Mothers Of The White House: Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway And Mercedes Schlapp Share Their Stories

Benny Johnson | Reporter At Large

The most important job in America is being a mother.

Being a working mother in the White House, however, presents its own special challenges.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House Strategic Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp have a total of 12 children between them. They hold some of the most important, influential roles in government — all while executing the duties that all working moms share.

The Daily Caller sat down with each of them at the White House to discuss their unique roles and responsibilities as some of the most prominent working mothers in the country. Here are their answers, and we hope they have a happy Mother’s Day:

WATCH:

TheDC:

“You have one of the most influential positions in the entire West Wing; what’s it like holding that position as a working mother?”

SARAH:

“You know, I love my job. It’s an honor to work for the president but there are a lot of people that have had this job before and there are a lot of people who are going to have it after. The most important, influential job I have is being a mom. There are a number of people who can do the job I have. Only one person can be the mom to my kids. So that’s certainly most important and influential role I’ll ever have. I’m trying hard not to screw it up.”

KELLYANNE:

“Being the first successful female to run a successful presidential campaign and now be counselor to President Trump has truly been the most remarkable achievement of my career. But by far the greatest blessing and privilege I’ve had in my life is being a mother to my four children. Nothing truly compares and the one person who really knows that is Donald J. Trump. As president he is a remarkable boss for women and for working women and I think that’s why we see so many women working in the administration. Why else would he be here?”

MERCEDES:

“I like being able to be a mom of five children and then coming to work. I don’t know if it’s a bit of a relief for me at times but I just find it to be a big blessing. To contribute to our country and yet at the same time bring my perspective — by obviously being one of these suburban moms, trying to raise the kids trying to get to soccer games and theatre practices and at the same time to be able to support this nation and sell the president’s message to all Americans.”

TheDC:

“And kids get sick, soccer practice, cellphone breaks, school gets let out early — how do you manage that in your role?”

SARAH:

“I have an amazing husband. I have an amazing support system. You certainly can’t do this without a great partner and my husband is the best. He’s very patient and forgiving, thankfully. The other thing I try to do is make sure that I’m very intentional with the time that I have with my kids. I’m gonna miss some of the moments but the ones that I do have, I really try to focus on them, put my phone aside, block out some of the stress of work and really focus my time and attention on what they want to talk about and really zero in on them. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly what I try to do and I think the most important thing I can do is to make sure every single day that my kids know that I love them and doing everything I can to be there with them as much as possible.”

KELLYANNE:

“For me, my children always come first. So if they’re sick or they need to talk to me or they have an activity, I need to be on the front lines of that. I spend a great deal of time with my children but also have to spend a great deal of time on my children. And that’s a challenge. Spending time on your children means being a chief operating officer of your household. Organizing all of the activities and the permission slips, the homework, and the projects. I’ve always had working mom’s guilt. I’m always the first one to sign up for something so that as soon as it comes into the inbox, I try to deal with it, whether it’s an invite to a party, or a field trip permission slip, something bigger like a must due date. But as long as the children see a happy and engaged mom who loves them above all else and is fully present — meaning the phone is away — and you look them in the eye and you share a meal, then I think that’s what’s incredibly important.”

MERCEDES:

“President Trump and the team, they really empower women. They empower moms. Between Kellyanne, Sarah, and myself, we have 12 children. It’s quite a feat. And we really are a big support group for our team at the White House. So, quite frankly, it’s because we have such a strong communications team, so much talent in our team, that I’m able to work with them, and they provide such great support, that I’m able to be successful.”

TheDC:

Your kids must see you in public life, see you on television, see you in newspapers, what is that conversation like when your children see you in the public arena?”

SARAH:

“They can’t read. My oldest is in kindergarten, she is learning to read, but frankly my kids would much rather watch cartoons than me on the news. So I guess that’s a good thing that they don’t have to endure some of the negative stories that exist out there. I try to protect them from that as much as possible. I don’t want to inundate them with the news. I want them to still have the innocence of 6-year-olds and 4-year-old and 2-year-olds. I think that it’s great they get to be a little isolated from some of that.”

KELLYANNE:

“It was once at first very difficult to absorb the reflexive infective hurled at their mother but they know who I am and they see me interact with other mothers and other people’s children. My children see how much love there is out there for me, for the president. They also have grown up very quickly. They’re so much stronger than so many other kids who are permanently sealed off by their parents who made sure they are the perfect children and try to control everything about them and try to control their friendships and their schooling, their nutrition. My kids are tough, they’re honestly ready for primetime.”

MERCEDES:

“They don’t try to see us on television. They would prefer to watch Disney channel. We are able to talk to our children about political issues. These are issues that we want our children to learn about. It’s easy to just say, ‘Well, let the teachers teach them in school.’ We really feel that it’s our obligations to tell them why we believe what we believe in. At the end of the day, the kids are going to decide what they want to do but, we want to be able to provide our insight to our children.”

TheDC:

“What’s more difficult: Dealing with your children on an onerous day or dealing with [CNN reporter] Jim Acosta?”

SARAH:

“Probably depends on the day. Both of them whine pretty regularly. They both like to ask the same questions and sometimes their tone needs to be adjusted a little bit. So I think that having kids has prepared me for the job that I have right now. In all seriousness, I think that having kids is great preparation for anything — especially a job you need patience for and they have certainly prepared me for this one.”

TheDC:

“What’s more difficult: Dealing with your children on an onerous day or dealing with the White House press corps?”

KELLYANNE:

“I would not equate the two.”

MERCEDES:

“That’s an unfair question. Sometimes I feel that there’s connection between the children and the White House press corps. They’re very demanding, both of them. And they’re very opinionated, both of them. I have great joy working with both of them. But I do find that, yes, the press corps and my children are very opinionated and very demanding.”

TheDC:

“What is your advice to other working moms on how to find balance in a high-stress environment?”

SARAH:

“I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is try to be really intentional with your time. You know when you’re with your kids, put your phone away. I’m not perfect at that, but I try to do that as much as possible when I’m with them for my focus to be fully on them and not distracted by a number of other things.”

KELLYANNE:

“I think it’s inspiring to many young people out there — particularly young women — who want to know ‘Can I have it all?’ You can have it all, maybe just not all at the same time, perhaps. We’re at home, packing lunches and cooking dinner and managing schedules and finding the permission slips and being fully present and energetic, even when we’re truly exhausted. We’re doing all of that — so when we get to the White House, it’s like, ‘we’ve got this.'”

MERCEDES:

“I think my advice for finding balance is this: Prayer and God and faith are the center of my life. It is what helps keep me balanced in a lot of ways because I really believe that sometimes we’re called to do great things in this world and I do pray to God for strength and patience and humility. I do find that in terms of balance, for me, faith is very important. Sometimes, it’s okay to say that I’m going to cut it off, to go home. I’ve found is that in this administration, they’re very supportive of that lifestyle, which is understanding that for us, our family is our top priority and understanding that we can do that and at the same time, serve our country.”

TheDC:

“In light of recent events, are your kids now huge fans of Kanye West?”

SARAH:

“I’m not sure we are quite there yet — they love a good dance party though, so we’ll see.”

Tags : kellyanne conway mercedes schlapp sarah huckabee sanders
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