Dr. Jill is a working college English professor who recently spoke to Parents on advice to mothers experiencing burnout while also reflecting on parenting her own children.
Dr. Biden shares daughter Ashley, 39, with her husband, President Joe Biden, and also helped raise his sons, Hunter and the late Beau, after President Biden’s first wife Neilia and daughter Naomi died in a 1972 crash.
“When we got married [in 1977], I was unprepared for raising boys. I’m the oldest of five girls. And Beau and Hunter truly were rough-and-tumble, sweaty, messy boys,” she says.
“… When our daughter Ashley came along, our tastes were more aligned. But she was also just as stubborn and passionate as I was.”
Dr. Jill revealed how she always wanted two things in life: “a marriage that was strong, loving and full of laughter, and a career” and President Biden offered just that.
“When I needed to write a paper, he would take the kids somewhere to give me a quiet house,” she recalls. “He didn’t expect me to set aside my career when he became vice president, or now.”
And when it comes to women struggling to find a balance, Dr. Biden was quick to offer support saying: “… You have to find moments for yourself. You have to. We moms spend so much time questioning ourselves — at least I did. We need time to just quiet those voices in our head.”
The first lady continued her encouragement, gifting her fellow mothers with words of empowerment.
“Maybe you’ve made mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner one too many times. Maybe your temper is shorter than usual. Maybe you’re too tired to be the ‘fun mom.’ It’s okay,” says Dr. Jill. “You’re not failing. You’re strong. You’re resilient. And you’re doing your best to carry your family through one of the most difficult times in memory. We’re going to do everything we can to get through this, together.”
In their very first interview as president and first lady, the Bidens shared how their marriage of 43 years has only grown stronger.
“Jill came along at a really important point and put my family back together,” says President Biden, 78, amid the conversation. “She’s the glue that held it together, and I knew that I wanted to marry her shortly after I met her. … It’s not that we don’t fight and argue sometimes. I’m just lucky.”
“Well,” adds Dr. Biden, “after 43 years of marriage there’s really not that much more to fight about.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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