How Michelle Obama Really Felt About Sasha And Malia's Choice To Live Together

Malia Obama and Sasha Obama reunited in Cali after going their separate ways for college, proving that their sweet sisterly bond is stronger than ever. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's older daughter Malia graduated from Harvard in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual and Environmental Studies and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She's already snagged a writing credit on Donald Glover's series "Swarm," and we have our fingers crossed that we'll someday get to see Malia and Sasha showing off their bold styles at red-carpet events.

Sasha initially enrolled in the University of Michigan after graduating from high school in 2019, but she later transferred to the University of California. This made it possible for the Obama sisters to become roomies, a development that we got to learn Michelle's opinion about. In a 2022 appearance on "Today," the former first lady said of her daughters, "There was a period of time when they couldn't stand each other." However, she wasn't concerned about Sasha and Malia's old sibling rivalry resurfacing when she learned that they were moving in together. In fact, she had to work hard to contain her glee.

Sasha and Malia Obama proved their mom right

Michelle Obama told "Today" hosts Jenna Bush and Hoda Kotb that she used to talk to her daughters about the unique bond that they shared back when she had to play referee for their sisterly spats. Few other people in the world know what it's like growing up in the White House and having to be tailed by a Secret Service detail everywhere you go, after all. 

There's also the increased scrutiny that comes with being the children of one of the most powerful men in the world and the enormous pressure to be on your best behavior; you can even make headlines for looking understandably unimpressed at a turkey-pardoning ceremony. "I said, 'You wait, you are going to wake up one day and you're going to look over at that other person, and you're going to know that you two share something very unique,' especially given what they've been through," Michelle recalled.

Sasha Obama and Malia Obama gave Michelle one of the greatest gifts children can give their mother when they proved her right by deciding to live together, but she didn't gloat. "You try not to react too much because it's like, you don't want to go, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so happy for you!' because then they think, 'Well, maybe this is not a good thing if my mom likes it,'" Michelle explained to People.

Michelle Obama worried about Malia being on her own

After Malia Obama graduated from Harvard, her mom couldn't help but worry. Michelle Obama knew that her daughter would face unique challenges in navigating the world as a Black woman, and it's painful for a parent to imagine their child encountering racism. "I'd like to be more excited to know that as she goes out and gets her first apartment and rides the subway somewhere, that they don't make assumptions about her based on the color of her skin. That she's not at risk out there in the world as an adult because she's a Black woman," Michelle said on "CBS This Morning."

While parents never get the luxury of feeling like their kids are protected from the evils of the world, it had to put Michelle's mind at ease somewhat when Sasha Obama moved in with her older sister. "To see them in that place where they're one another's support systems and they've got each other's backs, it's the thing that a mother would want," she said on "Today." 

The sisters also keep in touch with their parents, which is another small comfort for Michelle. She told People that their dad, Barack Obama, regularly uses the family text chain and Sasha and Malia's emails to offer them unsolicited advice about whatever worry is making him anxious at the time, such as making sure that they know what to do during an earthquake.

Sasha Obama and Malia Obama cleaned up their act

When Sasha Obama and Malia Obama temporarily moved back in with their parents in 2021, Michelle Obama revealed that they made pretty terrible houseguests. "They're messy," she complained on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Because of this, the sisters were always losing things and replacing the lost items with their parents' stuff. But when Sasha and Malia moved in together sans parents, they decided that they wanted to keep their own space nice and tidy. "One night I was talking to Sasha over FaceTime but quickly got distracted by Malia, who was moving around in the background, running a Swiffer duster over a shelf," Michelle writes in her memoir "The Light We Carry" (via Newsweek). "It looked so adult." Michelle did admit that Malia's dusting skills needed a little work.

Michelle was also surprised when her daughters invited her and Barack Obama over for drinks one night and requested that their parents use coasters. This is because she could never get the girls to use coasters growing up, even when they were setting their drinks down on tables that their parents did not own inside the White House. "We were at their table now. They owned it, and they were protecting it," Michelle writes. "Clearly, they had learned."