Anyone up for 5.30am starts, phone-free weekends and death-defying date nights? Well, for Ivanka and Jared Kushner it's just another day in coupled-up paradise
Words by Michelle Davies
While our Royal Family are slowly getting it together after Megxit, across the pond America’s First Family is gearing up for November’s election by boastfully proclaiming victory after President Trump’s impeachment trial and subsequent partisan acquittal. But behind the Tweets and smiles it has been a particularly trying time for First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner – if the Senate had found her father guilty and kicked him out of office, they would have lost their plum roles as White House Special Advisors. Yet despite the potential indignity of being thrown out of the West Wing, those who know ‘Javanka’ were confident the couple would have bounced back. Driven, self-possessed and devoted to one another and their children, they are the epitome of a political power couple.
Needless to say, a day in the Javanka household is equally motivated. It starts early… very early. ‘I get up at 5.30am and meditate or work out – or both,’ Ivanka has revealed. ‘My alarm goes off much earlier these days than it did pre-kids.’
The 38-year-old prefers to get her news fix flicking through the morning newspapers rather than scrolling online, although she admits – like father, like daughter – she will get on her phone alone the moment she wakes up. ‘I can’t seem to break the habit,’ she said.
Present and correct
Both she and Jared, 39, make a point of being fully dressed and presentable to sit down for breakfast with their three children, Arabella, Joseph and Theodore. ‘I like to be fully ready for the day before my children get up so that my mornings are completely focused on them,’ Ivanka said. ‘I can do my make-up in eight minutes.’
Once the children are taken care of, she and Jared will head to their respective offices at the White House. Her remit focuses on education and the economic empowerment of women, while Jared is involved with matters of national security and foreign policy. Before, she had her own clothing and jewellery line while he was in real estate in New York and both have been on the receiving end of stinging criticism for being elevated to roles neither has experience for.
The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in October last year but the marriage nearly didn’t happen. They began dating in 2007 after being introduced at a networking lunch organised by her dad’s business partner but split within a year because Jared’s parents, Modern Orthodox Jews, reportedly disapproved of her Presbyterian upbringing. On reconciling in late 2008, Ivanka converted to Judaism so Jared could propose and now the family observe the traditions of the religion, including no electronic communications on the Sabbath (Saturday).
‘We’re pretty observant,’ Ivanka has said. ‘I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity. From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.’
Interestingly, it’s often on a Saturday that her dad has his infamous Twitter meltdowns, prompting suggestions it’s only Ivanka’s presence that keeps him in check the rest of the week.
Daring date nights
Unless their presidential business takes them away from home, Javanka’s evening routine involves either having dinner with their children or going on a date night. ‘At least once a week we have dinner just the two of us,’ Ivanka revealed. They also take turn planning dates – a particularly memorable one involved her taking Jared to a flying trapeze session at New York’s Pier 40 Trapeze School, which she shared on Instagram.
If they’re staying in, Ivanka has a beauty routine she begins the moment she steps inside her front door. ‘The minute I walk into the house that’s what I do – I wash my face, I take off all my makeup,’ she said. ‘It makes me feel like I’ve kind of come home.’
What comes next?
According to reports, the couple found the transition to Washington from their beloved New York far from easy. Both adore living in Manhattan. ‘They’re classic New Yorkers. They love the city, they soak it in — the culture, the cuisine, the friendships,’ said their White House colleague and friend Kellyanne Conway.
However, there has been talk in political circles that Ivanka might run for office herself in a future election, but she has said any decision she makes depends on her family: ‘I am driven first and foremost by my kids and their happiness. So that’s always going to be my top priority.’
It’s a sentiment her husband shares. ‘The only things that are really permanent are love, family and friendship,’ Jared has said. ‘At the end of the day that’s what it really boils down to. The rest of it is just stuff.’