Cleo Woman: Dr. Morgan Cutlip
Cleo Woman

Dr. Morgan Cutlip

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today?

I have been interested in relationships for as long as I can remember. My dad went back to school for his PhD in psychology when I was in grade school and I used to attend classes with him. He’d give me fake cases and ask how I’d help that particular client’s marriage or family. I fell in love with the work. My dad started creating courses back before everyone and their brother had a course and I started traveling with him to conferences in the summer to help work his booth and sometimes speak with him. I knew I wanted to contribute to the work he was doing, so I pursued my PhD in psychology and specialized in relationships.Way back in high school I told my dad that someday I wanted to offer something to support women in their relationships, I feel beyond lucky to spend my time doing that today.

What inspired you to write Love Your Kids Without Losing Yourself?

Motherhood hit me like a freight train. I went into it with credentials up the wazoo, a great growing up experience, and very defined expectations of the type of mother I’d be and the way I’d parent our kids. Unfortunately, I made a major oversight which was I didn’t consider that I may birth a kid with a totally different temperament than I anticipated. And I did. Our baby had all sorts of opinions and preferences from the get go. I had really high expectations for myself as a mom and I felt like I almost immediately was failing. I always say the further moms expectations are from our actual reality, the more pain, guilt, overwhelm, and feelings of falling short we will experience. I was there. It was in that newborn fog that I decided, when it eventually cleared, I wanted to help moms navigate their relationship with themselves and their partners differently.

What are you most proud of?

Professionally, my book. My book feels in many ways like my heart is out in the world. I tell a ton of stories about my own motherhood journey and our kids as I demonstrate examples of tools and strategies moms can use in their own life. I hope it really normalizes the hard parts but offers hope and encouragement to moms at any stage of motherhood. One reviewer said the book felt like a warm hug and that made my year. Personally, my family. Our kids are beyond hilarious. They are 8 and 10 (almost 11) now and I could not be prouder of the humans they are. They are kind, generous, thoughtful, and just a blast. It’s a privilege to be their mother and experience life with them. I am proud of my marriage. My husband and I met when I was 14 and he was 16 (we didn’t date the whole time, that’s a story for another day) and we’ve worked really hard to love each other well. We don’t have a perfect marriage, no one does, but we just keep growing and showing up for each other. I’m proud of us for that.

How do you balance being a mother, author, and everything else? What do you do to help stay grounded?

I don’t balance it. I just keep making regular shifts depending on what’s going on in my life. I have a chapter in my book called “Balance is Bologna” because I think so many of us moms are trying to figure out how to turn the dials to find that perfect balance and then when we can’t or we do and then it all falls out of balance again (which is always does) we feel like something is wrong with us. The reality is life is super busy and continually pulls at the closeness of our relationships causing them to drift apart…even our relationship with ourselves. So, the most important thing I do to navigate all my different roles is to check in with myself throughout the day and make minor adjustments based on my mood, my energy, my needs and all the other things I have going on. Some of my favorite ways to stay grounded are to have dance parties, listen to audio books, and create space around the transitions of my day.

You offer some great online courses on relationships and marriage. What’s one piece of advice you would like couples to takeaway?

Schedule regular check-in meetings with each other. I can’t tell you how powerful this is for your relationship. Is it kind of formal? Yeah, so?! Is it kind of awkward at first? Yeah, so?! Who cares, it will be a gamechanger in your relationship and will help to prevent small issues from becoming big ones. It also helps you stay connected when life is pulling you apart. Plus when you schedule the meeting it helps share the load of managing your relationship (which usually falls to women). And, seriously, we have meetings for everything else in life, but yet we neglect doing it for our most significant relationship?! It’s wild. Just do it. Keep it short and positive, but do it.

What do you need a little more of in your life right now?

I need more down time and slow. I just am coming off writing the manuscript for my second book and I’m struggling to downshift because I still have little things hanging over me. I’m ready for a clear plate and a beach chair.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Stop living afraid. I am an introvert and had a deep insecurity that I had nothing meaningful to say, let alone share with the world. One of the purposes of starting my Instagram (besides helping couples) was that I used it as a personal experiment to see if I had a point of view to share. It was a way to challenge myself to speak out ideas and concepts and face my fear head on. Then I started doing podcast interviews and other things that required me to talk at length about my ideas. It’s been a really powerful transition for me. I wish I would have broken out of that fear sooner.

What advice would you give to busy mothers like yourself?

Listen to my book, ha. But really, it’s incorporating small check-ins with yourself throughout the day. This really does offer you a moment to reflect on what you need and what you may need to shift. We just run through life, head down, white knuckling for so long that we sort of forget about us. We become so disconnected from ourselves we lose touch with what we need, who we are, and what lights us up. When you practice regular check-ins you can microdose meaningful self-care and make adjustments when necessary in how you’re navigating caring for everyone else and yourself.

What is a favorite quote or saying of yours that you go back to time and time again?

I’m staring at it on my wall right now. It’s 1 Peter 4:10 which summarized is “each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others.”

What do you wear, go, and eat to feel your absolute best?

Wear: jeans, tshirt, blazer, boots or a dress and boots. Side note: After our son was born, I had a work trip for my husband that required me to have some resort-like clothes (lucky I know). I discovered Cleobella at a local boutique and when I tried it on it was the first time, after becoming a mom, that I really felt like myself. I love Cleobella for so many reasons but this is one that feels close to my heart. Eat: steak and veggies

Favorite book or podcast that you can’t stop telling friends about?

I’m in a huge romcom book phase. I can’t seem to snap out of it, because they just feel so good to listen to. I love anything Emily Henry and Abby Jimenez.

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