Q&A With Tia & Tamera

The reality TV stars share tips for balancing work, motherhood, and sibling rivalry.

From the WebMD Archives

Tia, your son Cree just turned 2. Tamera, your baby boy Aden is now 11 months old. Any big milestones to share?

Tia: Cree is in "the terrible twos." He's throwing tantrums. I say, "You can have this toy once you calm down." If you constantly console, you're rewarding bad behavior. I find it extremely helpful to get down on his eye level. When I do, it's amazing how he calms down and just listens. He's also having full-on conversations in complete sentences -- just not in English! I have to act as if I understand. It's the funniest thing...

Tamera: Aden is sitting up, and he's crawling -- but only in his crib. The moment you put him on the floor, he's like, "What is this?" And he's very vocal right now. I'm definitely hearing "Mama"!

There is so much humor in your reality series. Is laughing through sleep deprivation the key to parenting success?

Tia: Yes! Instead of getting upset I just count out-loud: "1-2-3-4..." I try to find the humor in everything. Why not?

Tamera: Laughing definitely helps. It's weird, but I find that if I distract myself with my son or an activity that I enjoy, it helps with the sleep deprivation. There's a hump you get over. Once you're over it, you're golden.

Is Aden a good sleeper, or has this been a challenge?

Tamera: I feel very blessed. Aden sleeps from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., straight. I know a lot of moms who are into sleep training. Aden learned really quickly; he's like a clock. Ever since I gave birth I haven't had to use my alarm clock, ever. He knows how to soothe himself.

Tia, in your book, Oh, Baby! Pregnancy Tales and Advice From One Hot Mama to Another, you write about your endometriosis and how tough it was for you to conceive. Are you optimistic about having a second child?

Tia: I knew nothing about endometriosis when I was diagnosed. It's important to educate other women, especially African-American women. I'm constantly monitoring my symptoms. Diet is important; I've become vegan. I cut dairy, I eat all organic foods, nothing packaged, and no meat. I load my diet with vegetables and grains and miso soup -- basically a macrobiotic diet. When I eat this way, my symptoms aren't as strong. I want to have another child. I changed my diet [before conceiving Cree], which I think helped me get pregnant with the help of two surgeries. My husband [actor Cory Hardrict] is also vegan. Cree eats organic fish, miso soup, seaweed, spinach, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. We make a habit to make all of our food in the house.

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Tamera, on a recent episode of Tia & Tamera, you pose the question, "Can I be a mommy and still be sexy?" What's the answer?

Tamera: Of course you can! For me, I have to adjust and make the transition. You find yourself as a new mom in the third month [after giving birth] and still dressed in your PJs. I'm not as fazed as I was before. I've learned to make quick fixes to my makeup, and to walk in high heels again. My being a mom has intensified my sexiness. My husband says I'm the sexiest I've ever been!

Are Cree and Aden best friends?

Tia: Cree loves his cousin. To see them connect almost brings tears to my eyes.

Tamera: Oh, yes. They are so beautiful together.

Growing up and now working with a twin sister means constant together time -- and occasional clashes. Any sibling rivalry?

Tia: When we were younger there was tons of it. Twins are supposed to be alike, but we've always had different points of view: marriage, life, religion, politics, everything. Now that we're in our thirties we've learned to appreciate our differences. We're human; of course sometimes you get offended. But through counseling and understanding dynamics, as you see on our show, [you learn] it's natural to be competitive.

Tamera: I'd be lying if I said we never had any. But I can count on one hand how many times we had a real fight. What helps is respect. Respect that we're different people. If others just used that in their everyday life, we'd all be better off. The world is beautiful because of our diversity.

How do you each strike a balance between work and home life? Any tips for new moms?

Tamera: I was a stay-at-home mom for 4 months. It's such a precious and hard job. Being out of [paid] work, it takes it to a whole other level. Now you're working 24-7!

Tia: The first step is to realize things are never going to be perfect. I prioritize and take one hour at a time. If I look too far ahead I get overwhelmed. The key is to focus. Also, it's OK to be selfish and to make yourself happy. If that means putting flowers in your room, do that. If it's a mani-pedi, or taking a bath with lit candles, do that.

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Tamera: Mother's guilt is real. So, one: Breathe through it all. Two: Be OK with not getting everything done. And take care of yourself. When I take good care of myself I'm a better mom.

Do you find time to exercise?

Tia: Every Tuesday and Thursday I work out at 7:30 a.m. I do it for myself.

Tamera: That is the biggest challenge ever. You have to make time. You don't want to do it. But that workout counts as "me" time. You never want to work out, but you never complain after. You have more energy.

How have you shed the baby weight, Tamera?

Tamera: We eat all organic, mostly protein, some vegetables, a little starch. Good carbs, like fruits. Very little dairy or sugar. I've lost 40 pounds of my baby weight. I believe in moderation; you can't cut out everything. We're foodies! I love cheese; I could live off it. But everything in moderation. I love apples with almond butter as a healthy snack.

How has motherhood changed you?

Tia: It's given me a new lease on life. I never realized before how fixated I was on myself. It's not like that's empty, but now that I've had a child, he's given me so much purpose, depth, and meaning in my life. I do everything for my son. I've learned to embrace the simple things. He motivates me like no other, makes me a better person, and gives me so much joy.

Tamera: I'm more relaxed. I was a control freak. Having a baby teaches you patience. It teaches what not to do when you're stressed. Now I'm OK with the unknown. I can let it go. You can't control everything about your baby. You can prepare, but that's it. I have never been so present before in my life. Because I don't want to miss anything!

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WebMD Magazine - Feature Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 12, 2013

Sources

SOURCES:

Tia Lowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley, actresses; stars, Style Network's Tia & Tamera.

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