Michelle Obama Believes ‘Leaning In’ Does Not Always Work

December 2, 2018, 9:30 PM UTC

Michelle Obama was honest with her readers during an appearance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night for her Becoming book tour.

The former first lady spoke of work-life balance and whether there is a way to succeed in a career while keeping a marriage picture perfect.

“That whole ‘so you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time,” Obama said. “That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time,” The Cut reported.

The crowd went wild, prompting Obama to apologize for her swearing: “I forgot where I was for a moment!”

The term “lean in” came about when Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg published her book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead in 2013. Sandberg pushed women to be assertive leaders rather than just followers. In 2017, four years after doling out the advice, Sandberg said women weren’t much better off.

Obama steered the conversation to her life growing up—where she was not given much support on her road to continuing her education. One high school guidance counselor told Obama, who would go on to graduate from Princeton University, that she wasn’t “Princeton material,” reported The Cut.

Obama has more dates on her tour, but has decided to rearrange some of them to attend former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.