Invisible Labor: Rebecca Minkoff on How She and Her Husband Divvy Things Up at Home

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We’re partnering with The Second Shift, a company that connects businesses with a network of women experts-for-hire, for a new column called “The Juggle.” Here, we’re asking successful mothers to spill on who does what in their homes, in an effort to shed some light on the concept of “invisible labor.” After all, somebody’s gotta do that laundry…

The Juggler: Rebecca Minkoff, founder of Rebecca Minkoff

Her job: Running the show at her namesake fashion line

Married for: Ten years

Number of kids: Three, ages 7, 4 and 1

Hired help: A full-time nanny and an on-demand babysitter

On who does the scheduling: “Every Sunday, my husband and I review our calendars for the week, and we decide who’s taking which child where; we usually split it up, and then the other one of us works out. So no matter what, we’re both getting up at like 7:15, and taking a child to school, and then one of us also has to hang back with the baby until our nanny comes at 9. Our nanny leaves every day around 6:45 because I leave the office at 6, unless I’m going to an after-work thing, in which case we get a sitter or more often than not it’s part of those Sunday meetings. There’s a, what do you have that’s late, what do I have that’s late, and for the most part, we can usually make it work that one of us is home.”

On her affinity for list making: “I’m very much a writer and checker-offer of lists. I review the list every day and, as they get longer and longer, I prioritize them into urgent, pending, nice to do, so I’m constantly just looking at what’s top priority, what will move the needle faster, and then that’s how I approach planning my week and day.”

On who does the grocery shopping: “Whoever gets to Instacart or FreshDirect first will do the grocery shopping. In other words, they have a lighter day—or conference calls and can shop while listening.”

On who does the meal planning and cooking: “We don’t meal plan. It’s fly by the seat of my pants and, as far as cooking, it’s usually alternating, but sometimes we do it together. With our schedules, we wish there was more time for us to plan, but it’s working out so far.”

On who does the laundry: Their nanny. “Thank god she does because it would definitely not get done otherwise. She does light cleaning, too, because she just has the baby during the day, so that makes it a lot easier.”

On who pays the bills: “We put everything on automatic bill pay, so there’s nothing to pay. It just is. And we try to put as much on an AmEx as possible, and then just get miles, so that when we travel, the kids are free thanks to miles.”

On who does the nitty-gritty kid stuff: “My husband is very much all about the school stuff. I handle the extracurricular activities and family travel.”

On the reinforcements she calls in when she has to travel: “Depending on how long I’m gone for, the nanny will sometimes come earlier to help out with school. And then we have a sitter that’ll help out. Like, this week, my husband had to work late on two nights, but I was away, so we had a sitter come for those nights. This way, we don’t tax the nanny who has to come earlier. And then I do the same for him when he’s traveling. He’s about to leave for ten days, so I know I’m going to have the babysitter help out at night if I have to work late, and the nanny will come a little earlier. Not much, she’ll come ten minutes earlier, but still, it makes a difference.”

On who does what for the bedtime routine: “What happens at night is, I put the baby down, and my husband will put the other two to bed. We did not sleep train the baby, not because we didn’t want to, but we were weak! So, I nurse the baby to sleep, and my husband puts the big ones down. He usually finishes before me. And I'll get up and immediately get ready for bed. I'll go, ‘I love you, you’re awesome, good night!’ And I’ll go to sleep. He loves his shows that he watches or whatever, so he’ll sit on the couch for another two hours and decompress that way. I would like to join him, because we like watching TV and shows together, but I just can't right now. Until this baby sleeps through the night, I’m useless after 10.”

On how she attempts to squeeze in romance: “Hanging out with friends and having romantic date nights—those things suffer. It used to be that I’d be like, ‘Oh, come with me to the work event, it’ll be like we’re on a date!’ And even that’s stopped. We close at 3 p.m. on Fridays, so one idea I had that worked for two solid weeks was to meet at 4 p.m. and hang out as a couple from 4 to 6 p.m. That happened twice.”

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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