It's pretty much impossible for a First Spouse to maintain a normal life - continue her career smoothly - and trying to create a tiny bit of normalcy for her young kids is going to require heroic effort. It really doesn't mean anything beyond that.Well, actually, it does mean something more than that.
Here's Charli Carpenter, who is an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts-Amherst:
To those for whom breaking the gendered glass ceiling would have felt as or more transformative than seeing a US President of color, this "Mother-in-Chief" approach could seem like a regressive subordination of women's political equality to racial equality. By this standard, Palin, with all her flaws, would have been a better feminist role model - to say nothing of Hillary Clinton, who would have combined a gender-egalitarian agenda with her trail-blazing role as the first female Commander-in-Chief. By comparison, Michelle Obama may seem at first glance to be defining her role no differently than Laura Bush, a help-meet rather than political partner. Perhaps this is a throwback to an earlier age. Perhaps feminism has been traded for racial equality in this election.Exit Question: Would liberals give a new conservative First Lady as much deference on the decision to stay home with the kids, or would she be demonized as a religious right "fem bot" hell-bent on consigning women to hard labor in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant?
Think again. The fact that people have assumed that Michelle would take on a formal political role as first lady only underscores how normative women's political participation is today. Her unwillingness to prioritize that over her duties to her children is not a step backward but a step forward for the feminist movement: what Michelle is modeling is not indifference to politics, but policy attention to work-life balance, the missing element in the first feminist revolution [source].