Barack Obama has something in common with 5% of Americans over the age of 18. He lives with his mother in-law. Why Do Men Get Married?
And while the leader of the free world is not one to badmouth said mother in-law (who assisted with childcare duties during the presidentail campaign and who was brought along to Washington D.C. to do the same), he is obviously absent from an article in yesterday's New York Times about Marian Robinson's life in the White House.
The piece, which opens with a quote from the first mother in-law's son, Craig Robinson, about how she had to be dragged "kicking and screaming" away from her home in Chicago, goes on to explain, in the words of Michelle Obama and Robinson herself, how quickly she took a liking to life in the Executive Mansion — which includes lunches with famous people, dinners at fancy restaurants, and concerts at the Kennedy Center (viewed from the presidential box). Mother's Day Wishlist
"She has a very full social life," the First Lady says, "So much so that sometimes we have to plan our schedule around her."
But while Robinson, her children, and even the blue bloods in Washington D.C. are quoted in the article saying that Robinson is "perfectly comfortable with her new life," one can't help but wonder how the president feels. Does he face the same mother in-law-related frustrations that the rest of us do?
And so, inspired by Barack Obama and his particular situation, we've come up with a list of the pros and cons of living with one's mother in-law.
1. Help with the kids. Marian Robinson looks over Sasha and Malia as they do everything from their homework to Easter egg hunts. If your in-laws are trustworthy and willing, they may be able to serve as home-based baby sitters as well.
2. The chance to keep an eye on the elders. Some in-laws, like Robinson, run 50-yard dashes and take yoga classes in their spare time. Others suffer from slip-and-fall accidents and forget to take their heart medicine. Cohabitating with the in-laws means you can help keep them safe, if that's what they need.
3. More time with people you like. Some people really like their in-laws. Really.