Jeff Lewis Prioritizes Parenthood Over Work: I Didn’t Become a Dad to ‘Pass My Baby Off to a Nanny’
Jeff Lewis‘ daughter has him wrapped around her finger.
The Flipping Out designer, 47, posed with Monroe Christine — his baby girl with partner of eight years Gage Edward — for Parenting OC‘s June cover, letting the magazine in on a little glimpse of his life as a new dad.
“I’m obsessed,” says Lewis of his 7-month-old. “I used to be very Jeff-centric, now it is all about Monroe. And I love it that way.”
He means the “all about” part, too. As the interviewer recalls of Lewis’ response when he asks his employees whom they work for and they say his name, “No. You work for Monroe Christine Lewis. That’s who we all work for now.”
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I think we should avoid sugar. pic.twitter.com/R7m1Qphzf9
— Jeff Lewis (@JLJeffLewis) April 19, 2017
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Lewis’ flourishing home-design and television career can be traced back to his childhood, where the Bravo personality remembers “trailing dad on the job” in flipping homes.
“I expect Monroe will be doing the same thing,” he shares. “It would be great if she wanted to be a designer or developer, but I want her to choose her own path.”
Adds the father of one, “I just hope that Monroe is as lucky as I am, in that I was able to make my hobby my career. I would love for her to have that same amazing life. Because it doesn’t feel like work to me.”
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The working dad says “I live for the mornings” — specifically the first 45 minutes when his daughter “wakes up and is so happy” since “it’s a high that stays with you the entire day.”
Balance has been quite the challenge for Lewis and Edward, but as the former explains, it’s all about prioritization.
“We were trying to simplify things long before Monroe, but having her really was a catalyst for big changes,” he says. “I don’t have a choice anymore, we can’t work the hours we were working. It is just about streamlining and working smarter.”
“As a parent, you just can’t do it all. The fact is, the first three or four months after she was born, I wasn’t so good at my job. Because something had to give,” Lewis adds. “And it wasn’t going to be Monroe. So it forced Gage and to reevaluate. I waited 46 years to be a father … 46 years. I take it very seriously.”
As busy as the couple is, they make sure to reserve regular time just for family. Right now, that is every Sunday. “I didn’t go through all this and wait all this time just to pass off my baby to a nanny,” Lewis admits. “I love walking in the room and have my kid look at me and smile and recognize me and be happy that I appeared.”
“I’m fortunate that I have my own business and can structure it in a way where I can do both,” he adds of how he makes it work. “There are people out there that do not have those options, so I’m certainly going to take advantage of it. The flip side is that we do have a business that requires a lot of my time.”
“But that’s simply not working for me anymore. I can’t choose a job because it creatively inspires me or I want to work with some celebrity. I used to do it all, but what’s important to me now is Monroe.”