Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique is known for her transparency and outspokenness on issues that are important to her. Whether she’s calling revered Black entertainers and gatekeepers to the carpet, or advocating to be paid her worth, one thing she never does is hold back her opinion.
On Monday as a guest on The David Banner Podcast, she shared her thoughts surrounding her past perspective in placing fame over her role of mom and wife. The comedian reflected what she sacrificed in order to gain her position in Hollywood.
“There was a time that when he was a little boy, I wasn’t interested in being a mother,” she began. “I was interested in being a star and I was interested in being famous. And I wasn’t interested in being a wife. I was interested in taking pictures and red carpets, and signing autographs, and traveling the world, so I really didn’t put the focus in.”
Mo’Nique was referring to her oldest child, Shalon Jackson, who is the oldest child from her first marriage to Mark Jackson. Jackson and Mo’Nique have another son together named Mark Jr. In 2006 Mo’Nique married her current husband Sidney Hicks after giving birth to twins Jonathan and David in 2005.
“And now that I’m 52 and he’ll be 30, well, I pay for that. There’s a price you have to pay for that,” she said. “And I had to apologize to my son because I said to him, ‘I don’t want you to think that your story is not valid because I didn’t tuck you in, I didn’t read you those stories, I didn’t show up at sporting events.'”
Mo’Nique’s reflection speaks to the thought process of many successful women who talk about the challenges in balancing family and career. But not often do we see women, mothers in general, come forward about purposefully putting their careers in front of their family. And for Black women, it goes deeper as Black mothers are held up and expected to fulfill several roles spanning across the economic, social and emotional divide.
“Because my whole thing was, ‘Yea whatever you ask for I can provide it,'” she said. “I can—’You see this big house? You see that basketball court out back? You see that pool? Don’t you come complaining to me about nothing because I gotta go.’ And when I did come home, now I’m tired.”
“So there was a time that this entertainment was the priority because as a little girl I wanted to be famous baby,” she said. “So when that moment happened, that’s all that it was.”
You can click below to watch the snippet which begins at 37:43.