Tamera Mowry-Housley doesn’t believe in all work and no play. The Emmy Award-winning talk show host and mother of two is committed to enjoying herself no matter what. Prioritizing herself despite being an actress, businesswoman, partner, daughter and sibling has not been easy, but she accomplishes it through deliberate choices, and at 40 she isn’t shy about sharing them.
“I’m done having kids,” she told ESSENCE. “My kids are at the age right now—and I talked about this on The Real—where parenting is work.”
For Mowry-Housley it’s not about chore wheels and gold stickers, but infusing a strong sense of accountability into her kids. She wants taking care of themselves and their surroundings to become “habitual,” echoing her mother’s belief that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“You’re not just changing diapers and taking really cute pictures with your baby you know?” she explained. “I am trying to instill some really good characteristics and morals into my children’s lives.”
Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housely have two children, 6-year-old Aden and 3-year-old Ariah.
“I taught them at the very young age the song clean up, clean up,” Mowry-Housley continued proudly. “I just got tired of cleaning up after them! After a while I was just like guys, ‘I’m your mom. I’m not your maid. You have to learn how to do this yourself.’”
Recently, The Real co-host aligned herself with two companies determined to allow others to savor the small moments with their loved ones. Ice cream company Blue Bunny hired Task Rabbit to take people’s chores off their hands so they can enjoy a few hours of family-friendly fun. (In fact, from now until May 31 anyone can claim a task, valued up to $75.)
Mowry-Housley said the initiative is “really cool” because “they’re actually taking on tasks, like the most boring everyday tasks, that individuals have to do so that they can achieve that fun time for themselves.”
Fun time for her household often comes thanks to family fishing trips, a long-standing tradition started by her parents, who would take her and her siblings to Lake Cucamonga in California frequently. Now, her son and daughter each have their own fishing poles and are learning similar lessons to the ones their chores impart.
“It’s teaching them patience. You don’t just catch a fish like that,” she says snapping her fingers. “You’ve got to sit there and wait it out.”
Mowry-Housley knows a thing or two about waiting. Despite being at the apex of reboot culture, she and her fellow Sister, Sister cast members refuse to sign-on to do a modern version of the show until the storylines can match the original’s quality.
“The timing has not presented itself and also the material. We know you guys want it. We want to make sure that it is bomb! I’m not gonna just do it just to do it,” she said.
Remarkably progressive for its time, the 90s sitcom, which centered on two twins separated at birth, only to be reconnected by a random bump-in at the local mall, tackled economic inequality, domestic violence, police brutality and other tough topics with humor.
“Every episode of Sister, Sister had like a moral theme, but we weren’t corny about it,” she said. “We drank and we smoked, but at the same time we had Jackée [Harry] and Tim [Reid’s] characters being like ‘Uh uh. Don’t get crazy now!
Mowry-Housley thinks the softer format can be useful at a time where public discourse and satire has gotten so heated.
“I think Millennials now will like it,” she said of a possible reboot. “You can still have morals and values, and still be cool and be trendy.”