What are you looking for?

Cleo Wade Mother Essentials
Mother Essentials

Mother Essentials: Cleo Wade

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Celebrated poet and author Cleo Wade is back at it again, with her second-ever children’s book, May You Love and Be Loved: Wishes For Your Life. The follow-up to What The Road Said (2021), her new offering is the first kid-lit title she’s written while being a mother to two. The personal book is filled with beautiful wishes for her own daughters (Memphis Love, 4, and Bayou Beloved, 2 1/2), and all children—and grown-ups—who read it.

“I know what I hate reading out loud. I know what I’m totally over. And I know what I would love as an evening prayer for me and my kids,” Cleo tells us. “And that’s really what I tried to give my readers with May You Love And Be Loved—that kind of end-of-the-day sermon.” The children’s book is also the first that Cleo wrote and illustrated—with uplifting wishes (“May gratitude surround you like gravity”) complemented by her playful watercolor drawings.

Below, the New Orleans-bred, Los Angeles-based mother includes this new title (and its accompanying Spotify playlist) within the dozen Mother Essentials that are currently getting her through her days.

May You Loved & Be Loved. “This book is a collection of wishes for your life. My hopes and dreams for every kid and grown-up.” May You Love And Be Loved: Wishes For Your Life, $17.66, Bookshop and Amazon.

Honest Lavender Shampoo + Body Wash. “I have always been an Honest gal. I use a ton of their products and keep their wipes in every bag I own. This body wash is a fam favorite. I use it (it’s great for sensitive skin and eczema), and so do my kids (it makes awesome bubbles for bubble baths).” Lavender Shampoo + Body Wash, $17.99, Honest.

Three Wishes Cereal. “I love this stuff. My kids have been into the cinnamon flavor lately. I like to have a bowl of the chocolate one after dinner. It has lots of protein and not a ton of sugar.” ThreeWishesCereal.com.

Bobbie Formula. “My kids don’t need formula anymore, but when they did, Bobbie was amazing. It’s organic, and the kids digest it so well.” HiBobbie.com.

Howard Hawks & Nancy Meyers Movies. “My days are pretty long between my work and my kids. I don’t often have the bandwidth for new movies and shows. I like to watch the same things again and again. In the same way, it is more comforting to sit with a familiar friend than a group of new people (even if they seem very cool!). I watch a film by director Howard Hawks or Nancy Meyers most nights. I should probably throw William Wyler in there, too, because How To Steal A Million is always in the rotation. Probably Billy Wilder, too, because of Sabrina—I actually like the one from the ’90s, too, with Harrison Ford. Long story short, knowing your comfort movies are pretty essential to parenting.”

Public Parks. “We go to the park almost every day. I love places you can just be with your kids without having to buy anything. The first thing we do when traveling is figure out the locations of the best parks for the kids. It is especially nice in the summer when the sun sets late, we can have dinner and go to the park before bed. It gets that last burst of energy out.”

La Ligne Sweaters. “Any of them really. I often say sweaters are my safety blanket. They really are. I either have a sweater on my shoulders or in my car everywhere I go.” LaLingeNYC.com.

Crayons. “We love to draw and color in our house. We have lots of coloring books. Most afternoons, we color outside while listening to music. This sounds a little extra, but sometimes I take a black pen and draw the coloring sheets myself, and my kids fill them in.” Crayola Assorted Crayon Set, $5.35, Amazon.

Aunties. “I don’t have any biological sisters, but my kids call all my close girlfriends ‘auntie.’ Raising kids is a group project. I’m grateful for all of the ways my girlfriends show up to help with my kids.”

Disney Dolls. “My kids love playing with dolls from Disney movies. It is fun to watch them make up stories about what their dolls are up to. They are especially into Cinderella, Jasmine, and Mulan right now.” Disney Plush Dolls, $26.99, Amazon.

May You Love & Be Loved Playlist. “We have a dance party in the kitchen pretty much every night before or after dinner at our house. Simon and I made this playlist together. 100 percent joy.” May You Love & Be Loved Mix via Spotify.

Goop Beauty Lift + Depuff Eye Masks. “Part of parenting is accepting you will never get as much sleep as you did when you didn’t have kids. Good eye patches will bring your face back to life when you don’t want to look as tired as you feel. I love these Goop ones.” Lift + Depuff Eye Mask, $125, Goop.

For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on writer Alex Elle, comedian JENNY SLATE, poet MAGGIE SMITH, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream co-founder LAURA O’NEILL, author and doula BRANDI SELLERZ-JACKSON, designer CLARE VIVIER, Miles & Milan founder SHENNEL FULLERGRACE NA of Pistola, the designers behind MILK TEETH, photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.

Write a Comment

Share this story