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She DID say from the beginning that being Mom-in-chief was Job 1, so no surprise that first lady Michelle Obama would be the cover mom for the August issue of Parenting as her husband's re-election campaign goes to full throttle.

The cover features Mrs. O sitting with an adorable kid (not Malia, 14, or Sasha, 11), wearing a colorblock teal-and-yellow dress, topped with a coral cardigan. Inside, in the interview with editor Ana Connery, Obama talks about family traditions, her personal workout routine, her own choices for healthy eating and what she believes is the biggest challenge facing parents today: Teaching kids the need for service in an increasingly "dehumanized world."

The magazine is on newsstands today.

She says sports are as important for her girls as homework and friends. "It's important to learn how to compete, to develop a skill...[how to lose]...and how to work as a team. I want them to learn how to sweat, how to win gracefully and lose with dignity."

She loves having her mother, "First Grandma" Marian Robinson, living with them in the White House: "She's got the Grandma thing where they get away with a lot more than we did (growing up), but ultimately she cares about their development into good people as much as I do."

She tries to convey the real definition of beauty: "Barack and I always tell our girls that you can be smart, you can be beautiful, but if you don't know how to treat people, if you don't walk into a room and say hello, if you don't say thank you, if you're not looking out for the girl who's sitting alone by herself...then who are you?"

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