'Real Housewives' star Monique Samuels explains how she finds balance in motherhood

We recently sat down with the reality star to talk about she channels her mom superpowers.

'Real Housewives' star Monique Samuels explains how she finds balance in motherhood

Real Housewives of Potomac star Monique Samuels knows a thing or two about being a busy mom.

The reality star, entrepreneur and mom of three has had her hands at a new level of full since giving birth to her third baby last November. But speaking to her, she seems to take it all completely in stride. From making time for her successful podcast, Not For Lazy Moms, to scheduling date nights with her husband, former NFL player Chris Samuels, the New Jersey native is a pro at making it all work.

Motherly caught up with the "Real Housewife" to talk about how Monique stays balanced and channels her mom superpowers.

Motherly: It's been a whirlwind few years for you with The Real Housewives, the launch of your podcast and the expansion of your family. The question every mom has on her mind is how do I find the balance with all that's going on in my life. How have you found balance?


Monique Samuels: My key to being balanced is the power of saying no and not overwhelming or over-committing myself. Because before, not long ago, I was always pushing myself so much, I was completely exhausted. It's like you're rushing from the time your feet hit the floor, to the time your head hits the pillow at night.

And I was so miserable, I did not enjoy the fact that I felt like my whole life was a rush. I would look back on my week, and I'm like where did it go? I don't even remember what I did with the kids. So that's when I learned to just say "no." I think that a lot of times, that is what the issue is. We as moms, we tend to be superwomen, naturally. So we think we can do everything, which is true. We can really do it all, but within reason. So just knowing what your limits are.

Motherly: You recently became a mom of three. How has life changed in the last couple of months for you?

MS: I thought my life was non-stop, but now I realize what non-stop really is. The hard part is, when you have the first child and that's the only one you focus on, that's super easy, compared to now. I mean, they go with you everywhere. You just know that one person that you have to focus on and create a routine for. But then when you have multiple kids in different age groups, it's like each one has a different need at the same exact time.

Having a newborn who needs that non-stop monitoring, it's hard to make sure that you're not so focused on the new baby that you forget about the needs of the other two. So just kind of juggling that and making sure everything's balanced and everybody feels like they're getting their little attention when they need it. It's a lot.

Motherly: Do you lean on your husband for a lot of help as well?

MS: Yes, absolutely. My husband is retired, he coaches high school football, but his schedule is super flexible. So we're able to really make sure that all of the kids kind of have their time with us, and he'll take the baby and I'll put the kids to sleep, or vice versa.

Motherly: And how do you make time for your relationship?

MS: Well the only way that Chris and I have time is by having a scheduled routine for the kids. So the fact that they have a bedtime and they're in bed at the same time for the most part, every night.

Motherly: I want to shift gears a bit to your podcast, Not for Lazy Moms. Tell me where the inspiration for that came from. I'm sure that had some people in their feelings.

MS: Being a mom is a full-time job, on top of everything else that you do. So I like the title because it's a play on words, Not For Lazy Moms. Well, what mom really is lazy? No mom can be truly lazy when your whole life is around making sure everybody else is okay.

It's really a community of women who share their tips and their secrets on how to get it done. We want it all, we do it all. That's our motto. When I think about my mom, grandmom and great grandmom's generation, they never shared the struggles of what moms really go through. So what I wanted to do was create a community where women would actually share their secrets with new moms or expectant moms or women trying to get pregnant so that they don't have to go through it all alone with all of these questions.

Motherly: What's been the biggest lesson you've learned from a guest on your podcast?

MS: There's an episode we did on raising children with special needs, while also trying to maintain your marriage. I've never been in that position before. So to hear someone tell me how they keep it all together, and they have a child who has autism, and then they have another child that society would deem normal/healthy, and how they have to reconfigure their whole life to make sure that their child has the best chance. I was blown away. Also, we did a topic called My Two Moms, My Two Dads. It was very educational.

Motherly: Let's talk about what it's been like having your kids on a reality show. What's been the hardest part with that?

MS: The difficult part is just kind of reminding the kids constantly that people are strangers, but these strangers may know your name, they may know your mom and dad's name, they may know your sister's name, they may know about your party that you just had, but they're still strangers. We have to remind them that not everybody that knows your name knows you. So you always do whatever we tell you to do, if you're at school, you don't ever go home with anybody.

Motherly: And how do you deal with the criticism of your parenting style?

MS: One thing I've learned is when you're doing a show, you're going to have 50% of people who agree with what you're doing and another 50% who don't. So with that mindset, I said 'this is our family, this is how we do things. And whatever people think about it, whatever.' If they give me something that is a piece of advice, I sift through what I think is relevant and what I think is complete hate or judgment.

We all have different styles and we all know what our kids need. Because they're all different, every household is different.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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