The First Daughter delves into her personal balancing act in her new book.
Ivanka Trump’s new book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules For Success was released Tuesday. Much of the book is a practicum for females in the workplace, advising readers on everything from salary negotiations to work-life balance. However, the first daughter—who wrote the book before her father was elected—does provide a few personal anecdotes that give the reader a glimpse into her own life as a member of the workforce, a wife, and a mother.
Some of these stories have been recounted before, like the one where Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour called her one morning while she was in college to offer her a job with the magazine (which she declined). But others, like her initial insecurities as a mother, have never really been discussed in depth. Put together, they provide a fuller portrait of the first daughter than the one she has provided on the campaign trail and in interviews.
Here’s a look at some of the book’s revelations:
She models herself after her mother, Ivana.
Trump has frequently touted her close relationship with her father, but rarely speaks publicly about her mother Ivana, aside from posting childhood photographs on social media.
In Women Who Work, Trump describes her mother as the ultimate role model who taught her that balancing children and a real estate career was something to which she could aspire. “It was my mother, unapologetically feminine in a male industry, who first embodied and defined for me what it meant to be a multidimensional woman—a woman works at all aspects of her life,” Trump writes. “By example, she taught me to define success on my own terms, to set my own priorities, and to be true to my values.” Ivana, who is known as “Glamma” to her children, is still her biggest supporter, Trump writes. And her own appreciation for her mother’s balancing act only increased when she became a mother because she realized it wasn’t as easy as Ivana was making it seem.
She was initially insecure about publicizing her role as a mother.
Even though Trump had a role model for balancing work and family, she still felt incredibly insecure when she first became a parent after her daughter Arabella was born in 2011. “Part of it was a preference for privacy, but another part was grappling with whether being a young female executive with a baby would undermine my authority in the eyes of my colleagues and peers in a very male-dominated industry,” she writes. Conscious of the fact that she was somewhat of a public figure, she did not post any pictures of her daughter on social media until she turned a year old. And even then, she says, it was only because the paparazzi had snapped a photo and she didn’t want them to put one up first.
Trump now frequently posts photographs of herself and her three children on social media, which she says only happened after the positive response she received from her first several posts.
She went into “survival mode” during the 2016 campaign.
As one of her father’s most high profile and popular surrogates on the campaign trail, Trump traversed the country attesting to his support for women in the Trump Organization. But, as she notes, these campaign stops were on her terms; she planned the trips to ensure she was still able to spend time with her children, working from home on the days she wasn’t on the trail, and dropping her children off at school before events that were relatively close to home.
Even if she did have some control over her schedule, she still went into what she calls survival mode. “In the max peak craziness of October, I was so grateful for the Jewish holidays, which forced me to take a break and allowed me to spend several days focused entirely on my family,” she writes.
And although she wrote Women Who Work book before her father won the election, it gives some insight into her current life in Washington D.C., where she ended up assuming an unpaid role in the West Wing as an Assistant to the President. It’s hard to imagine life working in the White House is any less grueling or chaotic than campaign stops.
She’s incredibly organized and a compulsive planner.
The meticulous method Trump used to plan out her campaign stops apparently extends to every facet of her life, including time with her children. While she was working at the Trump Organization and leading her fashion brand, Trump had a notebook where she put her daily tasks on one side and her longer goals on another, so she was be reminded of the latter while working on the former. She had a system of symbols to indicate the importance of each item on the list. Her digital calendar was color coded by topic and business, and she reviewed it every Friday.
Every New Years Day, Trump sits down and details her business objectives for the coming year. But she also plans methods of connecting with her children, setting goals for how much time she will spend with them per day and what activities they will do. (For example, in 2017, she aimed to feed her youngest son two of his three bottles a day). She also uses this system to plan date nights with her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“I know this sounds incredibly formulaic, but committing to these relationship goals with each person in my family, when there aren’t other issues that are immediately pressing, allows me to put a plan in place for those times during the year when it is more chaotic,” she explains in her book.
Jared Kushner is her calming force.
National focus on Kushner has grown since President Trump has rapidly increased his portfolio to include everything from revamping the government to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kushner has given only one on the record interview since Trump was elected President, and little is known about him aside from standard biographical details. Trump provides insight into Kushner, describing him as even-keeled, coolheaded during a crisis, and supportive of her career ambitions. “He’s incredibly pragmatic, always cool in the face of adversity,” Trump writes. “He’s my greatest teacher in this regard, the calm, soothing voice of reason that guides me to focus on what matters most, even in moments of crisis or chaos, when I naturally tend to be a bit more emotional.”
It was Kushner, she says, who calmed her down right before her speech at the Republican National Convention, reminding her not to become overwhelmed by the task.
Trump also notes that they have quite a good track record when it comes to matchmaking, successfully pairing seven couples.
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