Monique Samuels stars on Real Housewives of Potomac which is returning to Bravo this month. Despite her lavish lifestyle (and multiple luxurious homes), she says that her Jersey-based extended family has kept her rooted and down to earth. Monique’s dad made sure she wasn’t out driving until she learned to change a tire and check under the hood of a car and life was not always as glamorous for Monique as it is today. She values a good work ethic, managing her husband’s real estate investment company. First and foremost, she is a mom to two young kids and that is her primary focus. Being married to Chris Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowl left tackle who played for the Washington Redskins, hasn’t caused her to lose sight of the importance of hands-on parenting. Currently nanny-less while her kids are in school programs, she has always felt that it’s important to not have anyone else raising her children. When things were busier and the kids were not yet in pre-school, she had help, but describes the arrangement as follows: “We collaborated. When she (the nanny) was doing laundry, I would do things with the kids. You work together so the kids definitely get quality time with their mom!”
When Monique’s son was fussy due to allergies, it made her search for some natural remedies in addition to running to her pediatrician. “I’m not a naturopath,” she explains, “But I do like to find what will keep me from reaching for Motrin, if that’s possible. I like to find the essential oils that can give some relief.I’m very big on essential oils.” Monique just launched the parenting lifestyle website Not For Lazy Moms at the insistence of friends who appreciated her insight and advice.
“My friends would ask me about some natural remedies and I would be researching and making these suggestions and they said ‘You really need to start a website where you share this with others.” I urge people first to go to the pediatrician! But it doesn’t hurt to do your research and complement that with natural remedies so you can potentially lessen the number of sick visits.” Not For Lazy Moms began as a Facebook group. Monique would also record videos and the NFLM site went live on October 30th.
Although brand new, some early 5 star reviews are in because Monique initially brought this concept to the Not For Lazy Moms Facebook group she created:
Not For Lazy Moms is not only about health and wellness though. It also encompasses other areas of parenting and encourages moms – “not Perfect Patties” as Monique says – to be candid about struggles and ways to overcome them.
Regarding the title of the site, “What mom is lazy?! I don’t think ANY mom is lazy,” stresses Monique, “I want to be clear that the name is pure snark. Wracking our brains to figure out what’s good for our kids, what’s beneficial for our marriages and how to spice things up as couples…Those are all things we deal with. That was my impetus for starting Not For Lazy Moms. I’ve learned how to get my kids to get to bed by 8 pm so my husband and I can enjoy some time to ourselves after. It’s not always about going out, some times it’s just enjoying some wine or a cigar – on occasion and having ‘date night’ at home.”
“I know this is not easy for parents in general. You should come in and smell our home! We use essential oils and We have a diffuser going…I rub some essential oils on my kids feet before going into bed. My husband and I do the same. We all have to work hard to figure out the routines and learn what’s effective so we can be in bed peacefully by a certain time and having things running smoothly in our lives. I really want this website to be a place to hear from other mothers, for moms to exchange ideas and discuss what works, for moms to ask questions and get answers. My friend Valerie is actually a matchmaker who contributes to the site and will give parents great ideas on keeping the spark, something parents of really young kids and babies can forget to prioritize or struggle with.”
Monique has been very busy lately recording televised morning segments that provide tips to moms. She is also working on developing a podcast (that will also likely be titled Not For Lazy Moms). When I ask her if other cast members from Real Housewives Of Potomac will be involved with the website, she says that anything is possible further down the line. However, this is not about Bravo. It’s about helping moms connect with other relatable, everyday moms.
“Whether you want a recipe for homemade play dough that you can make with your kids, or date night ideas for you and your significant other, I want this to be a place where moms go for excellent ideas! We are also interested in having other moms be contributors. There is a tab on the site for that. I love interacting with people and sharing some of my thoughts and the things I’ve learned from real life, hands-on experience.”
You can check out Monique’s website at: www.NotForLazyMoms.com or follow her on Twitter @https://twitter.com/iammrssamuels.
(This article previously ran in my Huffington Post Contributor archive)