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Parenting

10 Quotes That Show Michelle Obama Is The Mom America Needs

The "Becoming" author and former first lady shares her wisdom on success, failure and living your best life.

Michelle Obama, former first lady and forever mom-in-chief, has long been a source of inspiration, encouragement and kindly worded tough love. She’s basically the mother figure we’ve needed.

Michelle Obama, former first lady and author of "Becoming," has wisdom that seems especially important on Mother's Day.
Michelle Obama, former first lady and author of "Becoming," has wisdom that seems especially important on Mother's Day.

For Mother’s Day, we gathered 10 pearls of wisdom Obama has doled out over the years, from dealing with bullies, to dealing with partners, to dealing with work. Like any good mother, she’s teaching us how to be better human beings and how to live happier, healthier lives.

On Education
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“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education … then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” Final speech as first lady, 2017
On Bullies
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“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high." Democratic National Convention, 2016
On Choosing The Right Partner
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“Reach for partners that make you better. Do not bring people into your life who weigh you down. Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt.” Address to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson students, 2011
On Choosing The Right Friends
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“You have to fill your bucket with positive energy -- and if you have people hanging around you that are bringing you down and not lifting you up, whether that’s your ‘boo’ or your best friend -- you have to learn how to push these people to the side." The Power of an Education Girl panel, 2015
On Success
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“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Democratic National Convention, 2012
On Failure
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“Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail." The Power of an Educated Girl panel, 2015
On Self-Care
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“We need to do a better job putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list." Let Girls Learn event, 2016
On Believing In Yourself
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“You don’t have to be somebody different to be important. You are important in your own right.” Let Girls Learn trip, 2016
On Dreaming Big
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“The only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.” Democratic National Convention keynote address, 2008
On Making Good Decisions
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“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t." excerpt from "Becoming"