In a "Today" show interview that aired on Tuesday, President Obama said, had he decided against running for a second presidential term, his family would have been "fine" with the choice.
"Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, 'You know, guys, I want to do something different,' they'd be fine," Mr. Obama told NBC's Ann Curry. "They're not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president."
He said that he was sure serving just one term was an option he had considered.
"I'm sure there are days where I say that one term is enough,'' Obama said. "What keeps me going is a belief that the work that we started in 2009 is not yet complete.''
"If family is doing well and Michelle is still putting up with me, then I've got enough energy to keep doing the work that I'm doing," he said.
He added that the first lady would have embraced his decision to take on a job that was "a little less stressful" if she "didn't think that what we're doing is worthwhile in moving the country forward."
The president also spoke about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in the interview, praising what he called her "incredible spirit" and describing her recovery as miraculous.
Giffords was shot in the head last January and continues to recover from critical injuries.
"She's still got some recovery to do, but what an incredible spirit she is,'' he said. "It's a genuine miracle to see where she was a few months ago and where she is now."