When I first met Ivanka in a baby music class with her daughter Arabella and my son Griffin, she was, like all of us, in the throes of early parenting. A friend organized this “pre-crawlers” class for a handful of working moms before we headed to the office for the day.
In between Itsy Bitsy Spider and “tummy time” we’d commiserate that we were lost and just making it up as we went along. At the end, we’d slip on our shoes on and head out – some back home, some to offices and Ivanka to her her position directing the real estate concerns of Trump International. No big deal.
She recalls of the time, “I was extremely tired, stressed and unable to find balance.” She credits her husband Jared Kushner with talking her off the ledge. “The reality is that a lot of people do this [parenting], and most people not too terribly,” she says. “At the time, of course, I was highly dismissive of all his advice!”
Fast forward 2 years and twice the kids and twice the professional commitments – she juggles essentially two day jobs, one at the family business and one growing her namesake lifestyle brand, which sells everything from footwear to fragrances to furniture. New baby Joseph arrived this past October. But the stress is gone. “We’ve found a nice rhythm,” she says. “There’s something civilized about having at least one child that’s not in diapers.” Take one look at her Instagram – she’s a changed woman. You can’t fake this kind of confidence.
Time passes, it gets easier, and we all find a few tricks that work. Here, Ivanka shares hers. Take note! — Rachel
For household projects I have to do anyway, I try to include Arabella. She helped me design the nursery. She “picked” the paint color – from colors I already liked. And she chose the sheets – I was going to buy both sets anyway!
I’m a big believer that kids love familiarity and traditions. So we have “anchors” – every morning, I’m the first person she sees. We play, we eat breakfast, we’ll read our papers. Me, the newspaper, she, National Geographic Kids. Most of the week I succeed in getting home to spend 6:30-7:30 with her before bedtime. We cuddle, read, and I chase her around the house. Then I go back to work or I go out.
Amazon for household items and groceries. Yahoo Weather because it’s beautiful and functional. Artkive to keep pictures of all of Arabella’s art projects. You can arrange albums by child. I love it.
With each child, I’ve shaved minutes off my morning routine. I don’t blow-dry my hair (it air dries as the kids get ready) or use any other products than dry shampoo. I also don’t wear much makeup.
Every Friday we prepare a proper 3-course meal. I cook enough that we eat it the rest of the weekend! We keep Arabella’s play kitchen in our kitchen, so she cooks at her stove and I cook at mine. Arabella joins us for the beginning, but then it’s just me and Jared.
I don’t take her out to a nice restaurant and expect her to sit still for two hours. She’s even-tempered, but she’s two. Instead, we’ll go to museums, at least she can walk around and explore.
Once a week Arabella comes to my office for a Wednesday lunch date. She loves it. I keep a doll in my office that joins us for lunch. She enjoys visiting “office baby” as much as she does me. I order her salmon and she devours the bread rolls and I let her have “pink” (strawberry) ice cream for dessert.
Toddler clothes: Zara clothing and Ivanka Trump kids footwear (launching this Spring) Nursery decor: As impractical as it is I wanted an-all white nursery! I just painted the walls pink but I loved it while it lasted. Beauty: Tammy Fender organic skin care products for me, The Honest Company products for Arabella and Joseph. Stroller: Bugaboo and BabyJogger Pump: Medela Carrier: BabyBjorn Bottles: Born Free Shampoo & Bodywash: The Honest Company Diaper bag: Skip Hop Bibs: BabyBjorn Diaper pail: Dekor Swaddle: Summer Infant