‘I knew I could do both’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden says she had no doubts that she could continue teaching as a first lady, and that she overcame the skepticism she could handle both tasks by instructing her staff to “figure it out.”

In a new interview in the September issue of Real Simple magazineThe first lady describes how she uses Post-it notes to manage her large family, and gives marriage advice to newlyweds hoping to celebrate 45 years of marriage as she and President Joe Biden did on June 17.

Biden is the first first lady continuing her career outside the White House.

“I think people were a bit skeptical. Could I really do it, since I was the first to try it?” she said. “But I knew I wanted to teach.”

She told her staff, ‘This is what I want to do. We have to figure it out.’

Biden continues to teach English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College, where she taught during her husband’s eight years as vice president. Her staff then also doubted whether she could teach and serve as a second lady, but she succeeded.

“I saw it worked then and I knew we could figure out how to do it now,” she said.

Biden doesn’t like to use “juggling” or “balancing” to describe how she handles her responsibilities.

“You can’t do anything haphazardly,” she said. “You have to have a purpose while doing it, and it has to be organized. That’s the key.”

To that end, she relies on Post-it notes to manage her family gatherings and avoid having to explain things over and over. She pastes instructions — such as “fill glasses with ice” or “light candles” — on her kitchen cabinets so that the family who arrives immediately knows how to help.

“Everything is set up so that when someone comes in, they do what they want to do,” she said.

The first lady also uses post-it notes to communicate with the president.

“If I want to send Joe a message, I put one on his mirror,” she said. “It can be a nice ‘I missed you’ or ‘I hope you get whatever you’re working on’.”

She said it took her and the president a lot of work to be married for 45 years. Both were previously married.

Joe Biden, 79, lost his first wife and daughter when the car she was driving collided with a truck just before Christmas 1972 in Delaware. His two young sons were seriously injured. Jill Biden, 71, was divorced from her first husband.

“You have to work in every relationship, but especially in marriage. It’s not always 50/50,” she said. “Sometimes you lean on him, sometimes he leans on you. Sometimes he is super busy and I have to pick up a lot from it, or vice versa.

“The goal is that we are not in the same place at the same time, so that we can count on each other when needed,” she added.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.