The Obamas, much like the rest of the world, are figuring out ways to keep busy and cohabitate during the coronavirus pandemic.
Michelle Obama, 56, opened up in a phone call to Ellen DeGeneres on Monday about how she and former President Barack Obama, 58, and daughters Malia, 21, and Sasha, 18, are spending their time together at home. The key is sticking to their routine.
"We're just trying to structure our days," the former first lady said. "Everyone's here – the girls are back since colleges are online, so they're off in their respective rooms doing their online classes. I think Barack is – I don't know where he is. He was on the phone on a conference call; I just got finished with a conference call... We're just trying to keep a routine going, but we've also got a little Netflix and chilling happening."
DeGeneres jokingly expressed her "condolences" to Obama, who had recently talked about enjoying being an empty-nester with Malia at Harvard and Sasha at the University of Michigan.
"I know, I shouldn't have boasted about that," Obama said. "The gods were getting me back. They're back!"
"This is like no other time in history, particularly for our kids, who are so used to being occupied and stimulated all the time," she added. "There's some good and bad that goes with it. I feel for all the folks who are going to suffer because of what's going to happen to the economy and we have to be mindful about what we're going to do to support those folks when this quarantine is over and people are looking at what's left of their businesses and their lives, and that is a negative."
Obama continued: "But on the positive side, I know for us, it's forced us to continue to sit down with each other, have real conversations, really ask questions and figure out how to keep ourselves occupied without just TV or computers. It's a good exercise in reminding us that we just don't need a lot of the stuff that we have. When times are bad, having each other, having your health (is most important). We can do with a lot less and I think that's an important lesson I want my kids to understand... Be grateful for what you have and be ready to share it when the time comes."