ESSENCE caught up with Yandy Smith at her ballerina-themed baby shower to talk her hustle, motherhood journey and surviving the drama of reality television.
She’s traveled the world managing tours for Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. But these days, entrepreneur and Love & Hip Hop star Yandy Smith has her feet up as she prepares for the imminent birth of her first daughter with fiancé Mendeecees Harris, a little sister for the couple’s son Omere, 2, and Harris’s son from a previous relationship, Mendeecees Jr. We caught up with Smith at her ballerina-themed baby shower to talk her hustle, motherhood journey and surviving the drama of reality television.
Congrats on your baby girl! When did you realize you were pregnant?
Mendeecees and I went on this big health kick. We were working out together and running. I could always beat him on the treadmill. When he started beating me and I started to get tired, I was like something isn't right. I was working out but gaining weight. After three weeks I finally took a pregnancy test. I was shocked it was positive and took another. When I went to the doctor a week later, I was seven weeks along.
So what did you learn from your first pregnancy, and now settling in motherhood, that you're planning to apply baby number two?
Well, our son Omere still sleeps in the bed with us, so we've been trying to get him out. We go to sleep and he's back in the bed. My daughter is allowed to be in the bed when she's feeding, but other than that I'm going to be diligent about putting her in the bassinet because now I have a two year old that looks at me crazy when I try to get him out of the bed. It was the same for little Mendeecees. We didn't get him out of the bed until we had Omere.
You’re incredibly involved with little Mendeecees. Did having a relationship with him make you feel more committed to his father?
Absolutely. I'm so appreciative of that relationship that I have with little Mendeecees, because he really taught me how to love on another level. The love you have for your man or friend is completely different from the love you have for a child that depends on you. He was my first experience at helping raise a child. I was able to get a test to run before I had to go full throttle with my own.
Your relationship with Mendeecees has survived its storms. When did you realize this was your man for life?
When we met eight years ago, I was all about my career. There have been so many breakups to makeups. We would see each other while I was home, but I was on tour a lot and would be gone for months at a time and barely call. We were broken up for over a year when I went on tour with Missy for six months. I came back and he was dating someone. I started dating someone. We bumped into each other and it was like love at first sign again. He was like, ‘I'm not letting you get away from me this time.’ We both ended our other involvements and it’s been nonstop since that moment. We took our time, got to know each other and became great friends. He's been here for the most part, until his situation.
What kept you committed when the hard times did come and you were faced with him being in jail and possibly being there a long time?
I had no idea how long it would be. As long as I still loved him was as long as I was going to be there. If I started to lose love, then I'd have to act accordingly. It wasn't a matter of , ‘I'm down because that's just the type of woman.’ No, I loved him. That was my friend. I was able to get a flight pass and go see him every week. I took the kids sometimes. We talked every day. Although it was very different, he was still very much involved with my life and the kids. When we got word that he was finally able to get bail, it was amazing.
How do you keep your sanity in all the drama on Love & Hip Hop?
Some people might see it as a dark show. I just want to be a light. I don't jump across tables and throw bottles and rip wigs off. That's not my thing. I didn’t think people would like me on the show at first because I'm too regular. But I have to be myself and be positive. I want to show there are people that love each other. There are women that work hard in this industry that aren't married to this rapper or that executive and actually did it for themselves.
Give us wedding details.
We are planning for a summer wedding. Hopefully you will see it on TV. The tag line of our relationship is, ‘Who wants a perfect love story anyway?’ from Beyoncé with Jay Z's song. I want a fairy tale wedding.