On Wednesday, the actress, wife and mother told ESSENCE what she’s boldly and bravely teaching her son about his own masculinity and how raising a son has helped her to embrace the femininity she graciously embodies.
“My son has long hair and he’s constantly bullied on Instagram about his hair,” the Instant Mom star shared. “It’s painful. There’s this weird stigma on, ‘oh he shouldn’t have long hair. He’s not a girl.’ I asked my son, I said, ‘Cree, do you want to cut your hair? Do you want mommy to cut your hair?’ He’s like, ‘No, no mommy.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, then we ain’t cutting your hair.’”
While teaching her beautifully woke little man has helped her tremendously, she knows that learning to love her post-pregnancy body has also made her more accepting of her own strength as a woman and mother.
“Since becoming a mom, I feel like I’ve embraced my body and being a woman more,” she adds. “I really saw what a woman could really do and what a woman really goes through. I saw how it’s a beautiful thing. I had a cesarean and I [have] a cesarean scar. It’s beautiful to me. I never look at it and feel ashamed. Never. I always look at it and I remember the moment when my son was born. Also I don’t feel ashamed that I didn’t give birth naturally. Unlike it doesn’t matter how your baby comes out. It matters you’re okay and your baby is healthy. Celebrate life. Let’s not focus on how your child came out and who gets brownie points and all that kind of stuff. It’s so amazing and beautiful.”
The Carefree ambassador also opened up about how open she is with Cree recalling the time when he first inquired about her “monthly visitor,” and how she didn’t feel the need to shun him from her feminine experience but rather to educate him instead.
“My mother’s an amazing and loving mom. She’s a great mom, but sometimes I wish that she would talk about those uncomfortable moment. Talking about it means you’re no longer ignorant about it and then you see that our mom’s someone that you feel safe with, that you trust is talking about it. It makes you feel confident and makes you not feel uncomfortable taking about it because they made the environment not uncomfortable for you.”
She added, “I already talked about it with my son [and] I’m proud of myself because I wasn’t the type of person when he saw me on my period, I didn’t close the door and be like ‘oh my god.’ I didn’t want him to look at that as if it was disgusting, as if mommy was ashamed about it. I just said, ‘oh god, what should I come up with?’ I said ‘mommy got a little boo boo.’ I said the ‘pad is, that’s our band aid.’ He got it. He’s 5. I think it’s just starts with just communicating.”
Should Tia and her husband, actor Cory Hardrict, become parents to a little girl, she says she’ll teach her daughter to walk into womanhood proudly.
“I wouldn’t be afraid to talk about the changes that my daughter’s going through. As a woman, I want her to know that it’s normal, it’s something that’s natural and something for her to not feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about. I want her to feel comfortable in her own skin. I really think that it starts at home. When you are hearing that and hearing about that from your parents, from your mom, your dad, as opposed to hearing about it outside, because you can’t control what’s being said or how it’s being said outside of your house but you can control how it’s being said inside your home. Just communicate with her and let her know that it’s normal, that all women go through, and that it’s okay.”