Tia Mowry recently chopped it up with EBONY about her new #BacktoSchoolProud partnership with Office Depot, what she’s learning about motherhood the second time around, and how she knew husband Cory Hardrict would be a great father even before they said, “I do.”
How did you hook up with Office Depot for the #BacktoSchoolProud campaign? What appealed to you about the program?
Office Depot is helping my family get #BacktoSchoolProud, shall I say. I have a seven year old who’s headed into 2nd grade and getting back into the swing of the school year can be a bit overwhelming. My son [Cree], he’s into fun and stylish things, and I feel like Office Depot offers both for kids. They also have a 1-click landing page you can go to to buy all of the school supply essentials that you need.
With me being a working mom, now with two kids, it’s making going back to school so much easier. I also love that Office Depot has been giving back to lower-budgeted schools for the last 30 years.
Speaking of being a mother of two, congratulations on your baby girl, Cairo! Why was it important for you to publicly combat the idea of women needing to “Snapback” into shape immediately postpartum?
I’m all about being real and authentic. That’s just how I even speak to myself, by being vulnerable. I feel like, for me, especially with my first child, I felt pressured to get back in shape. Do I think it’s important to get back to yourself? Yes, but it doesn’t have to be so vain.
As I’m speaking to others, I’m speaking to myself. We tend to celebrate and glorify perfection, right? But it is freaking exhausting trying to be perfect! We’re humans, and humans are not perfect! I really just wanted to speak to the mothers out there who feel that pressure. You don’t have to succumb to that pressure to get back to your pre-baby body. It took you nine months, almost a year, to make a baby, so give yourself time! Yes, my stomach still looks like I had a baby, but guess what? I just brought a beautiful child into this world, let’s celebrate that!
Are you learning anything new as a mother this time around?
I learned that girls are smarter [laughs]! I’m kidding, but I’m not!
All jokes aside, I’ve really learned to cherish and embrace all of her milestones. I don’t think I’m going to have another baby, so this time around I’m learning to let the small things go, you know? I’m less uptight about things. I’m letting go and having fun, if that makes sense.
Back when you and Cory were dating, was there something about his personality or character that let you know he’d be a great father?
Yes! He’s going to kill me for saying this, but my husband is a softy, even though he always plays these bad-ass characters. When I watch him on TV or in movies, I say to myself, “who is this person?”
He really is the biggest nurturer, he nurtures my mind, body and soul. Even when I’m sick, he’s the one giving me the chicken-noodle soup and the orange juice. He’s the one who asks, ‘Tia, did you eat today? Did you take your vitamins.” From how he cared for me, I knew he’d be a great father. He’s also very patient and calm, like if a tornado was on the way to destroy the house, he could keep his cool while I would be running around like a mad woman [laughs].
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.