TV Host October Gonzalez Shares The Worst Parenting Advice She’s Ever Received & Her Self-Care Must-Haves
by Bethany Braun-Silva
October Gonzalez is a busy mom to four kids, so she knows first-hand the importance of having a “village” and the need for self-care! She also hosts a popular podcast called Keep On, where she and co-host, Kelsey Durkin, discuss navigating life’s greatest challenges with humor and honesty. We talked to her about how she manages to do it all, her advice for moms who want to start their own business and the best and worst parenting advice she’s ever received. Hint – she’s likes to keep it super real!
Read on for more!
How do you balance life with four kids and a busy career? Not without a LOT of help! I cannot take all the credit. I believe it takes a village to raise good kids, and I’ve had the blessing of being able to curate an amazing village of people who help me maintain my balance aka: my sanity. The idea of trying to raise children alone without help has never been done up until now. And we wonder why all of us are going crazy? We used to be raised by “family,” and if we don’t have the privilege of living near family, it’s important we seek out a community that will help lessen the load for us Mamas once in a while.
What advice do you have for moms who want to pursue entrepreneurship? My number one piece of advice is to cut yourself some slack. We as women tend to think we should be able to do it all, backwards, and in heels! The truth is, it’s not that easy. And certainly not that glamorous. Take your time when figuring out what it is that you want to pursue. If you don’t love it, and I mean really really love it, then you won’t be motivated to take time away from your family to make your work a real success.
Do you have a parenting philosophy? If so, please describe? I would never subscribe to one parenting philosophy. I have four kids with very different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Blanket parenting has never worked. I think my only philosophy is the antithesis of an actual philosophy, and that is trial and error. I try something out to see if it works if it doesn’t then I move on to the next thing. I like surrounding myself with people who are much smarter than me, the kind of Moms that read all the books and do all the research, and then I get advice from them. My biggest strength as a parent is the ability to trust my intuition. I believe this is the biggest strength of any Mother or Father. If we take the time to observe and listen to each of our children individually, ask the right questions, and keep learning and growing, then we are doing our best.
What are your self-care must haves? “Self-care is not self-ish” is one of my favorite quotes. I was raised by many different women throughout my childhood, and I think I observed each of them and how they took care of themselves. My Mother taught me that you could look a hot mess all day, but if you have a manicure and pedicure, then you are winning half the battle. I don’t ever let my nails go, and I actually LOVE sitting at the nail salon in complete silence (comatose really) while getting my nails done. It’s a must every other week! My Granny taught me the importance of girlfriends. Her self-care was a girl’s day with cards and gin and tonics. I get filled up by my friendships; if I’m feeling like I’m in a rut, I can always count on my girlfriends to give me perspective and a really good laugh! My Aunt Donna’s self-care was a weekly massage, and she always seemed more calm and relaxed afterward. I am a sucker for a massage and think the physical and mental benefits are huge. I use an app called Zeel, and it has changed my life. They offer the best masseuses who come directly to your house! So once a week after the kids are all asleep I get to enjoy a massage in the comfort of my own home. #lifechanger
What was the best piece of parenting advice you ever received? The worst? The best piece of parenting advice I’ve ever gotten would be from my friend Kelsey who said to me,” detaching from your kids wins and loses is so important.” What she meant by this is that some of us can be so deeply attached to our children’s happiness, and it turn be deeply attached to their sadness or disappointments. Although we want to support and love our children, we cannot take on their experiences as our own. When they win, we cheer, and when they lose, we encourage them, but at some point, we have to detach from allowing our children to dictate how we feel. Allowing our children to fall down is part of their growing experience, and when they win a game or a trophy, we are happy for them, but it is not our own personal win. There is a difference. I want to let them have their own life and journey, and I want to have my own as well. Attaching our happiness to anyone else’s (even our children) is not healthy. I will be there for kids every step of the way, but I know detaching from their experiences will save me as my children get older and become adults and win and fail and go down their own beautiful life path.
The worst piece of parenting advice at this point is the, “Everybody deserves a trophy” concept. I know there are going to be some parents who disagree with me here but hear me out. In what real-life scenario does everyone win? How are we going to motivate our kids to work harder if they get a trophy no matter what? What is going to happen when our kids get a little older and realize that there are actual winners and losers? Now they are going to feel a million times worse when they don’t win. I don’t believe in coddling my children; the more real and honest we can be (within certain limits depending on age) with our children, the more life prepared, strong, compassionate, and hard-working they will grow to be. There are wins and losses in life, and the losses are never losses if we learn something from them.
New episodes of Keep On air every Thursday!