The ’90s gave us many great things, including the timeless gift that is Tamera Mowry-Housley through the hit sitcom Sister, Sister. While she’s still had a thriving career all these years later, including her run on the Emmy-winning talk show The Real, her 2022 memoir, You Should Sit Down For This, and a new Hallmark film called Dream Moms premiering on May 13, her favorite role is mother. She is mama to son Aden and daughter Ariah.
Speaking of motherhood, Mowry-Housley linked up with BelVita–the breakfast biscuit brand–to remind moms how important it is to “rise and thrive” by taking time for themselves. The brand will be gifting a few lucky moms a coffee bar prize package curated by the star. All they have to do is tag a mom they think deserves a moment to thrive on Instagram between May 8-19 and both the person who nominates and the nominee will win a prize.
We caught up with Mowry-Housley to learn more about the partnership, hear how she cares for herself as a mom, and learn what she appreciates about her own mom.
ESSENCE: How did this partnership with BelVita come to be?
Tamera Mowry-Housley: Well, I’ve personally been a fan of BelVita for years. I love that they’re whole grain. They taste yummy. I love my coffee in the morning and I always like to dip something in my coffee. So they are the perfect choice for that. And they have been, for years, at least 10.
The reason this partnership is very important to me is Mother’s Day is around the corner and I think it is extremely important to encourage and inspire moms. One, to let them know they’re not alone. We are a wonderful community. We understand it takes a village, and I think innately we try to do so much for our family, for our loved ones, that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves.
And we just want to encourage and inspire moms and let them know that it’s okay to do that. You shouldn’t feel guilty for just giving yourself a moment in the morning.
In the morning when I send the kids and the hubby off, it could be, I always like to say “blissfully chaotic.” So when everyone’s gone, I think it’s important for me to just take that time to reconnect, realign, all the “re-s,” and just have my sip of coffee, dunk and dip my breakfast biscuit and enjoy a little moment. When something’s really good, I do a little dance and I sing a little bit and it feels good.
Do you have any unpopular things you do for self-care as a mom like boohoo crying at therapy, having difficult conversations with yourself, or communicating needs that aren’t being met?
I’m glad you asked about the more uncomfortable conversations. I mean, I’ve been married for going on almost 12 years. It’s having those conversations with yourself and your spouse to check in and ask, “Are you happy? What can we do as a team to make sure we are each individually getting our needs met?” There’s a difference between wanting something and something you truly need to thrive; to feel good, to feel heard, to feel seen, to feel sexy.
And I’ve learned a lot of the times, if you are feeling it, your spouse may be feeling it as well. So you have to put that pride down, ask those questions and work it out. That’s one. The main thing, actually, that’s number two, is have that with yourself. Look at yourself. Actually look in the mirror at yourself, your whole body and then focus on those thoughts. What are you saying about yourself? I think it’s important to connect with what’s going on mentally and physically. And once you do that, it’s amazing how all the dots just start to connect in all areas of your life.
Looking back, what is one thing you would’ve done differently to better prepare for motherhood?
Girl, a perfect mom does not exist. Anyone who says they are, they’re not one yet. And I take full responsibility in thinking that I had all the answers because I had read all the books and that I was gonna be this perfect mom.
Our children, you know, we can guide them. It is not our job to control them. We’re supposed to teach, guide, you know, help mold good human beings, but no, we can’t control. And that is one of the biggest [most] humbling lessons I’ve ever learned in my entire life. And I’m a better mother for it. Now I can strive to be the most loving, great mom, and that is my job. That’s it. Not a perfect one.
And we’re all learning. We’re learning together. I don’t want my kids to think that I have all the answers because I don’t. I learn from them. Now, there are some things that I do know more of because of my experience, and my age, and I’m gonna let you know. I’ll let you know about that. But at the same time, I’m also not gonna be like, “I know everything.”
I love when you post pictures with your mom. She’s so beautiful. What do you appreciate about her more now that you’re a mom that you maybe didn’t appreciate before?
Thank you. I’m already thinking of what picture I’m gonna post. I love her. She is my best friend. She is. We’ve gotten closer the older I get. I have to call her every day. She disciplined me, and I’d rather be disciplined by my mother than the world because there’s gonna be love there–real unconditional love. I am a product of my mother’s discipline. It was her loving me, my work ethic, my faith, my strength, my wisdom. I love my dad too. Do not get me wrong. But those are the things that I learned from my mother.
We had a beautiful balance. No parents are perfect, we didn’t have a perfect upbringing, but we did have, I will say, a beautiful balance. And I’m trying to emulate that in my life. I love how I am in the entertainment business, but I also have a life outside of it. I appreciate what I do, but it does not define who I am as a human being.