Fatherhood is Obama's favourite job
Washington: US President Barack Obama says fatherhood has been one of his most rewarding jobs, even when it meant taking up the role of a coach for his little daughter Sasha's basketball team.
In his weekly radio and Internet address to the nation ahead of Father's Day, the US President reflected on his own role as a father of two young daughters while recalling the pain of growing up without a father himself.
He called fatherhood "my hardest, but always my most rewarding job" though he also acknowledged that given his job the responsibility of bringing up his two children has fallen greatly on his wife Michelle.
"I haven't always succeeded, of course in the past, my job has kept me away from home more often than I liked... and the burden of raising two young girls would sometimes fall too heavily on Michelle," he said.
Obama said as part of parenting, he had even taken up the job of coaching his younger daughter Sasha's basketball team on Sundays and hoped such experiences in the long run would help define the 10-year-old as a person.
"On Sundays, we'd get the team together to practice, and a couple of times, I'd help coach the games," Obama noted for the first time, in his weekly radio and Internet address which this week marked Father's Day.
"It was a lot of fun -- even if Sasha rolled her eyes when her dad voiced his displeasure with the (referees)," Obama said.
"I was hopeful that in the years to come, she'd look back on experiences like these as the ones that helped define her as a person -- and as a parent herself," he said.
Obama also recalled missing his own father's presence as a child when he was brought up by his mother and grandparents. Obama's father had left the family when he was two years old.
Sympathising with families in the present scenario when the economy is down and said his administration had made fixing the economy a top priority through efforts like strengthening community and faith-based groups, and partnering with businesses to provide environments where families can spend time together, Politico said.
"And above all, children need our unconditional love ? whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough," he said.
He also urged fathers to remember their "personal responsibility to do right by our kids" by encouraging healthy lifestyles and spending more time with their children.