Unapologetically is a Yahoo Life series in which people get the chance to share how they live their best life — out loud and in color, without fear or regret — looking back at the past with a smile and embracing the future with excited anticipation.
Since leaving Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2020 after three seasons, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave has been busy.
When she isn’t encouraging other women to be their best selves through her lifestyle and fitness company, All In by Teddi, Arroyave, 41, brings levity to the world as co-host of the hit podcast Two T’s in a Pod, alongside Real Housewives of Orange County's Tamra Judge. But maintaining a work-life balance is top priority in the reality star’s life — even though she admits it doesn’t come easy.
“People will always ask me ‘How do you have this perfect balance? It seems like you have it all figured out with all of the kids and work and your relationship,’ and it’s just not the truth,” the mom of three tells Yahoo Life. “The truth of the matter is it comes in waves. If you set up the people in your life with expectations for what's going on in your week, that's where we really thrive.”
Keeping a firm schedule is key, she explains, especially when it comes to planning time with her kids: Slate, 9, Cruz, 8, and Dove, 2, whom she shares with husband Edwin Arroyave.
“If I know I have a really busy work day, I tell my entire family during our morning time. I say, ‘Guys, just so you know, this afternoon, mommy might be a little tense and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. I just want you to know that work is really busy today.”
Though Arroyave, the daughter of singer John Mellencamp, has since recruited help with the kids after giving birth to Dove in 2020, she admits it took time to rake up enough courage to ask for it.
“I didn't have anyone helping me originally with Slate and Cruise,” she says, noting that she chose to quit her profession as an equestrian to have more time caring for her family. “Once I had them both, I put this really strong guilt on myself, like, you can't possibly ask anybody to help because you stopped working for this. I didn't ask for what I actually needed.”
Being the daughter of a celebrity, she explains, adds even more pressure.
"The amount of pressure that you put on yourself when you come from a parent that is in the spotlight, and you yourself wanna be in the spotlight, is a lot," she says. "It's gonna sound kind of sad, but I really wanted the approval of my dad. You want that parent that's so successful to look at you and be like, wow. And even though they probably were like, wow, before most of the kids that I know that have parents that are really incredible at something, their kids are gonna take on that pressure."
Arroyave stresses the importance of being transparent with her fans, explaining that she never wants “people to think that something just naturally happened if it didn't, because I don't wanna make people feel alone.”
That’s a lesson she’s learned with age, she says, acknowledging that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength and accountability — a message she hopes resonate with other women. That mindset, in turn, has also nourished the relationship with her husband.
“After 11 years of marriage, I would say that it still takes work. It's never going to be effortless,” she says of Edwin. “As much as we want [husbands] to be mind readers, they don't get any better at it, and that doesn’t change the longer you’ve been together. The other thing is we really try not to take ourselves too seriously with one another. He knows that I am very type A and organized and I like to be on time and that's just who I am by nature, and he's very fly by [the seat of your pants]. We're just so polar opposites in that way, but we laugh about it now, whereas before we would get like, ‘That's not who I am!’”
Standing firm in what she wants — including her decision to have a neck lift earlier this year — is all par for the course.
“Edwin, when it comes to surgery, for my boobs and for my neck, he is like one of those people that's like, ‘I don't even wanna know,’” she says. “As long as I'm happy, Edwin's happy. I don't wanna ever not look like myself. Would I get a full facelift in, you know, 20 years? I have absolutely no idea. Probably! Like, I can't say, but right now there's not anything I'm itching to do.”
Though she admits to never having been a person that “stresses about the number,” entering her 40s welcomed new understandings about how Arroyave wants to spend her time.
“The biggest thing that keeps me going and keeps me excited is I like to keep evolving and changing and figuring out what keeps me happy,” she says. “Yes, of course I work really hard. Sometimes I'm working, you know, 12 hour days or 14 hour days, but my work also feels like fun. It's things that I love and things that I'm passionate about. It's things that make me feel good or that I'm laughing while I'm doing it.”
Such was the case with the podcast she cohosts alongside Judge, an experience she never anticipated at this stage in her life.
“All of a sudden it's number one every week,” she says of the success of Two T’s in a Pod. “Our expectations were like, OK, we're two fired Housewives. Let's see what happens, and then it really just has taken off. It’s an exciting turn that just reminds us, like, never give up, keep focusing on things that you're good at and that you enjoy doing.”
“In order to feel good with yourself, at some point you have to be unapologetic and for me a big part has been the power of yes, but also the power of no,” she reflects. “You can laugh at the hate. You can laugh at the fun. You can laugh at all the different things and as long as you surround yourself with real people that will tell you the way it is and the truth, that's what matters in life. I've been able to do that. So I feel really lucky.”
— Video produced by Stacy Jackman
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