,

Mrs. Michelle Obama.

♪ I’m indestructible ♪

♪ I’m a version of invincible ♪

♪ Yes, I’m invincible ♪

♪ And I’m invincible ♪


You all look good.

It’s Saturday, isn’t it?

It’s Saturday.

It is Saturday.

All right, just keeping track of time.

But you know what I noticed about you?

There’s something, you’ve always been sparkly,

but there’s something extra sparkly about you

at this time in your life.

You are 58 years old.

Your voice is loud and proud.

What is it about this moment?


I think it’s freedom

in so many different ways.

In this first episode,

I wanna talk about this idea of light,

which is not just the title of this podcast,

but it’s really the core of my book.

It’s fundamental to how I see the world.

I believe deeply that everyone has a light inside them.

Sometimes it’s a steady flame.

Other times, it’s a tiny little glimmer.

And at other moments, it’s a raging fire.

But let’s be honest though,

these past couple of years,

that light has been waning for a lot of us, including me.

At times during the pandemic,

all those difficult moments where we were wrestling

with deep wounds of racism and injustice,

I was struggling to stay balanced and feel hopeful.

But what helped me find my footing and my center again

is finding something to lean on,

a practice, a tool, another person.

That’s what my book is about.

And that’s what this podcast is about too.

Finding ways, not just to protect and kindle our own light,

but to share it as well

so that we can illuminate a path forward together.

That’s really something I felt when I sat down

with the dazzling Hoda Kotb.

It felt like we were feeding off of one another’s light.

You probably know Hoda from the Today Show,

and that’s how I knew her too.

I’ve always loved the way she interviews.

I kept on finding myself overtaken

by her warmth and positivity,

her vulnerability and her energy.

She’s really just wonderful.

Talking to her really is such a breath of fresh air,

and we just didn’t wanna stop.

And as you’re listening,

I’m sure you’ll start to notice that too.

Let’s dive in.

Now, you said that you found your voice in your 50s.

That’s when you feel like you found it.

You know, we are taught that we’re supposed to value youth.

And the only thing you are when you are young is young.

You really don’t come into your own.

At least I didn’t feel like I came into my own

until I was in my 50s.

And a lot of that has to do with,

you think you’re supposed to have it figured out,

and for all you young people, no, no.

You will be confused for many decades.

And it is okay.

But I’m on the other side of parenting.

You know, I’m moving from mom-in-chief to advisor-in-chief,

and that’s a lovely thing,

to be able to watch my girls fly

and have the relief that,

okay, I think I didn’t mess them up.

When it comes to my profession,

I feel like I have more autonomy.

And I’m still in love with my husband,

so when it all…

When it all lines up,

I don’t have a reason not to glow right now.

And I have my health,

which we cannot ever take that for granted,

especially in these times.

And we should point out,

one of your beautiful daughters is here with us.

I got one.

That’s part of my glow right now.


When your children leave and they come back,

oh, it’s just like, you’re here.

You’re here.

So I have one of them with me.

How much of yourself had to be quieted

while you were in the White House?

Oh, so much of it.

So much of it.

Because the mission during those eight years

was bigger than just my voice.

You know, we were the first.

Hopefully not the only,

but we were the first.

And when you’re the first at stuff,

especially the first in the biggest spotlight,

the world watching you,

you don’t wanna mess it up, you know?

And you wanna make sure that you are representing.

You know, I talk about this in the book,

the challenges when you are the first or an only,

you are carrying a tray of other people’s expectations

along with you on the journey.

You know, one small misstep isn’t just a misstep for you,

but it’s a misstep for your family,

for your community, for your race,

for all of humanity,

because we don’t often get a second chance.

Barack and I have been the first and only

in a number of different rooms.

And when you are that,

you feel like you have to show up

and there is no margin for error.

So it was no accident

that the administration was scandal free.

It was no accident that, you know,

that our children had to show up right in the world.

They carried a burden of making sure they weren’t messy

because it wouldn’t have been laughed off.

It wouldn’t have been just, oh, it’s youthful, whatever.

It would have been some bigger statement

about the soul of black folks.

So we didn’t underestimate that,

but that, that weight is exhausting

when you’re carrying that.

And after the inauguration,

and we know whose inauguration we were at,

that day was so emotional on so many different reasons.

We were leaving the home we had been in for eight years,

the only home our kids really knew.

They remembered Chicago,

but they had spent more time in the White House

than anywhere.

So we were saying goodbye to the staff

and all the people who helped to raise them.

There were tears.

There was that emotion.

But then to sit on that stage

and watch the opposite of what we represented on display.

There was no diversity.

There was no color on that stage.

There was no reflection of the broader sense of America.

And many people took pictures of me

and they like, you weren’t in a good mood.

No, I was not.

But you had to hold it together

like you do for eight years.

And then you walk through the Capitol,

you wave goodbye,

you get on Marine One

and you take your last flight off,

flying over the Capitol

where there weren’t that many people there.

We saw it, by the way.

And then we went to Andrews Air Force Base,

said goodbye to the military,

got on Air Force One.

And when those doors shut,

I cried for 30 minutes straight.

Uncontrollable sobbing

because that’s how much we were holding it together

for eight years

without really being able to show it all.

So I guess that’s the long way of saying,

yeah, no, I had to count my steps

for eight years.

And so, yeah, that was real.

Are you happier now than you were then?

Yes, yes.

Do not get me wrong.

Being First Lady of this country

was the greatest honor.

It was the greatest honor of my life.

And I took it seriously.

I worked my butt off for this nation

because I felt like if you’re here for eight years,

I wanted to leave and show something.

I wanted to touch some lives.

I wanted to open that house up.

I wanted people flowing through it.

I wanted kids to feel like they were a part of that house.

So every event was well thought out.

We included a broader set of communities.

We had music.

We had Girl Scouts camping out.

I didn’t want a day go by

that that house didn’t feel full and loved.

So do not get me wrong.

It was a privilege to serve,

but it was hard.

And it was hard on our family.

It was hard on my daughters growing up in the spotlight.

You just try to make it look easy

because you don’t want to seem ungrateful.

The little bit that we were going through,

we lived in the world.

We saw tragedy, real tragedy.

We hugged people who had lost their kids to gun violence.

We attended too many funerals.

I spent my time on military bases

where military families were sacrificing

way more than I ever did.

So you don’t want to talk about that

because comparatively speaking, we had it easy.

But being outside of politics

and outside of the divisiveness of our politics

is just a better place.

I just think that people can hear you better

if you have a point.

If you’re not a politician, that shouldn’t be the case,

but that’s where we are.

So yes, I’m happier outside of that.

There are so many beautiful things about your father.

Your father had MS,

and it was so interesting as I was reading about this.

Meredith Vieira, who’s a dear friend of mine,

her husband has MS.

I remember hearing her story, yeah.

Well, she told me there’s only one good thing about MS,

and I said, what is that?

And she said, it made our children better people.


It made the children better.

So then I thought about you.

You’re used to watching your dad struggle,

and you’re used to being the one,

I’m going to look out for him.

How did his, you call it a differentness,

not a disability, how did it affect you, change you?

My father, if you talk about how,

who has affected me most in how I see the world,

and who gave me the foundation to know that I mattered,

to understand that you gotta find your light from within,

that it is not handed to you,

nor should you expect anybody to hand it to you.

It was my father,

because with all that he had to deal with it,

he was one of the most visible people I knew.

He was a bright light, not just for us,

but for his siblings, for my mother’s siblings,

for his extended family, he was the core.

And he was satisfied with his life.

You know, he was satisfied with what many of us

would think would be this small life,

but he knew his life was big.

He knew he was fortunate.

So whatever challenges he faced, he turned those into gold.

And so it’s hard for me to ever feel sorry for myself.

It’s hard for me to ever let anybody else get me down,

because I think about what my father did,

getting up every day to go to work, not complaining,

being an honest man, being an honest broker,

which is one of the reasons

that helped me see that in Barack.

You know, I saw those qualities in him

in the same way I saw them in my father.


My mother-in-law is legitimately the kindest person

I think I’ve ever met in my life.

So for example, she even did it maybe just the other day

where she’ll send me a text message

just saying like just the most amazing things.

Like, oh, you’re such an amazing mother.

And I’m so, we’re so happy that you’re ours.

And I’m so glad that you’re, you know, things like that.

And you know, on a regular,

like she’s sending me these text messages.

But I think those are the small things

that really add up to what kindness should look like.

She just said, have you seen Michelle Obama yet?

Just thinking about you, right?

And it’s like things like that, so thoughtful.

And I appreciate it.

Like you remember that I’m going to see Michelle Obama.

You thought to text me about it,

because I’m sure she wants to talk about it.

Those are the things that really help build

and maintain really great relationships.

And I’m so grateful for it.

You know what I love?

You said something to me the other day.

You said, you know, Barack can say to me,

you’re beautiful, you’re ravishing.

You, the sun rises and sets on you.

And he can mean all those things.

Yet if you don’t feel it inside yourself,

that kind of that love for yourself,

which is elusive for all of us.

We’re all kind of trying to find it.

It doesn’t land well, even though he’s telling the truth.

Well, it’s the power of the voices in our head,

the negative voices.

And I am not immune just because I put on nice clothes

and I give good speeches and I lived in the White House.

A lot of people think, oh, you too have doubt.

You too have negative thoughts in your head.

Oh, yes, probably more than most,

because I am subject to the public discussion

where everyone is discussing your weight,

your height, your size.

And everyone feels like they can comment on your life.

So yeah, we all have those negative images.

And one of the chapters in the book I write about,

one of the earlier chapters I call Starting Kind.

And it’s just about learning to give yourself

messages of gladness and having that as a practice,

because we live the opposite in our minds.

We generally wake up and look at ourselves

and we find all the things wrong,

that running list of things that only we know,

even if the rest of the world can’t see it.

But if we don’t start practicing kindness for ourselves

and gladness, it’s hard for us to give it to other people.

Sometimes when our kids walk into the room,

we greet them with what’s called a critical eye.

Like Malia came in and she was wrinkled.

Whatever she had on was very wrinkly.

And she was actually coming to my hotel room

to find the steamer.

She walks in, maybe the second time I saw her this morning,

and I was like, you’re wrinkly.

You’re gonna do something about this.

And she’s like, yeah, mom, I’m gonna.

And then I thought I did it.

I greeted her instead of what I felt,

which is, sit on my lap, give me a kiss.

I’m fixing things.

I’m pointing out, oh my God, your hair is not right here.

What Toni Morrison says is that,

our kids just want our gladness.

They don’t need us to fix them.

They don’t need us to point out the thing

that’s wrong first.

And I write about that because that is a practice.

I know that I try to practice that with kids in the world.

I understand the power of the gladness

I can give them me, Michelle Obama,

the first lady of the United States.

I know that when I am interacting with kids

that it means something for me to see their specialness.

And so that’s why we spent so much time with kids

because what I do understand is that there are a lot of kids

who can live their whole life

and not be received with gladness.

And I just think, man, if this interaction

is their chance to be seen by somebody

and somebody that they think is important,

I’m not gonna squander it.

But it’s also there as a reminder to all of us

that we’ve gotta be careful

with how we communicate with young people.

And sometimes our limits get in the way,

especially out in the world when we dehumanize kids,

when we don’t see kids as our own.

Sometimes you attack them like they’re a grownup.

You shoo them out of your store.

You treat them like they don’t belong in a museum.

They are nuisances.

And as adults, showing them that leaves a mark on them.

And I know whether it’s road rage

or some kid standing on the corner that you don’t know

or somebody who’s in your business establishment

making too much noise,

we have to remember they’re still young people.

And we are still the models of showing them

the best parts of themselves.

And I see us messing with kids.

We see it on the streets,

some kids selling a lemonade

and a neighbor calling the police on them.

For an adult to do that to a child is a sin and a shame.

But when that happens,

a lot of times it’s because they haven’t learned

to greet themselves with gladness.

Now, as an adult, I can look back at that.

When that happens to me,

I can see the other person’s brokenness.

Children cannot make that distinction.

They cannot look at some crazy adult

saying something to them and wonder,

well, what happened to you today?

So it is incumbent upon us to figure that out for them.

Well, we have four kids now.

We have a newborn who’s six weeks old.

We have a three-year-old,

a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old.

Three of them through adoption

and one through surrogacy.

And we were very fortunate when our worker said

that there were two boys who needed a forever family.

So they were two and five.

And so we took them on.

We got called that there was a baby

who was a safe surrender baby.

And our worker had a selection of families to go with.

And she chose us because of our unique situation.

We’re a same-sex couple.

And she says that she wanted our daughter

to be able to grow up knowing

that the family will be able to explain

that family doesn’t mean just traditional family.

That it can be something unique like our situation.

And that that’s okay that we’re still a family.

And so she picked us and she fought for us actually.

By the way, he is an attorney

and he works as like a disability rights advocate.

And this guy is at daycare to make sure

that they’re compliant with the state laws and regulations.

So you really couldn’t find two better parents

and a better position to raise good kids.


That’s so sweet of you.

Thank you.

And so that’s our daughter.

And then we were already in the process of surrogacy.

So that’s three.

And then our surrogate bore our child on October 14.

So she’s only six weeks old.

So that’s how we have a family of four kids.

My husband and I and we’re a full house.

What are you telling them about having their own families?

Cause I think there’s pressure obviously

on a lot of people to be like,

oh, when are you gonna get married?

When are you gonna have kids?

How do you advise them through that?

I write about this in Partnering Well.

I mean, I want my daughters to have a broad view

of what happiness can look like.

And I think we do a disservice, particularly to women.

You know, I mean, you get that all the time.

You know, first, you could have an amazing career

and somebody says, are you married?

My grandmother used to do this to me.

I’m in law school at Harvard.

My grandmother would call me to chat.

And first thing she would say, what did you cook?

My grandma, I’m in law school.

There isn’t even a kitchen around, you know?

But that becomes the expectation.

You’re a young woman.

Are you married?

Yeah, I’m not, I don’t mean to call you out in particular

because we don’t ask that question anymore, you know?

And then if you are, oh, when are you gonna have a baby?

Not knowing, can you?

Do you want one?

You know, what kind of pain that generates?

It’s almost like saying, oh, well, you’re married

but, oh, you can’t really be happy.

And then you have one kid, what do they wanna know?

Oh, are you gonna have a boy?

You’re gonna have another one?

It feels like it’s never enough

because we don’t know what life will hand them.

Maybe you find love, great,

but don’t get married to check a box,

to respond to somebody else

because there are so many ways.

And Hoda, you are a living, breathing example

of how many ways you can build a life

and have a family and have happiness, you know?

And we should not be making you question that.

And we tend to do that.

And I want my daughters growing up understanding

that they can have whatever life they choose.

As long as they’re happy, we’ve got their backs.

And I know you’ve dealt with that too, Hoda.

Yeah, you know what’s funny?

I actually always wanted children,

never said it out loud because I was married, divorced,

and I had breast cancer all in my,

during that window when it’s supposed to happen.

And so I just never spoke about it.

And one day I was walking just down the street

with a good friend of mine and she said casually,

well, we never wanted kids, you know,

just, you know, she’s married, been married for years.

And for the very first time I said, well, actually I did.

And she goes, you never said it.

And I said, well, I never said it

because I don’t want to say something out loud

that I know I’ll never be able to have.

So I never said it.

And then it taught me something in that minute.

And it’s, if you want something, say it out loud,

even just to yourself in the bathroom mirror, say it.

Because Michelle, after I said it out loud,

I have chills on my body.

After I said it out loud, I said,

I saw a story about Sandra Bullock,

my exact age who just adopted a child.

And I go, oh my gosh, everywhere I turned,

I saw a possibility.

So I decided I’m going to fill out the paperwork

and I did all the things I was supposed to do.

I’m sitting in my office and I’ll never forget it.

And I got a text and it said, it was from Ashley

and Ashley from the adoption agency said,

if I ever text you, call me immediately.

So I saw the text, it said, call me.

And I took out a yellow pad like this one

and I wrote 11 05 AM.

You knew it was going to be something.

This is the moment I dialed the number

and she said two words, she’s here.

And I knew in that moment, Michelle,

like my whole life, I love you too.

My whole life changed and I thought to myself,

well, why not me?

I think that’s the question

because some blessings come early.

Some blessings come later.

You don’t really know when your blessing is going to come.

But I think if you don’t say it,

whether it’s your dream job, your dream place to live,

your dream, like I think sometimes we all get quieted.

We’re not shy, we get quieted.

Well, because we live in a world, a society,

a country where we’re taught

that only certain people’s stories matter.

That there’s like only one way to be human

and it’s really limited.

It looks like a certain race, a certain gender,

a certain income class, which is sometimes

why we gravitate to leaders that look like that

because they look like they should know something.

But it’s also why it’s important for us,

when we have platforms to be vulnerable

and share our stories so that we start rewriting

the story of who matters.

We have to all put our stories out there.

We have to rewrite the story of who matters and who counts.

But if we’re hiding it,

or if we’re not stating our truth

because it doesn’t fit into a certain definition,

then we’re just keeping the definition of what’s important,

what is American, what has value.

We’re hiding behind that.

And we’ve got to broaden the spectrum

of what it means to be American,

what it means to be accepted, what it means to be loved,

who deserves it.

But we all have to be vulnerable in that regard.

So I’m glad you’re sharing that part of it

because there’s going to be somebody out there,

there’s a woman out there right now

who is single or divorced, who doesn’t see herself

as someone who should be a mother

because it didn’t take the right path.

And you are an amazing mother, you know?

And you have no reason to doubt

whether you should have done this, you know?

So thank you for sharing.

Best decision of my life, best decision.

I am Kristen Jones,

I’m co-founder and partner at Inside Projects.

And I am Mrs. Obama’s former assistant

from the White House and also a friend.

Recently, I attempted to get my ex frozen.

And interestingly enough, this was something

that Michelle had been talking to me about

for basically the past decade.

So when I went to go get it done,

I had a not so great reaction to the hormones.

I was super emotional.

And we ended up canceling the round

because my body didn’t respond.

And I think she knew very deeply how hard that was for me.

It wasn’t just that the round didn’t go well,

it was also just coming to this deep self-acceptance

with myself that I cannot control this piece of my life

that I want so badly.

And so I called her out of the blue

in the middle of a Tuesday.

And she didn’t pick up,

but she called me back five minutes later

and was just like,

I was on a meeting, but I saw you called, what’s up?

And I just let it all out.

I was crying, I was so upset.

I was telling her the story.

And she just stopped her day to completely ground me.

And she shifted the perspective for me

on the importance of understanding

what you can control in this life

and what you cannot control in this life.

And how to usher in a spirit of acceptance

around those things.

And she actually sent me a really beautiful text

when we got off the phone.

And she said some things that I think are just relevant

and true for a lot of people.

She said that for a lot of people,

their life trajectories are gonna be different

from those around them.

And their purpose is perhaps bigger and broader

than what they might be able to imagine.

And she encouraged me to embrace my individual process

and journey through it all.

Practice loving myself first

and reminded me that she’ll always be there for me.

What was the best part of raising them in the White House

and what was the part you did not like?

The best part of raising them in the White House

was that, well, you know,

after coming off of the campaign where dad was always gone,

it was nice that he lived above the store.

So we could get back into our regular routine

of dinnertime together.

He could be there for bedtime.

He was there most of the time.

He was able to go to all their parent teacher conferences

and all their little concerts.

You know, he was able to be involved in their life.

He coached Sasha’s fourth grade girls basketball league

which was a trip, right?

Because he wasn’t supposed to coach.

They were called the Vipers.

And fourth grade, these little girls cared more

about putting their shirts up and tucking them in

than having their shoes tied.

So, but it was all the fourth grade girls in the school

and it was parent led.

And it was in a Y in the neighborhood

and Barack is a basketball junkie.

The parents who were coaching

really didn’t know how to coach.

So he’s sitting there at the games

and he’s like, they’re not running any plays.

And I’m like, I know, I know.

They should be passing.

Matrisse should be under the net.

This, I don’t know, what are they doing?

So he started easing down to where the coach’s table was

each game and he was like, you know, first of all,

she needs to tie her shoe, you know?

So you imagine, you’re the parent coach

that doesn’t know basketball

and the president of the United States is like checking you.

By game four, he was on the bench.

He started running practices

because he was like, if we’re going to have,

they should have two plays.

He’s like, we’re just going to work on two plays.

He designed two plays.

I remember one was called Box.

They had names, the plays.

And then, so he started having all the girls come

to one of the gyms in the department of something

that had a gym.

He and his assistant, Reggie Love,

they started running these girls through drills.

So they’d have practice on Wednesday

if there wasn’t like a G Summit or a national crisis,

you know, when he was in town.

And then he would be at the games on Sunday

and they got good.

But imagine what that game was like for the other team,


Because it was Sasha and it was also Maisie Biden,

the Biden granddaughters are good friends with the girl.

Maisie is actually an amazing athlete.

So on any given game day, and we would all go.

So now you’re playing against the Vipers.

Who’s in the gym?

The president, the first lady, the vice president,

the second lady, all of our kids, their parents,

and all of our secret service.

There was an ambulance outside.

There were helicopters flying over.

There were snipers at the door.

And then like Joe would be yelling like,

pass Maisie, block her.

And you could see the other parents were all like quiet,

like, what’s going on here?

This doesn’t seem fair.

Oh my gosh.

And they won the championship.

They won the championship.

It became a thing.

So that went a little long.

That was being able to, for us,

for him to be able to be engaged in that way

was a beautiful thing.

All right.

We’ve got, I’ve got so much to talk about,

but we have questions they want us to get to.

So I’m going to get to this.

They know that you’re going to win the championship.

You’re going to win the championship.

You’re going to win the championship.

You’re going to win the championship.

Let’s get to this.

Daisy from New York has this question for you, Ms. Obama.

I just graduated from college

and I’m starting my career in New York City.

What advice do you give your daughters

when it comes to dating, money,

and prioritizing their mental health?

Ooh, okay, quick.

Take your time.

You know, so many young people are rushing

to the other end of what?


You know, what’s waiting for you?


And it’s going to be there.

Be patient with yourself.

And think broadly about what your life can be.

I just tell my kids there’s, as I was just saying,

there’s so many ways to be happy.

There’s so many ways to find joy in life.

And you’re just starting the journey.

You’re in the experimental phase.

You know, a lot of kids leave college

and they feel kind of lost

because they’ve done the thing

that they were supposed to do

and now they’re at the end of it.

And it’s like, oh my God,

there wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

It’s just life.

And so now you’re going to start to explore.

You’re going to try on jobs.

You’re going to not like them.

You’re going to learn from that stuff.

You may be trying on things until you’re 40 years old.

I am still becoming.

I have not stopped evolving.

So don’t get frustrated with the learning process.

And because there’s time,

make room for your mental health.

Prioritize it.

Eat right.

Are you eating vegetables?

This is what I’m going to tell you.

Eat your vegetables.

Get some sleep.

Nine times out of 10, if you’re dragging,

it’s because you’ve been up since 3 a.m. every night,

partying with your friends and then going to work.

Did you go to sleep?

You just might need a nap.

Ladies and gentlemen, Michelle Obama.

Thank you, Hoda.

♪ When I wake up in the morning, love ♪

Oh, I love Hoda.

I thought Hoda really shared a beautiful part of herself

in her story when she was so open about becoming a parent.

And while our stories are different,

there’s so much we share.

Because when I think about my own light,

my girls, my daughters are right at the center of it too.

When they’re doing great, the world feels great.

And when they’re not, well,

everything just feels out of place.

Every parent will tell you the same thing.

That’s why it was so meaningful to connect with Hoda

and our fabulous audience members about this challenging,

sometimes maddening, but ultimately beautiful experience

of being parents.

What a great conversation.

Thank you all for listening.

Talk to you again soon.

♪ A lovely daily, daily, daily, daily. ♪

This has been a Higher Ground and Audible original

produced by Higher Ground and Little Everywhere.

Executive produced by Dan Fearman

and Mukta Mohan for Higher Ground

and Jane Marie for Little Everywhere.

Audible executive producers Zola Mashiriki

and Nick D’Angelo.

Audible co-producers Keith Wooten and Glenn Pogue.

Produced by Mike Richter

with additional production by Joyce Sanford,

Dan Gallucci, Nancy Golombiski, and Lisa Polak.

With production support from Andrew Eapin,

Jenna Levin, and Julia Murray.

Location recording by Jodi Elf.

Special thanks to Melissa Winter, Jill Van Lokeren,

Crystal Carson, Alex Maysealy, Hayley Ewing,

Marone Haile-Meskel, Sierra Tyler, Carl Ray,

Njeri Radway, Meredith Koop, Sarah Corbett,

Tyler Lechtenberg, and Asra Najam.

The theme song is Unstoppable by Sia.

The closing song is Lovely Day by Bill Withers.

Audible head of US content, Rachel Giazza.

Head of Audible Studios, Zola Mashiriki.

Copyright 2023 by Higher Ground Audio, LLC.

Sound recording copyright 2023 by Higher Ground Audio, LLC.

Voice-over by Novena Carmel.

This episode was recorded live at the Met in Philadelphia.

♪ A lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day ♪

♪ Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day ♪