As the wife of Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-NFL sports analyst Tony Romo, Candice Romo knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight. But the entrepreneur and mother of three keeps it all in perspective while doing her best no matter what challenges the day brings.
Homegirl Talk caught up with the mompreneur to get her tips for creating fun family vacations, the importance of faith and the best advice she has for women everywhere.
Hi Candice! Thanks so much for taking time to chat with Homegirl Talk! Like many women today, you are so busy it’s hard to take a moment to breathe, let alone take time for a getaway. Why do you think it’s important to have family vacations?
We’re all busy running around, we’ve got phones and iPads and technology in our faces. I just think it’s so important to unplug, to reset your family. You have to force everybody to be in one spot so that you can have good conversation and be intentional about your relationship with your husband, your kids … it’s a good reset so you can take on the day-to-day more smoothly.
What are some practical steps we can take in order to successfully plan a family vacation?
Well, it’s funny because my husband Tony likes to travel in a big group, so you have to plan ahead of time. We’ve got our parents, our in-laws, friends, aunts and uncles and cousins, which makes it fun to create memories. But then [the challenge] is finding a place that can support that big group and have the accommodations to support such a big group.
That’s why I think it’s important to find a place like Kalahari Resorts — it’s like a cruise ship on land! It’s the largest indoor water park in America, they’ve got the space for us, and then there’s just so much to do for every different age group. I have three little boys, so the older boys can be on the water slide and if the baby needs to take a nap, I can take him for a nap. If the grandparents want to do the lazy river, they can do the lazy river. And if I want to sneak away to the spa, I can sneak to the spa.
But then we can all reconvene for dinner and discuss the fun day that we just had. So it’s really about finding a place that can accommodate both parents and kids. Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to go because it’s either more kid-friendly or more geared toward adults.
What do you recommend for families who want to do something special but don’t have much money or time?
Well, what’s great about Kalahari Resorts is that there are four locations. I think a lot of the expenses of vacations come from airfare — it’s so expensive. But because there’s Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and one coming soon to Texas, you can just throw your stuff in the car and go. That cuts down a lot on cost. Plus, I think sometimes it’s just easier to go on a vacation where you don’t have to deal with the airports and tickets and airlines.
Where are some of the places you and your family like to go?
Well, my husband Tony likes to play golf, so a lot of our trips this year have been around his golf tournaments, which hopefully won’t always be the case! We just got back from Lake Tahoe where he had a golf tournament. But we love going to Wisconsin, which is where my in-laws live, especially in the summer because Texas is so hot and we like to get a break from the heat. He grew up going to the Wisconsin Dells, so we love the whole idea of the indoor waterpark experience. It takes him back to childhood and we can pass that tradition on to our kids.
Scrolling through your social media accounts, it’s clear how much you love your husband and sons. What has becoming a wife and mother taught you about life?
That’s a great question. It teaches you that it’s not about you. After that first kid, it’s not about you anymore. It teaches you humility, which we all need a dose of every now and then. And just being a little bit more selfless. I love my kids so much, but it is nice to have some breaks and vacations without them as well.
Tell us about Hawke & Sloane, the collection of children’s sprays you created with your childhood friend.
Yes! It’s a children’s spray line and each spray is a different parenting hack to make the day-to-day just a little bit easier. They’re primarily all essential oils. Me and my best friend started the company and we are in about 100 stores and boutiques in the Southern region and we’re just chugging along. It’s been a great venture for us.
You and Tony have said that faith in God is central to your lives. How do you share this with others even they do not follow a particular religion or spiritual practice?
The easiest way to do it is to talk about how it relates to us personally. With all of the ups and downs that we’ve gone through — and that everybody goes through — our faith is essential for those day-to-day challenges and trials. Keeping [God] center makes everything more significant and important in this journey of life, and it keeps us less self-centered. So yeah, our faith is very important; it impacts our everyday decisions, it impacts the way we raise our family, it impacts our marriage … it trickles down into all avenues.
Your husband is a third-generation Mexican-American. What aspects of his cultural heritage are part of your family’s life?
What’s so fun is that his grandparents, who are from Mexico, live very close to us. We love having them over and having them speak Spanish to our kids and being immersed in the language. And, of course, Tony’s dad speaks fluent Spanish as well.
Family is a huge part of the Hispanic culture and we love gatherings. We find that it’s very important to have family over and have those relationships. Like I was saying earlier, we’re constantly inviting our in-laws and aunts and uncles and everyone over to keep that connection really close. It is something that we value and I know that it’s something he gets from his heritage. That is something Hispanic culture does so well — keeping the family and that tight-knit community together. We want our kids to have those same values.
Some say that women can have it all. Just not at the same time. What do you think about that?
You know, some days I feel like a good mom, some days I don’t feel like a good mom. Some days I feel like a good business owner, some days I don’t feel like a good business owner. I just think that it takes a village and you’re going to need as many hands as you can to help you. Just do what you can everyday and try not to beat yourself up over it too badly.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with all the women out there?
Accept help! Accept help from your friends who have kids. If you can carpool, if your parents live close and they want to help with the kids. Accepting extra hands and extra help is key to doing it all or at least pretending to do it all!
For more information on family vacations, check out Kalahari Resorts.