Michelle Obama Altered One Rule In The White House For Her Daughters

Every family that has entered the White House made changes to feel more at home in the iconic landmark. The Obamas were no exception, and when they resided in the White House, Michelle Obama made sure to adjust one rule for her daughter's sake.

In 2008, Barack, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, had their lives turned upside down. Barack's victory in the presidential election enabled him and his family to embrace the longstanding tradition of residing in the White House throughout his presidency. At the time, Sasha and Malia were just 7 and 10 years old. When the girls made the move from Chicago to Washington D.C., they had two experts willing to show them the ropes of the famous home. In 2008, George W. Bush's daughters, Laura and Jenna, showed the Obama girls the ropes around the White House. Michelle later revealed on the "Today" show just how much their welcome meant to them. The former first lady shared, "You [Jenna] came in from wherever you were especially to meet with them, and they knew that. It made a difference in their entire experience."

It was definitely a big adjustment for the girls to move, but for the next eight years, Sasha and Malia would call the White House their home. To make their time in the White House more comfortable, Michelle made a major adjustment to the staff dress code the minute the Obamas stepped foot inside the Washington D.C. landmark.

Michelle Obama got rid of a certain dress code in the White House

Yes, Michelle Obama may be a former first lady and a significant political figure, but her first priority will always be her daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama. In 2018, Michelle explained to CNBC, "I said I'm 'mom-in-chief,' and a lot of women ridiculed me for that, but the first, most important job I have is who my girls are going to be." Even when the Obamas entered the White House in 2008, Michelle wanted to ensure her daughters were raised in a welcoming environment. That's why she decided to enforce a rule ditching a dress code among staff in the White House.

According to Page Six, Michelle revealed in her Netflix documentary, "Becoming," that she changed the White House butlers' traditional uniform of wearing tuxedos. Michelle shared, "When I went to visit [the White House] and have tea with Laura Bush, there were butlers there — fully dressed in tuxedos which they wore all the time," she continued, "Most of them were African-American or Latino, most of the time older men." This didn't sit right with Michelle, especially because she and her family are African-American. She explained, "I didn't want them [Sasha and Malia] growing up thinking that grown African-American men served them in tuxedos. The truth was that some of those men were my uncles ... and I didn't want my daughters to grow up with that image. So we had to change the dress code."

Michelle Obama enforced a handful of rules for Sasha and Malia

Besides the butlers, Michelle Obama also adjusted the duties of the White House housekeepers to teach Malia and Sasha Obama a lesson. According to Page Six, the former first lady explained in her documentary "Becoming" that she pleaded with housekeepers to have her daughters make their own beds, which Malia and Sasha resisted at first. Michelle said, "Of course, the girls were like: 'They make your bed.' And I was like, 'I'm the first lady. And I have a degree.'" So, housekeepers crossed Sasha and Malia's beds off their to-do list. This was the first of many rules the former first lady put in place for Sasha and Malia to abide by.

In 2012, journalist Jodi Kantor revealed to The New York Times the list of rules Michelle created for Sasha and Malia while in the White House, and some may be surprising. For one, technology was a big no-no. It was only accessible to the girls on weekends unless, of course, they had to use it for school projects. In addition, the girls were forced to take up two sports. Michelle would choose one, and Sasha and Malia would have a say in the second option. Although it's unclear whether these rules stayed in place throughout their entire tenure in the White House, it's clear Michelle wanted her kids to grow up with as normal of a life as possible.