With a 2-year-old son and an almost-3-month-old daughter, Tamera Mowry-Housley says she's "in the thick of it."
But now as a second-time mom, she's giving herself a break.
"Because of my experience with my son, I'm not being so hard on myself," the 37-year-old co-host of "The Real" tells mom.me about parenting and balance. "I know that it comes with practice, it comes with experience."
Mowry-Housley, who co-starred on the popular TV series "Sister, Sister" with twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict, juggles not only parenthood but also her co-hosting duties and her partnership with Ben's Beginners, an initiative from Uncle Ben's that encourages parents and kids to cook together.
The mom of Aden and baby Ariah (with husband and Fox News senior correspondent Adam Housley) shares her tips for getting kids to help in the kitchen, her own girl squad at work and what she hopes will come out of Viola Davis' historic Emmy win.
Congrats on your new
daughter, Ariah! What's your favorite part of having a little girl?
I'd be lying to myself if I didn't say I love dressing her
up. I have so much fun with girl clothes. (Ariah is pictured below right.) There are so many more options than
boys' clothes. There are great boys' clothes out there, but you have to become
a lot more creative, whereas with girls' clothes, the sky is the limit.
How are you juggling parenthood with two small children, your co-hosting duties on "The Real" and all of
I just had a
conversation with my girls (at "The Real"). It was hysterical, because normally during lunch we
all have our private girl chats. They're so great because I have to pump every lunch break and I'm sitting
there, with my pump and my bra — and they're just so open and so comforting.
["The Real" co-host] Jeannie [Mai] said the cutest thing. At first, she was like, "Oh my
God, this weirds me out a little bit, I have to be honest." But I did mention, "Guys, I'm really trying
to find the balance. I feel like I somewhat had an idea of what balance
was with my son, but I have to learn new balance."
I think what I'm learning right now is to just prioritize each day, each moment.
Yes, people are really loving African-American actresses, which is amazing. However, I want to get to a place where it's not a trend.
You're teaming up
with Ben's Beginners. How does your son
help out in the kitchen?
He loves to stir the ingredients. His favorite thing
to eat for breakfast is pancakes, and he knows the ingredients. He knows milk
and eggs and the actual pancake batter. So he'll say, "Milk, eggs," and then
I'll hand him the egg beater, and he'll just sit there, and he'll stir. We also
use cookie cutters for the pancakes. And that's a really fun way of getting him
involved, because you can't cut yourself on those things, so he learns different
shapes and different things. It's
fun for everybody.
What ways do you encourage your son to talk about his day while having family dinners?
One of the things is actually getting them involved in the
cooking process. When you have the child involved from the beginning to the
end, you're actually extending the sharing-a-meal process. The average time
a family actually shares a meal together is 18 minutes, so when you make it fun
and engaging, like actually having your child be a part of the cooking process,
they're a little bit more relaxed, they're a little bit more open, and then you
as parents can have more time with actually connecting and talking about their
I found out Aden's best friend, yesterday, was Andrew, which
I didn't know. It's cool to just hear them open up about his school day and his
friends at school, what he likes to do.
Do what's right for you and your family, and that's what I have learned as I've gotten older and met with other moms.
When talking to your
sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict, she mentioned that you have different parenting styles. She said
she was more of an attachment parent while you were more traditional. What's the
best advice that you've gotten from or given to your sister?
Do what's right
for you and your family, and that's what I have learned as I've gotten older
and met with other moms. I've learned that everybody has their different
parenting styles, but there's one thing we all have in common, and that is take
care of that child the best way we know how. To give that child love, and
that's what I focus on with my friends. I don't so much focus on how different
our parenting styles are. It's the thing that we all have in common, and each
family has different needs.
I have a little girl now, a
newborn, and I'm exclusively nursing, so for me, I have to keep her on a
schedule. But I'm actually not 100 percent traditional. I do the attachment
style with the carrier. I love carrying my baby. I love the bond that I have
with her. I'm so grateful for my job that I'm able to bring her to work, and I just
feel so blessed to be able to have her with me all the time.
What's your take on Viola Davis' history-making Emmy win, especially being an African-American actress yourself?
I am so inspired as an actress. Being in the
business — I have been in the business for a long time and see that it's
difficult. Yes, people are really loving African-American actresses, which is
amazing. However, I want to get to a place where it's not a trend, where we're
all just actresses. I love that we are appreciating the beauty and
the skill and the talent of our African-American colleagues, and I just pray and hope that
it's more than just a trend — that it's the face of the future. That all women
of color — whether you're black, white, yellow, brown, purple — we all have a
chance to win and have amazing opportunities.