Michelle Obama tells Kelly Clarkson why she loves living the 'empty nester' life
via The Kelly Clarkson Show

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was clear about who's had a tougher time dealing with their daughters, Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, leaving home to go to college.

"Oh, my husband," she said of former President Barack Obama. "He was weeping and ... he still is like, 'They left me!'" Michelle was totally ready for them to go off to school. "I was like, 'Kick them out the door,'' she joked.

Malia is currently a senior at Harvard and Sasha is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.

However, once the Obamas started getting used to the next phase in their lives, COVID-19 hit and the kids had to move back home and study online.


Now, Michelle has to fight to keep track of her makeup and clothes while Barack simply enjoys his daughters' company.

Michelle Obama Says Barack Obama Is Having A Tough Time As An Empty Nester www.youtube.com

"It's like, 'Get out of my closet!'" she said. "And he's also a man, so they're not borrowing his makeup. They're not stealing his, you know. I can't find anything with these little women in my house. They're always sneaking into my room, and I'm like, 'What are you doing? What are you taking? Put that back!'"

So, once again, Michelle couldn't wait for her kids to go back to school. "I'm like, 'When does school get back in session? When can they go back to those dorms?" Michelle said.

Michelle's perspective on her children is a bit different than her husband's. She played a more active role in their upbringing because Barack was busy performing the most difficult job in the world. "I spent all my time with them, he was President," she told Kelly Clarkson.

The Obamas walk their dog, Bo.via Wikimedia Commons

Last year, Michelle told Oprah Winfrey that raising two children in the Washington limelight was no easy task, so sending them off to college was an incredible relief.

"Parenting takes up a lot of emotional space … I put a lot of time and energy into parenting these girls but right now we are trying to make their lives normal — so that means weekends were a pain," she said.

"We had to worry about what parties they were going to, whether there was alcohol, I had to know who the parents were, so every weekend for me was hard," Michelle said.

"And they're gone, thank God," the "Becoming" author joked.

The fact that Barack Obama has suffered a greater feeling of loss than Michelle after their kids left the nest isn't a rare thing. Studies show that somewhere between 20 to 25% of parents get Empty Nest Syndrome (ENS), after their kids move out, and it affects men almost as often as women.

People with ENS experience a profound feeling of loss after their children have left the home. It can lead to depression, alcoholism, identity crisis, and marital problems.

One of the best ways for people to overcome the loss of their children at home is to get out and start new projects and the Obamas have excelled at that. Barack just launched a new podcast with Bruce Springsteen called, "Renegades: Born in the USA" and Michelle has a new children's TV called "Waffles + Mochi."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less