How have you managed to balance being a working mom with three little ones?
"Well, I’m still working on the balancing process. I had a friend of mine say to me the other day, ‘you know what my definition of balance is? It’s redefining your definition of balance.’ That is so true! Before we had Chase, we had a routine, we had a nice rhythm, and everything just flowed. You forget how much it takes to get to that point. So now that we have him, and he just turned five months, we’re still trying to figure out that middle ground. With the older two, they’re both in school so it’s only been Chris and I tag teaming him. Once I start to get busy again, I don’t know what we’re going to do. I’m going to need another set of hands!”
We love that Chase already has his own IG page and some serious baby swag, what are some of your favorite baby items for your little guy?
“Do you know what’s crazy? I have so many of the same clothes from when Christopher was a baby because I knew we would have more kids, so I kept all of Christopher’s clothes. I love Polo and Ralph Lauren for babies. The quality and material are fantastic. I mean I haven’t touched them in almost six years, and by the time I pulled them out for Chase, they still looked good. They literally look like brand new clothes. You would never know they’re hand-me-downs! I also love Burberry’s line for babies. They have nice pieces. And I love Carter’s for their baby pajamas. Those little zip-up one-piece outfits, they’re the best! They’re comfortable and very cute.”
What are some of your favorite clothing brands for your two older kids?
“I hate shopping in stores, so I get a lot of my kid's stuff online. For Milani, I love to mix up her look. I will shop at Target to get bottoms for her or I might get jackets and things like that from H&M. Their jeans for girls are the best especially because she has really long legs and a tiny waist. The way that H&M makes their jeans for girls, they fit her perfectly. They’re nice and long, and snug on her hips and have little buttons inside to fasten. I love shopping at H&M to buy jeans for her. I also love Mini Melissa shoes for her. She has a pair of little jellies that are her favorite. They’re so comfortable and cute, so I don’t have to beg her to put them on.
And then Christopher, he loves wearing Nike and Polo, so that’s pretty much his whole wardrobe. And for shoes, he wears Supra sneakers. They’re very fashionable, and he loves them because they are comfortable and they look good and go with just about every outfit whether I want to dress him up or dress him down. I try to keep the kids dressed nicely because I remember growing up I didn’t have that luxury. The one thing I used to always say to my parents was when I have kids I’m going to make sure that I can dress them. When I look at some pictures from back in the day when I was in school, I wonder what in the world was I wearing? My kids enjoy dressing and putting their little outfits together.”
When it comes to Mother's Day gifts, what are some of your favorite items to give and receive?
“I love to give candles! Michael Aram makes these candles that smell so good, and they’re so pretty. If you take a bath, light a candle, set it next to you, and it just helps to get you into that whole mood of just relaxing and winding down. I like things that look good and smell good and allow me to relax and focus on myself because as busy moms, all of our focus is on everything else from being a wife and mom to making sure that the house is organized and clean. As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, I’m non-stop until I’m back in bed at night which is usually around midnight or 1:00 in the morning. So, if I can get a massage or have two hours where somebody can watch the kids so I can take a bath or watch my favorite show I'm happy. Just to have that peace is all I ever ask for and what I like to give.”
You gifted new dad Andy Cohen an "EPIC" (in his words) baby gift right before the birth of his son Benjamin. What did you send to him?
“OK, so I sent him a black Gucci diaper bag. I have the same one in brown, and it’s my favorite! It has so much space, and the one I got him is even more updated because the one I have is from when Milani was a baby. I figure this would be nice for him and he’ll look super cool. And I also gave him a few of my favorite things that I’ve used for all three of my kids. For instance, I gave him the Nose Frida, my favorite shampoo and body wash from Noodle & Boo and I gave him a bottle of R.C. Essential Oil by Young Living with a note on how to use everything. I told him when you’re using the R.C. Essential Oil you can use it for you and the baby. There will probably be a moment of desperation when his baby has a stuffy nose and can’t sleep so I gave him the proper mixture to use and said put one drop with a tablespoon of olive oil and coconut oil, mix that up and place a bit beneath the baby’s feet, and I’m telling you it will clear him up and he will get a good night’s rest. I told him that he could take the same mixture and rub it on his chest and it will open up his airways to give him a good night’s sleep. I just wanted to give him a little something extra since this is his first baby and I know how skeptical some parents can be about trying different things, so I was like listen I’ve used all of these things on all three of my kids and these are the must-haves.”
What do you think of Andy as a new dad?
“He looks like he’s doing an amazing job. I love when he posts pictures on Instagram, he looks like it’s second nature. You can tell that he has been around people who have kids because it seems like he knows exactly what to do and he’s making being a dad look so easy. I am so excited for him. I’ve never seen him smile so big. You can tell he’s totally in love and gushing over his baby boy.”
Tell us about your podcast, what is the inspiration for Not For Lazy Moms?
“I started Not For Lazy Moms years ago. My son was about a year and a half at the time, and the reason started it was I would have friends call me when they had new babies, and they would ask about the products I used. They knew that I loved natural remedies, so it started as just a place for natural remedies and transitioned into a whole website based around a community of women who are not experts, but moms trying to share tips on how to get by. As women, we don’t share our secrets on how to get by and that’s what this website is all about. Let’s share. Let’s put it all out there so that you don’t have to go through what I went through. It’s all about being real and talking about the things that most parents don’t want to discuss. It's sharing the things that all parents experience and are afraid to speak on and turning it into something that’s light and fun. We have the second season coming up soon on June 5th. We have some serious topics that I think everyone will love. For instance, we have a segment on monster-in-laws, discussing how to deal with in-laws. And we have a guest who has a child with special needs, and she shared how this has impacted her marriage, her relationship with her other children and just the broad scope of the things we take for granted having kids that are what society deems as normal. We laughed; we were teary-eyed. We're trying to open up about situations that many people don't talk about and have guests coming in to share their experience. It’s been good. We rap about certain things that we do wrong that doesn’t harm the kids. They’re still alive, so we’re doing something right.”
You talk a lot about self-care on the podcasts. What are some of your favorite pampering products?
“OK, so if you listen to the podcast or have been on my website you know I’m all about essential oils. I love to mix lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus oils. They smell good and relax your body. I rub my shoulders down with essential oils before I go to sleep, and it helps me to relax and go to sleep quickly. Before I go to bed, I rub some on my shoulders, my neck and the bottom of my feet, and I knock out. It is the best! I haven’t been doing it lately because I’m afraid I won’t hear Chase. I don’t want to be that relaxed that I don’t hear my baby. If you can take a hot bath first with a few drops of oils and some Epsom salt and let it sit for about 10 minutes, you will thank me. That is a good night’s sleep for sure! Essential oils are a cure-all. You can use them for allergies, runny noses or to relax your kids. If my child is acting hyper, I rub some behind their neck or on the forehead, and it just mellows them out. I’m telling you, I hit ‘em with all kinds of voodoo! I talk about them all the time on my website.”
Season four of The Real Housewives of Potomac premiered last week. What can fans expect to see this season?
“They are going to see the changes in my third pregnancy, carrying full-term and how it impacted me and how I had to start depending on others for help. I’m not used to that. I’m a person who likes to be hands-on. I want to do everything myself, so you’re going to see me going through the motions of being pregnant in the full-blown heat of the summer, having two kids at home and then trying to maintain relationships with women who, you know, sometimes get on my nerves. I think that I had a really good season in a sense that people try to leave the pregnant woman alone, or so you think, but then there are moments when I had to check some people and then remember, hold up, I’m pregnant let me calm down. As far as the dynamic of the women, you’ll see some relationships blossom that you probably thought would never get to that point, and you will see relationships being tested. It’s a complete whirlwind, but at the end of the day, we’re all trying to take what we’re doing as women in business to the next level. So you get to witness all of that. You’ll see these women just balancing life, kids and whatever things we’re trying to do in the community. I can’t wait to see it myself!
Shop Monique's Favorite Things:
Baby Boy Carter's "Little Brother" Striped Sleep & Play, ($10; buybuybaby.com)
Just One You made by carter's Gray Baby Boys' Little Brother Monster Sleep 'N Play, ($8; target.com)
Just One You made by carter's Baby Boys' Tiger Sleep 'N Play, ($8; target.com)
Baby Tula Carrier in Coast Marble, ($179; amazon.com)
Mini Melissa Campana Mary Jane Flat, ($55; nordstrom.com)
H&M Superstretch Skinny Fit Jeans ($20; hm.com)
Ash Girls Viper Td Sneaker, ($48; amazon.com)
Burberry Kids Mini Kingly Graffiti, ($240; luxury.zappos.com)
Burberry Kids Sammi Emblem Top, ($117; luxury.zappos.com)
Polo Ralph Lauren Big Boys Blake Oxford Shirt, ($45; macys.com)
Supra Kids Vaider, ($55; zappos.com)
Michael Aram Gold Orchid Candle, ($70; neimanmarcus.com)
Lavender Essential Oil by Young Living, ($32; amazon.com)