Tia Mowry and her 5-year-old son, Cree, helped kids' clothing brand Janie and Jack launch its first limited-edition women's and paired children's line, J&J, this weekend in Los Angeles.
Coordinating outfits with her little guy, the actress, Cooking Channel host and mom talked to Mom.me about her family's summer vacation plans, what she packs for long flights and how she balances parenting duties with husband Cory Hardrict.
What are your plans for the summer?
For me, it's all about making those memories. This year, we're going to Hawaii, and we're just really excited. My mom's coming with us, and this is the first time my mom is coming with us on my family vacation! My husband was like, "As long as she gets her own room."
Will your mom help out as a babysitter while you're there?
I think she will, but she's already that way when she's with us and around us, so that will be nice as well so Cory and I can go off and have a romantic dinner. Cree will be with Grandma, and they have a very, very close relationship, so it's going to be great.
How do you tackle packing?
I will give myself a pat on the back. I don't usually do that for myself, but I'm telling you I am an incredible packer because my parents were in the Army. They teach you how to properly pack. I think the best thing to do is, No. 1, pack a few days in advance. Don't wait until the last minute because that's when you forget things, but what's really, really important is packing items like food, snacks and things that entertain your child.
I had to take a flight to Germany with my son two years ago because my husband was shooting a movie. We did it and it was fabulous. The main important thing is packing foods that they like, even comfort foods. So oatmeal. My son loves oatmeal, and that's easy. You can ask flight attendants to warm up some milk or even get hot water. I provide the oatmeal, and they'll give me the warm milk and the water. It makes them feel comfortable.
And toys. An iPad is really great. Go ahead and download their favorite movies. You want to download them and not worry about Wi-Fi because some flights don't have Wi-Fi, and then you'll be screwed. Also, the key is booking flights around their sleeping patterns, and that was what really, really helped me.
Sometimes we moms get most of the parenting credit. How do you and Cory balance parenting duties?
One thing that I love about my husband is that he is considerate. So if I've worked a very, very long day, which there are times that I do, and then my son is waking up in the middle of the night, my husband will wake up in the middle of the night and put him to bed for me. Stuff like that for me goes a long way.
I think what's really cool about my relationship with my husband is we're not so traditional in our gender roles. It's not like "the wife does this, the dad does this." First of all, everybody's family is different. Everybody's family has different needs, but recently my husband was in Bulgaria shooting a movie and I was in the back yard playing football with my son. If my husband's not there, then I'm going to take the reins and take care of that, and then vice versa. I'm headed out to shoot a movie, and he's not afraid to wash the dishes. He's not afraid to cook.
We don't have those gender roles, and I feel like that really helps with our family, and it takes the pressure off of him and me. That is what really helps us. It's teamwork.