Actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict has shared the joys of motherhood with the world on her reality series Tia & Tamera. What we didn’t get to see was the moment when her two-year-old son, Cree, uttered those three little words, “I love you.”
While attending the Los Angeles premiere of That Awkward Moment, the star stopped to talk about the special moment with PEOPLE.
“He just told me for the first time, ‘I love you!'” she gushed. “I gasped when he said it because I’m always saying I love you Cree! I love you, Cree! I’m not expecting to hear anything back, and he goes, ‘I love you.’ And I was like, ‘Aww!'”
It happened when she least expected it. “We were playing Angry Birds on my iPhone—because he loves that game first thing in the morning—I lean over to him, I give him a kiss on the cheek, and I say, ‘I love you, Cree,’ and he reciprocated and said, ‘I love you,'” she explains. “Then, of course I started bawling. I was just floored and my husband was looking at me like, ‘Oh my God, Tia.'”
The Instant Mom star also shared there was a part of motherhood that she was not prepared for. “No one ever told me about the guilt that you have as a working mother—and I wish someone had,” she said.
Mowry found a way to combat the guilt in looking at the bigger picture. “I want my child to grow up seeing that his mom works hard for what she gets. If I can instill that with my son, that ‘Mommy works hard, and things aren’t just given to her,’ then I’ve done a good thing.”