Despite hectic schedules, White House life has actually been a calming influence on the Obamas, according to First Lady of Fashion (and the U.S.) Michelle.
Michelle says living in the residence has been a particularly positive experience for her daughters Malia 10, and Sasha, 7. When it comes to life in the Executive Mansion, the First Lady calls it "the greatest single benefit for us as a family."
After all, now they see each other every day, which hasn't been the case for most of the kids' lives, especially during the grueling presidential campaign.
"It's rare [for most families] to have dad at home for dinner, to see him in the mornings, to have him there when you go to bed at night, just to be able to have the casual conversations that happen about life at dinnertime," Michelle tells Time.
"That's been terrific, and more normal than we've had for a very long time."
On maintaining perspective and putting family first, Mrs. Obama says, "We stay 100 percent in their world. Their lives are very disconnected from this [place]. You can do that with kids when they are young, because they just don't care."
The President of the United States agrees.
"Among the many wonderful things about being President," Barack Obama tells Time, "the best is that I get to live above the office and see Michelle and the kids every day. I see them in the morning. We have dinner every night. It sustains me."
He also takes work breaks for what he terms "Michelle time," when retreats from his office to the residence. Every now and then, his wife shows up in the West Wing with family dog Bo and/or the kids for "a brief but lively interruption."
"And if the kids really, really need to see him, they can," Michelle says. "They're free to walk in. They're welcome wherever they want to go around here."
Click to enlarge more Michelle Obama pictures from the article ...