Identical twin sisters Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley burst onto the television scene in 1995 with their hit teen show Sister, Sister, and haven’t slowed down since. Continuing their trend of portraying positive Black characters on screen, the twins have reunited for the reality show Tia & Tamera, he highest-rated show in The Style Network’s history. Now in its second season, the series follows new mom and book author Tia and newly-wed Tamera, who’s expecting her first child in October, as the two balance family and their acting careers.
In an interview with EBONY.com, Tia talks her future on the hit BET show The Game and both ladies gush about motherhood, sisterhood, love and marriage.
EBONY: Congratulations on your baby boy, Tamera! He’s due in October; that is so exciting! I know you’ve had a chance to watch Tia go through her pregnancy with [her son] Cree, so you’ve been able to know what to expect. But what has been the most surprising thing you’ve experienced while being pregnant?
TAMERA: Thank you! That’s a very good question because you go through a lot. But I guess I never really realized because I’m in my third trimester right now and the excess weight takes a toll on your body, your ankles, your knees. But positively, I never knew you could love something so much and he’s not even born yet. I never knew how excited I would become just when I see the ultrasound. That’s my way of seeing him and I love that and I can’t wait to meet him.
EBONY: Tia, you have this great new book out called “Oh, Baby!” in which you give women the inside scoop on the side of pregnancy that people and doctors don’t really prepare you for. How has motherhood changed you?
TIA: I’ve learned a lot about myself actually. I’ve learned how to be more patient. When you don’t have a child and you’re a hard worker who’s always on the go, you’re on a fast pace. But when you have a child you have to learn how to slow down and just be patient. My son gets me to enjoy the simple things in life. I really, enjoy just going to the park and spending an hour with him at the park now. At the park, I’m just another mommy hanging out with the other moms and watching our kids play and I love that.
EBONY: Tamera you mentioned in an interview that you and [your husband, Fox News Correspondent] Adam [Housley] not only didn’t live together, you also remained celibate until you married last year. Why did you choose that route and do you have any advice for your fans who are trying to follow in your footsteps in that regard?
TAMERA: Adam and I took a break from dating for about a year. We missed each other and something was drawing us together, but more than that, we wanted to make sure that this relationship was what God wanted for our lives. [In order to know] if we are meant to be together, we said, ‘it’s got to be God’s way and not our way.’ We didn’t want to half-step anything [or have clouded judgment]. So our right way was the way we felt God wanted us to do it which was being celibate. We said to God, ‘This is who we are, I know you take us as we are, our faults, our fears, our joys, our hope as a couple and have your way.’
I tried the ‘missionary dating’ [in the past] where you have a person with a great heart who you think is perfect and wonderful except for this one important area that you try to change. That’s unfair to that person. That person needs to be who they are 100%. And it’s unfair to you. You don’t want to drag somebody to church with you. My husband wakes up on Sundays and says ‘Hey, are we going to church today?’ It just makes [waiting] all worthwhile. I dated guys who did not share those same beliefs and it was hard. There were many nights of heartbreak and crying, and that’s not what God wants for us.
But if you want to be celibate, definitely don’t live together [laughs] because that makes it harder for you. Have people around you to keep you accountable! Surround yourself with people who support your decision, because they’re only going to root you on. Make that covenant with God and with each other and just let go. God is going to see you through the difficult times. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged just pray together. Like I said it’s not going to be a perfect journey, but you just have to keep God the center of your relationship.
EBONY: It is so obvious on the show that both of you ladies and your husbands are completely in love with each other. It’s so refreshing to see that on television. Your love just radiates off of the screen. So how did you know Cory [Hardrict] was ‘the one,’ Tia?
TIA: Thank you! That’s so nice to hear. Well number one, he loves God. Everything that he does, he goes to God about it first. He’s a strong man of faith and prayer. I find that very important for me because I am the same way. This business is hard and I needed someone who would say “Tia, get on your knees and pray,” — whether it’s business-wise or personal — and that’s what I love about Cory. Cory is a warrior and that’s why we named our son Cree because Cree means ‘warrior.’ Cory lost his mother at a young age but he came out to L.A. all by himself to achieve his dream [of being an actor]. He just believes in himself and has a lot of confidence. Also, he’s such a nurturer. He’s so caring and such a protector. He’s always catering to me and he spoils me. There just aren’t a lot of guys out there like that.
But when we first started dating, Cory asked permission to kiss me. That’s when I knew Cory was the one. He’s such a gentleman and really, really sweet. I am more in love with my husband now than I was when I first met him.
EBONY: Tamera, you say couples who want to stay together have to ‘remember why they love each other’; why do you love Adam?
TAMERA: Awww! I love Adam because he has a beautiful soul. This man, it hurts him not to care. He will give the shirt off of his back to a stranger – well, it’s easy to give to a stranger, but Adam will give the shirt off his back on a cold day to someone he doesn’t even like. He just believes in the moral code. He believes in values. He believes in family. He believes in the Golden rule. He is the most generous human being I have ever met. He’s constantly giving. And he doesn’t brag about it.
I have a best friend as a husband and he is my number one supporter. He’s a family man and he’s always giving back to God. That is what makes him a beautiful man. We’re not perfect by any means, but that makes us beautiful as well. We’re not afraid to say we’re not perfect. We have our disagreements, but that comes along with marriage. He inspires me to be a better person.
EBONY: Of course, your relationship as sisters is the one we’ve loved to watch grow over the years. Particularly with the stigma against mental health and therapy that is rampant in our community, it’s so refreshing to see the two of you in therapy working on maintaining a healthy relationship. Why was it important for you both to show your therapy sessions on the show?
TAMERA: Well we wanted to show people that, again, we’re not perfect. We’re allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable. We are learning from each other. I think the greatest thing about our show is how open we are. Everyone doesn’t want to show that side, the side that they’re struggling with, but we have to realize that we’re always struggling with something. I’ve never received as much of a response as I have after that therapy session aired. People said it helped to show how their sisters actually made them feel too and helped them communicate better. So the response is really positive. The more you allow yourself to be vulnerable the more people will be able to relate and learn from you, because we’re all human.
TIA: Therapy is so important. Different people have different perspectives on life. It’s important for you to learn how to respect those differences and therapy really helped with that. Tamera and I are not in therapy anymore but the impact that it’s had on us is always expect the best from your sister and I think that when somebody’s feelings are hurt, you automatically turn to the judging side. When you automatically assume the best, you won’t be as hurt, you’ll say “Maybe she’s going through something because I know my sister loves me.”
EBONY: Tia, you’ve been so diplomatic when talking about what happened with your role on the popular show, ‘The Game,’ and why you’re no longer a part of that show after 5 seasons of being its star. What went down between you and the producers of the show?
TIA: ‘Tia and Tamera’ will touch on the topic, so I won’t give too much away because I’d like for people to tune in to see the whole situation play out. I think with everything, there’s a beginning and an end. The end is always sad, but there’s always something on the other end of the tunnel. With that said, I think everything happens for a reason. I was on the show for 5 years, we had an amazing run and I enjoy every part of being on the game. But you have to move on and that’s basically what happened. There were some changes, you know, and I’m happy about those changes. I’m happy with my decision to move on. There are so many things that I’m doing [Her ABC Family movie ‘The Mistle-Tones’ will air this winter]. I have so much more to offer to myself and to my fans. I don’t know how [it’s] going to work, but if they have me come back and do a guest spot on the show or something like that, that would be cool.
EBONY: That’s great that there is no animosity there. You’ve definitely handled this situation with such grace and positivity. The negativity that can surround some celebrities just does not surround you and your sister. How are you able to stay above a lot of the negativity that you face in the entertainment industry?
TIA: Well, this world is a crazy place. The reality is we’re not here for a long time. With that said, I like to choose to focus on the positive because whatever you throw out comes back at you. I believe if you’re a good-hearted person that will definitely come back to you. Are things perfect? No. But I’m going to focus on the positive and you can be negative all by yourself. Happiness is a choice. And I’ve also found that someone who wants to focus on the negative won’t want to be around someone positive. Maybe that’s the formula right there!
You can catch the second season of Tia & Tamera on Style Network.
Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog DistrictDiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @DCDistrictDiva.