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


Kathryn Jean Lopez

CAMPOS-DUFFY: Our kids are all under the age of ten. We are very vigilant of their TV habits. We limit it, and we use TiVo to control what they watch. As a result, my kids are totally retro. They watch what I watched . . . The Brady Bunch, Little House on the Prairie, Bewitched, and The Beverly Hillbillies. They love it. I don’t like much of what I see on the Disney Channel these days, and I don’t like the idea of girls looking up to Hannah Montana. My girls read Nancy Drew. She’s a much better role model. My kids do not have their own computers, Facebook pages, e-mail accounts, or cell phones. They rarely play video games. Truthfully, I sometimes worry that they are not as technologically savvy as most kids their age. I figure (and hope) they’ll catch up to it all in time. Right now, they prefer to be creative, to draw and play outside. One of the advantages of living in rural Wisconsin is that our house is surrounded by five acres of woods. They climb trees, log-roll, and set up lemonade stands to make money for Dairy Queen. Like I said, they’re kind of retro.

LOPEZ: You’ve had another child since writing the book. Does this guarantee another book, since the littlest one didn’t make the cover?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: LOL! My five-year-old keeps telling me that we need to take a new picture to include the new baby. Maybe we can Photoshop her in.

LOPEZ: Your husband, Sean, is running for Congress. How can that possibly work with six children?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: It’s very tough, and there have been some serious sacrifices. Sean’s a very hands-on dad, and the kids miss him a lot. Sean hits the trail by himself so I can stay home and try to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. In many ways I’m operating like a single mom, and I’ve gained a new respect for at-home moms. . . . Parenting is definitely meant to be a two-person job, and I believe I’m a better parent when he’s around. I hope that as the weather gets warmer, we’ll be able to do more events together as a family. Right now, the kids are looking forward to parade season this summer. I figure they’ll either start to enjoy the campaign more, or they’ll start to hate parades.

LOPEZ: Do you ever look at the worst of the reality shows and think, “I contributed to this” by being a part of the reality-TV culture?

CAMPOS-DUFFY: No. I had no idea what I was getting into. Frankly, I hate sitcoms and laugh tracks, and I’m not entirely disappointed by their demise. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit to enjoying guilty pleasures like Project Runway and The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I’m human.