That's what President Obama told a Virginia high school student Tuesday who asked how Obama's life had changed since becoming the nation's chief executive.
"When you announce that you're running for president, a lot more people know you," the president said at a gathering with students before his nationally televised speech to the nation's schoolchildren, "Then, slowly, you get Secret Service. Then, when you win the nomination, you get more Secret Service. Then when you become president, everything just shuts down."
"I can't just do things normally like I used to do them," Obama said of the gilded cage he now lives in as president. "I'm inside what's called 'the bubble,'" Obama told the students, "I can't just do things on the spur of the moment and that's actually the toughest thing about being president because you want to just interact with people normally."
But living in the White House has its perks, Obama also told the students.
"I've got this really nice home office," he said, "called the Oval Office and it means that I don't have a commute."
Because of his 'home office,' Obama told the students, he actually has more time with his family than before moving to the White House.
"I'm spending a lot more time with my kids now, and my wife now and having dinner with them every night. That's a lot better now than it was before when I was traveling a lot and commuting back and forth between D.C. and Chicago."
Obama also told the students that he enjoys the added responsibility of being president.