A Real Housewife of Wisconsin
Rachel Campos-Duffy talks about motherhood at home and on the campaign trail.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

LOPEZ: What made you think that you were the holder of “secrets” about motherhood?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: They really aren’t secrets. They are ideas and techniques for enjoying motherhood that have worked for me. They aren’t complicated. The real secret is internalizing the fact that we all need to constantly recommit, sometimes daily (even hourly!), to whatever principles or techniques make our daily lives more enjoyable and joyful. It’s very easy as moms to get caught up in to-do lists and forget to indulge in our child’s particular laugh or smile. If having my book or any other book on your nightstand helps remind you of that, then it’s serving its purpose.

LOPEZ: How often do you run into fellow thirtysomethings with six children? And how often do people say inappropriate things about the fact that you have them?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Not too many thirtysomethings with six kids these days. People always wonder how we do it. I don’t know how we do it. It’s our normal. I do know people who have been chastised by strangers for their big brood and yes, sometimes I worry about environmental fundamentalism and its propensity to see and treat children of large families as environmental “terrorists” guilty of violating some arbitrary carbon-footprint quota. Look no further than the Internet comments on the Duggar family. The vitriol hurled at them is off the charts.

My sister has four kids, and we both find that kids from small families love to come to our houses. One little girl, an only child who was playing at my sister’s house, didn’t want to leave when her mommy came to pick her up. When her mom insisted she get her shoes on, she said, “No, I want to be one of them!”

LOPEZ: You were on a totally different track — Los Angeles and glamour. How did you wind up in Wisconsin and Walmart, and when did you realize you were happy with that life?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: I have MTV to thank for that. Only on The Real World would a conservative Latina from Arizona meet an Irish-American lumberjack attorney from rural Wisconsin. We fell in love and married while I was auditioning for The View. The deal we made was if I got the job, we’d move to New York City. If I didn’t, I would move to Hayward, Wisconsin, his hometown. I didn’t get the job, and I moved from Beverly Hills to rural Wisconsin. I have fallen in love with the people of Wisconsin for the same reasons I fell in love with Sean. They are kind, unassuming, good-natured, and honest. In a nutshell — so not L.A. There is truly no better place to raise kids. As for Wal-Mart, well, I’m not above admitting that most of my date nights with Sean end with a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up diapers and anything else I need. Shopping sans kids is a luxury for me these days!