In an expansive two-part interview with PEOPLE this week, Ivanka Trump is opening up about balancing her many businesses, raising three children with her husband Jared Kushner and dealing with the demands of her father Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign.
Ivanka Trump has every reason to be tired.
Between raising her three kids,Arabella Rose, 5, Joseph Frederick, 2, and 3-month-old Theodore James with husbandJared Kushner, running the Trump Organization alongside her brothers, helming her own personal brand of Ivanka Trump shoes, diamonds and more, a website devoted to helping working women and consulting on her father Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, “My life is chaotic right now,” says Ivanka, 34. “I’m exhausted 90 percent of the time.”
“Being a mother is the most rewarding experience, but also the most wild and stressful.”
On the home front, Ivanka says she and Kushner, 35, are still getting used to life as a family of five.
“We’re acclimating to our new reality of having three babies at home. So it always takes a little while to adjust and find your family’s new rhythm,” she says.
“Jared is really incredibly hands on as a dad. For him what’s most important is his family. So we work really hard during the week and we really prioritize weekends for just being sort of reconnecting as a family. It’s very seldom that we’ll have a commitment on a Saturday or a Sunday. It’s really about us being together.”
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On the weekend, Ivanka likes to get out of the city to the family‘s country house.
“I love gardening with the kids, so that’s something I have a lot of fun with,” she says. “We produce a lot of produce. We’ve got tomatoes, strawberries. It’s so much fun, I never grew up doing this.”
Yes, she cooks it up herself.
“One of the things [my husband and I] enjoy the most is cooking: I love to cook and he loves to eat,” says Ivanka, who specializes in soups and, due to her daughter Arabella‘s sweet tooth, baking.
“I always viewed a meal as a failure if people were still hungry by dessert because I would make so many different things, but Arabella loves dessert so we now start backwards,” she says with a laugh. “And she helps me in the kitchen. Baking is a fun thing to do with kids because there’s a lot of mixing and pouring and measuring. And that’s something we enjoy doing together.”
Of course Arabella and Joseph are still getting used to their little brother.
“Arabella was incredibly excited about Theodore when I was pregnant with him, and Joseph had zero interest. In fact, he would tell me that he did not want a baby. I was very nervous about him and he’s really a mama’s boy, so I was very nervous as to how he would react to the competition in the house,” Ivanka confesses.
But now that Theo is 3 months old, “Joseph is now more interested in Theodore than Arabella is,” Ivanka says. “He’s always asking to kiss him. ‘Can I hug my baby, can I kiss my baby?’ And for Arabella, the novelty of Theodore wore off really quickly.”
Since she nursed her children, Ivanka says, “there were moments” of jealousy from Theo‘s older siblings. But she works hard to create individual time with each of her kids.
“I think everyone has to work extra hard to make the older siblings feel loved and secure of their place when you’re going through a time of transition,” she says. “I try to carve out special time with each of them. Joseph loves playing with cars. Arabella could read with me for hours. Poor Theo. He’s always the one where they’re interrupting his time with me. But ultimately I think it will be good for him.”
When it’s time for work, Ivanka relies on her trusted nanny — and her extended family for support.
“My mother-in-law lives two blocks away. And my sister-in-law Vanessa [Donald Jr.‘s wife] is a machine. She has five children and she’s Wonder Woman to me. I have no idea how she does it,” Ivanka says with a sense of awe. “She can take all of them and not even notice.”
— Charlotte Triggs