FP: So quick! What helped you during your delivery?
IT: Jared and I made a playlist for the delivery of all the songs from our relationship. Arabella was actually born while my wedding song, “This Year’s Love” by David Gray, was playing. It was a coincidence, but it was cool!
FP: How is Arabella adjusting to the news of a sibling?
IT: We had Arabella with us when we found out the sex of the new baby and, after, we bought her a baby doll of the same gender. I think she understands what’s coming, but then she throws me periodically by rubbing her own belly and saying, “My baby sibling!” So, I don’t know if she fully gets the biological elements of what’s going to transpire, but she knows something is about to change. One thing I’d like to continue is that once a week Arabella comes into the office and we have a lunch date. A working lunch, so to speak.
FP: What a nice tradition!
IT: I had very busy parents, but I really appreciated having a set of traditions during my own childhood, like consistently celebrating holidays at the same place. I want that for my own household, so I put Arabella to bed myself every night. I don’t schedule anything between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. so I can run home and give her a bath. Then we read books and cuddle and I put her to bed. After, I go back to work or go out, but that time is essential for me. Also, we rarely commit to anything on the weekends. Every Friday night, we have dinner together as a family and I cook. Saturdays and Sundays, we just like to be together.
FP: How has motherhood differed from what you envisioned?
IT: It’s a lot more chaotic than I could have imagined. Trying to create black-and- white schedules doesn’t work. You have to become much more flexible and malleable in your thinking and in the ways you get things done.
FP: What’s Jared like as a dad?
IT: He’s very loving, caring and hands-on. He really understands how to relate to Arabella. He’s better than I am about assessing her mood and adapting accordingly. Sometimes, I’ll come in from work and I’m exhausted and I really want to cuddle, but she’s hyper. I’ll still say, “Oh, Arabella, come give me a hug,” but she wants nothing to do with it! He’s taught me to be better about reacting to her moods.
FP: What do you hope Arabella and your new baby learn from you?
IT: The most important thing is that they know how loved they are. I also hope they don’t perceive my work as a detriment to how I was as a mother, but rather as something they admire. As a working mom, I’m doing my best to balance everything so they never feel like I wasn’t there for them.
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