Sister, Sister alum Tia Mowry-Hardrict says motherhood has given her a “rebirth” and a new perspective in life. The 33-year-old new mom has returned for another season of her hit reality TV series, Tia & Tamera, with her twin sister Tamera Mowry-Housley. The dynamic duo explore the facets of new motherhood, pregnancy, guilt of the working mother, and keeping a positive attitude along the way.
Saying she’s a “huge fan” of Celebrity Baby Scoop, Tia opens up about her “adorable” son Cree who is set to celebrate his first birthday this month in an Elmo-themed party. She also talks about juggling her many roles, encouraging us to “follow your instincts” when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood, stating, “We were created for this reason and it’s in us.” Read on about Tia’s journey as a new mom and her initial reaction to Tamera’s pregnancy news.
CBS: Congratulations on the June 11th premiere of Tia & Tamera! What can we expect this season?
TMH: “In the upcoming season, you’ll see a lot of crazy moment with my sister and I. But what’s really special about this season is the touching moments between mother and son. You’ll see my son Cree! My sister and I have said that we believe he is already a scene-stealer [laughs]. He’s just so much fun, he’s so adorable!
You’ll also follow us behing-the-scenes a lot. You’ll see my struggle with being a working mom and the challenges that come with that. You’ll follow me on a movie that I did for ABC Family, and you’ll see how I balance that. Do I feel guilty? Yes. Do I feel the guilt will ever go away? No.
You’ll also see the dynamic between my sister, ‘Auntie,’ and nephew. You’ll also get to see the working relationship between my sister and me. We travel a lot this year – we go to Utah, we go to New York, we go to Napa. So it’s a lot of fun this year!”
CBS: Will we see Tamera’s pregnancy as well?
TMH: “Yes, you will. You’ll definitely follow that as well. So this is a really, really special season.”
CBS: Were you shocked when Tamera first told you about her pregnancy?
TMH: “Yes, I was a bit shocked at first because she had told me I was a good form of birth control, because I was just extremely honest about pregnancy and all the things that happen during pregnancy [laughs]. So she was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to get pregnant, I don’t know if I’m ready.’ So I was shocked because I didn’t know she was going to get pregnant so soon after just getting married. But, I knew she was pregnant! I think it was just that twin intuition. I ‘felt’ it and there were some interesting things that she was doing that pregnant women do, such as not drink! And we were in Utah when I found out and it was her idea to go skiing, and all of a sudden she backed out. She said, ‘Let’s go tubing.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ So I kind of figured it out just by that she was acting.”
CBS: Tell us about your new book, Oh, Baby!: Pregnancy Tales and Advice from One Hot Mama to Another.
TMH: “I wanted to write this book, mainly because there weren’t many books out there like it. I felt like all the books out there were focussed on the medical aspects of pregnancy. I thought, ‘What goes on with the mom? What about her emotions? What is she dealing with?’
Also, I wanted to write a book about the things that people don’t necessarily tell you about pregnancy — not even your doctor! When you bring it up to your doctor, they’re like, ‘Oh yah, that’s normal.’ Things like my X-rated dreams, or my uncontrollable amount of gas! People don’t really share those stories with you, probably because they’re too embarrassing to share. But I’m a tell-it-like-it-is girl, and I wanted to bring that perspective with my book.
My book is about my pregnancy experience and I think what is really cool is that it’s not just about the emotions that women deal with. I also give tips and advice on what you should buy in your nursery, what I feel you don’t need to waste your money on, how to stay a hot mama because we’re all wardrobe-challenged when we’re pregnant. So I give style tips and websites to go to.
I even give food alternates. So instead of having one food that is really fattening, I’ll give another option to foods that aren’t so fattening. And lots of cool recipes…I get a lot of Twitter reaction to my cake pops recipe – everyone loves it! I didn’t see another book out there that had all of those qualities.”
CBS: It sounds like you have tons of good advice! But what’s your best advice to your twin sister during her first pregnancy?
TMH: “I would have to say that my best advice I’ve given her – and she’s actually said this herself – is to follow your instincts. As women, we get so overwhelmed with so much information and there’s so much out there with classes, how to swaddle a baby, how to feed a baby, how to burp a baby, the list goes on and on. But at the end of the day, I believe we are chosen to do this as women. We were created for this reason and it’s in us.
The other advice I gave my sister and I give to a lot of moms is that some people really try to force on how you should deliver; whether you should have an epidural or not, whether you should have a home birth or not, whether you should breastfeed or not. At the end of the day, this is your body and you have the right to do to your body whatever you want and never feel guilty about anything.
I’m an advocate for breastfeeding – I think that breastfeeding is amazing and wonderful. But there are some moms whose lifestyles don’t necessarily help them with that. Or maybe their milk’s just not coming in. And I don’t want women to feel guilty or feel bad because everybody’s pressuring them to do it. So, forgive yourself and everything will work itself out!”
CBS: Are you still breastfeeding Cree?
TMH: “I was one of those women where my breastmilk left me at 3-months because I was working a lot, and working really long hours. I remember when I gave Cree his first bottle of formula, I cried. My best friend actually had to go and get it for me because I did not want to!
And I felt pressured, I felt devastated because I had heard the best thing to do for your baby is breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. And I was trying everything! I was drinking the teas, I was eating the soups, and it just didn’t come in. So I want to advise moms out there, if you can’t do it, it’s OK! As long as my son had the milk for 3-months and he’s happy, I’m fine.”
CBS: What are your plans for Cree’s upcoming 1st birthday?
TMH: “I’m so excited! Mindy Weiss – who did my sister’s wedding and Jessica Simpson‘s baby shower – she’s planning Cree’s first birthday party. It’s an Elmo-themed party. We’re going to have Tonka trucks, popcorn stands, and hot dog stands. I am so excited, I cannot wait! My sister has already informed me, ‘You know this party is for you!’ She’s right – it’s for the both of us! I think it’s a celebration.”
CBS: How is baby Cree doing?
TMH: “He’s amazing! He’s so smart, he’s growing, he’s trying to walk right now. I have a feeling he’s going to start running before he starts walking because he’s just so quick [laughs]. He’s clapping, he’s trying to sing, he’s trying to talk. He is just the apple of my eye!”
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
TMH: “Motherhood has changed me in a way that is just so beautiful. It’s funny how we give life to babies, because I feel like they give you life. I feel like my son has given me life – he’s given me a rebirth. The world just seems like a different place! He’s changed my perspective on the world.
And I’ll tell you this one story: We were on a train going from New York to Washington, D.C. — my son has been on 26 plane rides and 1 train — and he makes me want to see the world more. I love to travel with him. I love seeing the world through his eyes and his perpective. A train ride is so amazing to him – he’s looking out the windows and just so curious. And it makes me think, ‘What are you looking at?’ Then I will look at it and think, ‘Wow, the trees are beautiful!’ So I want to discover the world with him.”
CBS: So it sounds like baby No. 2 will be in the future?
TMH: “Yes, definitely! I kind of want to have Cree out of diapers first before I have another baby, but it is definitely sooner rather than later.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
TMH: “Of course my sister and I are doing more episodes of Tia and Tamera. We are also writing a book together. We haven’t found a publisher yet, but I enjoyed writing so much and I introduced it to my sister and we’re now writing a novel together. It’s going to be very magical, I’ll say that, but I don’t want to give away too much too soon. These girls have very special powers, let’s just say that.
And we’re also working on our brand. We’re all about creating new things. So we’re just getting our feet wet, and we’re having a lot of fun doing it!”
CBS: Maybe you can commiserate soon on the guilt of juggling work and motherhood?
TMH: “Yes, it’s really hard because I also believe that a woman shouldn’t lose her own identity just because she’s now become a mom.
I think women have so many facets to our personality. We are best friends, we are wives, we are mothers, we are sisters, we are daughters. And I think each role that you have in life should never be neglected. But with that said, you have to find a balance….but I don’t know if you ever find that! But I also don’t think you should neglect your other roles because we’re multi-faceted and I think that is why women are so strong. And we’re amazing, because we can be all those things!”
Click here to see a behind the scene clip of Tia and Tamera during their promo photo shoot. It showcases the girls’ personal styles of comfortable/funky and reserved/chic. The stylist also gave us a run down of the fashion look for Tia’s son Cree!