The Obamas - A Mother-in-Law in the White House

Filed under: Celeb Parents

barack Obama

Of all the images that came out of Barack Obama's November 4th victory, one of my favorites is the one of him and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, sitting on the couch watching returns ... her hand in his. Their bond was so clear in that one photo -- not in-laws, but family.

During the Presidential campaign, Mrs. Robinson filled in the parenting gaps while Barack and Michelle Obama were on the road. And now, it seems, she'll be following the family to Washington to help daughters Malia and Sasha settle in to their new lives.

Though I'll never live in the White House, I can understand why the Obamas lean so heavily on Mrs. Robinson, why they'd ask her to move out of Chicago, a city she's lived in their whole lives. She's not just reliable childcare, she's Grandma.

The new First Family(click thumbnails to view gallery)

TogetherLooking aheadMaliaSashaTogetherness

Our primary babysitter has always been my mom, and if I was moving across the country, I'd do everything but pack her in my suitcase to make sure she came along with us. Say the word "Grandma" in my house, and two little pairs of eyes light right up. Both Barack and Michelle likely take comfort in the fact that when they aren't with their girls, Mrs. Robinson -- someone who knows them and loves them like their parents -- is.

Not all daughters can lean on their mothers so heavily, but when a relationship is strong -- without head games or agendas -- it works. My mom respects our role as parents, follows through on behavior issues while my kids are at her house, and is my sounding board for all of life's little issues.

There's no doubt that sharing his home with his mother-in-law will make Barack Obama the butt of more than a few jokes, but the Obamas have made no secret of their commitment to family, and I think this decision is evidence that the entire family is making the care of those two little girls a priority.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.