CBB Exclusive: Love, Marriage and (lots of) babies in Rachel Campos-Duffy’s Real World

04/01/2008 at 09:10 AM ET

Rachelcamposduffy_7_cbbRachel Campos-Duffy is truly a super Modern Mom. As one of the cast mates from MTV’s Real World: San Francisco, Rachel, 36, was part of one of the most thought-provoking seasons in the show’s history. Today, Rachel is married to a fellow Real Worlder — Boston castmate Sean Duffy, also 36 — and they are the proud parents of Evita Pilar, 8, Jack, 6, Lucia-Belen, 4, and John-Paul, 1. Due with Baby #5 (!) on May 14th, Rachel sat down exclusively with CBB to talk about babies, blogging, and log rolling.

Photography: Gabbeli Photography
Hair/Makeup: Christie Caiola

Rachel, you and I have met before. I interviewed you when you were up for a co-host position on The View.

I remember that! Neither of us had kids back then and look at us now!  During that audition process, Lisa Ling landed the co-host position on ‘The View.’ Two years later, I was up for the job again and lost out to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Everything happens for a reason and I am grateful for the experiences I had on that show.

So much has changed for you since then. Let’s talk about what’s going on in your life.

It’s super busy! I married Sean, who now works as a District Attorney in Ashland, Wisconsin, and we have four children. We’re expecting our fifth child on May 14th, and so far, it’s a girl!

So far?

Well, when the doctor says you’re having a girl, you’re never really sure until the baby is born! It would be great if it’s a girl, because we have a pattern going here: girl, boy, girl, boy, girl!

How has the pregnancy been?

It’s been fairly easy, but I’m definitely more tired. With four kids, there’s less time to rest.

Do you have any names picked out yet?

Not at all. We know we want a Spanish name, but that’s it. We are open to suggestions, seriously!  Sean and I are terrible when it comes to naming our children. We can never agree and it takes us forever.

With our youngest child, John-Paul, it took us three months after he was born to name him. We called him “Little Guy” in the interim, but it sort of stuck and the kids were calling him that long after we picked a name.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get up with the kids, get them ready for school and make everyone breakfast. Breakfast during the week consists of some sort of cooked grain with dried fruit, nuts and almond milk; I’m a fanatic about the kids eating their porridge!

I get everyone, including Sean, out the door, and then I’m home with the two little ones. Sean comes home for lunch, eats with us, and then goes back to work.

I pick up the kids from school, take them to their after-school activities (if they have one that day) and make dinner. We both help them with homework, baths, and bedtime. After, we catch up, unwind, and watch TV.  (We’re both news and politics junkies!) I’m a night owl, so I stay up to write after everyone goes to bed.

On the weekends, it’s much more relaxed. I enjoy cooking, so on Saturdays I make a big breakfast of eggs or pancakes, and sausage. Sean makes a mean cup of coffee. We read or put on music and watch the kids dance. We really enjoy hanging out together as a family.

We heat our home with wood so the fireplace is always going and it’s pretty cozy in here, which is good because we have long winters in Wisconsin. Sundays are church and more family time. Sunday evenings I try to organize myself for the week ahead.

I remember watching Sean’s season of the Real World: Boston. He was known as The Lumberjack. He sure has come a long way since then.

Yes, Sean works as the District Attorney for our county in Wisconsin. I love his job, and I love that heloves it. He’s a talented attorney and he does a lot of good work forour community, prosecuting everything from speeding tickets tohomicides to child sexual assault cases. I’m particularly proud of hiswork prosecuting child sexual assaults. As a mom, I can’t think of moreimportant work than that.

Sean is still a lumberjack. He has a 48-foot “training” treein our backyard that he works out on and trains for competitions. Healso chops all the wood we use to heat our house in the winter! It’s agreat workout and, as a city girl, I find it pretty sexy (if I do sayso myself)!

Our kids are also mini lumberjacks, too!  By age 3 theybegin learning to log roll; in fact, they go to log rolling school inthe summertime. Our oldest, Evita, has placed in the WorldChampionships for log rolling.

What is it like raising kids in Wisconsin?

Sometimes, I really miss the city, but I love Wisconsin. I love what a small town has had to offer our family. There’s a lot of freedom here. People don’t lock their doors; if the baby is fussy at the food co-op, it’s not unheard of for the cashier to offer to hold the baby so you can shop in peace! There’s a great sense of community that you don’t find as readily in larger cities.

Probably the most important thing is that we’re able to slow things down a lot more. There’s virtually no commute so we have more time together. Also, it’s possible to have a one-income household because the cost of living is lower.  That was an important factor for both of us in deciding where to live and raise our family.

Of course, since it’s rural Wisconsin, we’ve had to have the “bear talk” with the kids. We had two huge bears this summer just outside the kitchen window! It was scary, especially since the kids had been out playing just a few hours before.

How would you describe yourself as a mom?

I’m a fun, hands-on mom, but I definitely have rules. For one, with so many kids, it’s important for our home to be orderly. That means that everyone has a responsibility in picking up stuff, even the kids.

Also, in terms of the media, I am a firm believer that my primary job as their mom is to protect their childhood. Sometimes I feel like the culture is conspiring to make kids grow up so fast. In our home, you won’t find Bratz dolls or tween/teen shows like ‘Hannah Montana’ or ‘High School Musical.’ I’m saving the teen stuff for the teen years.

For now, I make sure there is plenty of time to chase butterflies, ride bikes, and create. Childhood should be magical and last as long as possible. That’s not an easy thing to facilitate these days.

Let’s talk about The Real World, which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

It’s amazing to think that the show has been on MTV for so long. There will be a reunion show airing on Wednesday, April 2nd at 10 pm ET.  We couldn’t be in LA for the taping because I am too pregnant to fly right now, but MTV sent a camera crew to our home to film a segment with us and the kids.

When I auditioned for the Real World (some 14 years ago!) I was just out of college, and thought it would be a fun thing to do. I never expected it to be so challenging.

How so?

It was psychologically grueling. It took me well over a year to truly process the experience.

Your season was one of the best in Real World history.

I think so, too. Ou
r season talked about so many social issues including race, gender and class. Pedro Zamora, one of my roommates, was perhaps the first gay, young person with AIDS to ever be on a television show. I think his life and interactions with all of us on the show played a role in humanizing the disease for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, more recent seasons of ‘The Real World’ are focused a lot more on sex and hooking up. It’s too bad because the show really has the potential to launch discussions on a lot of important political and social issues.

It’s all in the casting, though. Do you want to cast for hot people, or interesting young people with distinct points of view? I think the network has made up its mind that sex sells and that is pretty much what you see on the show now.

How did you meet Sean?

Sean and I met on a reunion show, ‘Road Rules: All Stars.’ We liked each other a lot and have been hanging out ever since. We are going to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary on April 10th.

There are a few couples from ‘Real World’ or ‘Road Rules’ who have gotten married, but Sean and I definitely have the most children!

In addition to being super busy with the kids, you also work for AOL Living.

Yes, I am the host of the AOL Living Site and I have a weekly feature column on their parenting site, ParentDish, called “View from the Home Front.”

On the AOL Living page, you can access video clips of tips I offer on everything from parenting to helping your family be more “green.” These “webisodes” are actually shot right out of my home!  AOL sends a crew to my house and we shoot for a five-to-eight-day period a few times a year. I feel so blessed because a mom couldn’t have it any better than that. They are a great company to work with.

What do you blog about?

My feature column and daily blogs on Parentdish look at a wide range of topics from discussions on the appropriate age for sleepovers to current events.

Those who remember me co-hosting on ‘The View’ know that I do not shy away from “hot topics.” I strongly believe that there is no discussion that cannot be enhanced by the perspective of a well-informed mother. There are plenty of heated discussions on my blog, but that’s what I like about it.

Parentdish is an amazing site because it allows women from totally diverse backgrounds who might not otherwise know each other to come together to share their point of view on kids, parenting and the world around us. In that way, I guess it’s kind of like the ‘Real World,’ but for moms!

What do you think life will be like when the baby comes?

More hectic, but more fun. I plan to write a lot about the baby in my blog. Many of the women who visit my blog are first-time moms, and it’s nice to re-connect with them on the newborn stuff. Even when you have five children, you still forget things. Every pregnancy, just like every child, is different.

I’m also working on a book, which will be a guide for at-home mothers. The book will be published sometime this year.

Do you think you’ll try for #6?

Sean and I love kids and love having a large family, but right now, I can only fit five children into my minivan. If we have another baby, we’ll have to get a bus!

Having a large family is a wonderful thing. I love my entourage and the kids have each other. There’s always someone to play with. I honestly believe that the best gift you can give to your child is a sibling. Better yet, lots of siblings!

For more information on Rachel, please visit:

Also, The Real World Awards Bash airs Wednesday, April 2nd at 10 pm on MTV.

Images and interview copyright The Celebrity Baby Blog, Inc; do not reproduce elsewhere without express permission.

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , Kids , Maternity , News , Reality TV

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Showing 52 comments

Libby on

Love her to bits! What a great interview. She even makes Wisconsin sound great. 🙂

Britt on

I was really bummed when I heard Rachel didn’t get the position on The View. Her strong views are very different from what I was brought up with. I was curious and indimated by her. She has a wonderful character and I enjoy hearing about her through out the years. A name suggestion….Estella, Stella. It means star. Estella Pedro Duffy.

asm1976 on

I love Rachel! I read her blogs and post comments sometimes. I must say, that I notice in this interview that she is stating some of the same things I said to her. I mentioned to her a couple months ago that the more recent seasons of Real World are only focused on sex, drinking and more sex. The first 6 or 7 seasons had intelligent cast members who wanted to make their mark in life and in history. They all had ideas that were interesting. I also had mentioned to her some months ago that she had a pattern going with her kids….girl, boy, girl, boy, girl! I don’t agree with some of Rachel’s political views, but I do think she is a wonderful mother and a brilliant person!

Jillian on

What a lovely family!

The Nanny on

CBB–fyi, up at the top it lists their youngest son as being John-Paul, and in the interview Rachel says it’s Jean. 🙂

Kelly on

I love her blog!! I really look up to her as a mother! Her children are so blessed to have a mother that is making sure they have a wonderful childhood. I think more moms need to do that for their children.

I can not wait to read her book!

Ella on

What a cute family!

Judyb on

That was the only season of The Real World that I regularly watched. I have to admit that before watching that show I was not aware of the things a person with AIDS goes though. Pedro Zamora really put a face on AIDS. Showing his life on television was informative, interesting and incredibly sad. I am sure that Rachel and the other people who were on the show with him will never forget the experience.

gigi on

its like shes been pregnant for 8 years! lol
bless her heart. that is one beautiful family!

Autumn on

Great interview, and my do they have quite the family with all of those kids, but that’s cool.

(They’re probably the only couple who met on a reality show to have that many kids so far, which makes for an interesting fact.)

Anyway I think I know what you mean about RW being different now because it seems like ever since the original Season in Las Vegas back in ’02 or whatever, it’s really been all about sex, drinking, and the housewide squabbles the castmates have. (Although the in-fighting has gone on as far back as the early 90s or the Seasons with Puck and the time that girl got slapped in the taxi by that one guy.)

J-Lin on

She has a beautiful family. She really makes the simple life appealing. I would love to hear more from her in the future.

Jess on

What a beautiful family!

Valerie on

What a beautiful family!

Libby, I take offense at your comment about Wisconsin. It is a great place to live and rear a family, and I am happy that Rachel and her family think so, too.

brooke on

Wow who would have thought in 8 yrs, she would have 5 kids lol. She seems really nice though, and her family is cute. All the kids look a lot like her IMO.

jamie on

I love this couple! I think they are so great. They have beautiful children!

Sue on

What a beautiful family!! CBB- do you have anymore interviews coming up with anyone else? Thanks!

Sarah’s note: I think there’s a few more down the line, I can’t think of specifically who though.

elisabeth on

I met her 10 years ago when I hired her to speak at my college campus for Aids Awareness Week. SHe was such an inspiring and amazing person, and had the best shoes ever- lol! I knew she would be a fantastic mom, and think she is a great inspiration when it comes to balance and priorities in family life. Best of luck to them with baby #5!

KarysAnn on

How refreshing to see someone her age with time tested old fashioned values. She seems so intelligent, well spoken and like someone who treasures the simple pleasures and values in life. I couldn’t agree more that the best gift to give your children is that of a sibling. I’m an only child and myself and most only children I have spoken with wish they had a brother or sister, especially in adulthood. I admire Rachel particularly for her give and take philosophy.

Bella Mama on

she should name the baby Eloisa.. Eloisa Duffy sounds pretty..

Nicole on

She is such a great role model for mothers who make the choice to stay home to raise their children! As stated in an earlier post, she focuses on the important and simple things in life. I love her perspective on letting kids be kids for as long as possible. I agree that our modern society pushes kids to grow up too fast.

erica alayne on

This was a lovely interview. My husband and I are planning to stop at two kids (we already have a wonderful almost two year old son, and are planning to TTC this summer), and I have so much respect for families with a lot of children. I don’t know if I could do it!

I’m so glad that after all of these years, they are still together, and have such an obviously strong family dynamic. That is so hard to find among a lot of the folks that participate in ‘reality’ television. It’s nice to see they are living a good, family-based life, without a lot of glitz and drama that sometimes comes with reality infamy. 🙂

Libby on

Hey, Valerie. I was only teasing, hence the smiley face. Sorry that I offended. I live in Toronto and am SO SICK of this winter that I can’t imagine living somewhere with even more snow than here.

I’m sure Wisconsin is very nice! A loving family can make a happy home anywhere!

stacy on

How about the name Sophia?

Shannan on

Rachel and Sean make beautiful babies! I watched their love start from the beginning on that All Stars show and I’m so glad to see them in a happy, loving relationship. Congrats on baby number 5!

Stephanie on

Britt and asm1976, what are her political views? I’m just asking cause I watch The View all the time and am wondering how the show would have been different had they hired her.

Valerie on

I understand, Libby. I am sick and tired of winter, too. I think we all are. Wisconsin is a very nice place to live, but I have not had to warn my children about bears, like Rachel has. 🙂

Britt on

To Stephanie. It has been a long time but I sort of remeber her views being very conservative and old fashion. She seemed very against gay rights at the beginning. But once she established a healthy relationship with Pedro she learned a lot about equality. I am sure her views have changed through out the years but when she was on RW she was the close minded young girl who was casted on the show to expose her to the real world!

FC on

Evita is such a doll in the family photo. And, honestly, I think all the kids take after her, bar for little John-Paul. He does resemble Sean more than the other kids do. Lucia seems to be a mix as well, but the others, I only see a lot of Rachel.

They seem to be living a good life in Wisconsin, bar for the bears coming for a visit…lol.

The way she talked of auditioning fourteen years ago, meeting and marrying Sean 9 years ago… She’s making me feel my old, haha, because I remember it all, including Pedro. I still wish he could be here.

lydia; on

i absolutely love the name john-paul.
its one of my favourites. plus there is a really cute character on hollyoaks named john-paul.

i think she should name the girl Paisley, carry on the hippy-ish vibe she has going on 🙂


Darlene on

What about the name Guiliana???

Ivey on

Ok here are my suggestions, by the way I had fun looking up spanish names!!


Yes I know they all have an ‘a’ ending. 🙂

Marissa on

Name ideas!!:

Naiara (refers to the Virgin Mary)
Maris(s)a..which also happens to be my name!

I also love Graciana as an above poster suggested! Good luck 🙂

Angela on

I can remember Rachel from San Francisco’s Real World season 4. She always had a still possesses a great sense of self. Although, I do not share her same political views, I think she is a great mother and a loving wife. It is nice to see that both she and Sean can raise such a beautiful family, sharing her life with those who have come to feel like they know her. Her spirit and strength of character, and commitment to her family is what draws people to want to know more about her. I admire her honesty and commitment to her family and husband without having to sacrifice her career as well. Her daughters will grow up knowing what their worth is in life and her sons, knowing how to treat women.

Veronica on

Its really nice to see people dont freak out about a young mom having 5 kids in the span of 8-9 years, I am currently in her position also except I have alternating BOY GIRL BOY GIRL..and now Im expecting a boy and my kids are the same age as hers, lol makes me think that us Latina’s are very VERY fertile! haha I am 27 and our house is a zoo, but I love every minute, Im glad people dont frown on married couples having so many children, good for them and congrats!

Ellen on

Great interview! I remember when she was on the Real World, she was very conservative and came off snobby/judgmental, IMO. It’s funny that all these years later, I am a big fan of her column and read it frequently….finding myself agreeing a lot of the time! I think she would have made a great host on The View. She has traditional values, Yes, but she comes across as very thoughtful and responsible. It seems that, even if she doesn’t agree with other’s choices, she spends time reflecting what it would be like to “walk in their shoes.” I think she seems like a great mom, mature, caring and also very worldly. I love that she is raising her kids to be kids, to be artistic, athletic, bilingual, etc. Thanks for the interview, CBB.

Stephanie on

Thanks for answering Britt!

Laura on

What a beautiful family. It is so nice to see two people so in love and devoted to their family. The funny thing is Rachael grew up in Beverly Hills and even once poked fun at how Sean plucked her from a life of luxury in California to live in northern Wisconsin. It is obvious now she wouldn’t have it any other way!

sabrinasmom on

I think San Francisco was the 3rd season of Real World and Rachel grew up in a military family – kind of from all over, but mainly from Arizona. I think she was going to grad school in San Diego when she met Sean. She was engaged to a friend of a friend of mine from high school (in San Francisco) – they were in an accident and he passed away. Rachel overcame a lot of physical injuries from the accident.

Kelly on

i have a few diffrent questions for anyone who can answer them how old are both the parents? how long have they been married? they both look really young 2 be on baby #5 & 2 have an 8 year old!

Andrea on

I love Rachel and Sean! I remember seeing them when they first started dating and I was so glad to know that they got married and was surprised to find out they were expecting their 5th! They make such a cute couple and a strong couple too with all of those children. What a great family. 🙂

Janet on

Yes, I too remember Rachel from Real World back in the day. I agree with her–the R.W. now is just a bunch of pretty people hooking up w/ each other. There’s no real substance to R.W. like there as back in the first couple of years. So I stopped watching R.W. a long time ago. I remember how religious her family was and in particular how her mom was really on her. I remember Pedro commenting on the amount of nativity scenes and crucifixes in her family’s home. Thinking of that cast brings a smile to my face…they were so great together despite PUCK! hahaha Memories! Well, congrats to Rachel for building such a beautiful family. I remember an episode of R.W. when she was looking at the kids playing at the playground of school and her saying something like, “I’d like to have kids. I just don’t want to carry them inside me.” Something like that…well times have changed. Pam and Judd are married and parents themselves. Thanks for the interview w/ her.

sarah on

My name suggestion is Paloma, meaning “dove.” I think it fits in really well with the names of Rachel and Sean’s other kids.

I think it’s a bit funny that they have both a Jack and a John-Paul, though, since Jack is a nickname for John. Sean is the Irish form of the name, John, though, so it’s like both boys share a name with their dad – cute!

Melissa on

I love her. Funnily enough, I was just thinking about her the other day and wondered how she and her family were.

Lyss on

great interview CBB! i go to school in Madison and i love it here in Wisconsin! never been to the areas with bears though! Cant wait to hear a name! i like Paloma which sarah suggested! reminds me of Salma Hayeks daughter! yeah i agree the RW used to be so good when they talked about social issues…now it’s gone downhill

sabrinasmom on

I think Jack’s real name is “Xavier John”

Sarah’s note: Yes, his first name is Xavier, but they call him Jack. I am not sure if his middle name is John or Jack.

sabrinasmom on

I was responding to the comment that they had a “John” and a “Jack” – I think Xavier’s middle name is Jack (my error).

Kat on

I just love the name Lourdes for a girl

I totally agree with Rachel on how the Real World has evolved (or sunk down) over the years.

I loved her season… loved Sean’s season, too, but hated when it turned into only casting the best looking people and not making it a show about really learning about each other and opening eyes and turned it into a bunch of just drinking and sex.

Tara on

Rachel, your rudeness is unforgivable. “The best gift you can give your child is a sibling”. Please, consider the people who, for various reasons, are unable to have a second child . Tsk tsk!!

amy on

Beautiful family. I hope she thinks twice about not locking doors. What a dangerous and ignorant statement! Scary.

Jessica on

I’m from Ashland, WI so it’s really cool to see someone from around here on TV and everything.

I haven’t got the chance to meet Rachel or Sean, but my mom always talks about how hot Sean is.

And they have so many kids – very cute!

But yeah, I could totally relate to the bear thing (and deer, and other animals). I live in a woodsier part of Ashland, and we used to get bears all of the time.

I’ve actually been playing outside when they’ve decided to make visits. The black bears around here are almost always harmless though. Just don’t mess with a momma and her cubs! (Kind of like humans = )

Clinton Burton on


Hi Rachael. I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled onto your website. We knew each other a long time ago when I was stationed at Edwards. We worked together at the Oasis. Anyway, I hope all is well and congratulations on all your success.


Clinton burton

Robert Turner on

Hillary Voters will switch. McCain
has to come with a health Care
plan that Hillary voters can relate to. Good job on CNN.We want to vote for Sarah its all about Health Care