Back-to-school season is in full swing, and one star who can really relate to the frenzy of trying to prep yourself and your kids for that is Tamera Mowry-Housley.
A new survey by Total Wireless, whom the star is partnering with, finds that 63 percent of moms find planning for back-to-school season to be more stressful than planning for the holidays. The 39-year-old mother of two can relate because she has a full load that includes co-hosting her hit talk show The Real and blogging on her popular website TameraMowry.com. Trying to juggle that with a 4-year-old and 2-year-old is tough, but the bubbly star manages to make it work — with the help of her phone. We talked to her about balance, practicing self-care, if she sees more kids in her future and where things stand with another work opportunity set to fill up her plate — that Sister, Sister reboot.
MadameNoire: How are you managing this whole back to school season prep now as a working mom who has a lot on her plate? You have two kids, a husband, The Real, you’re blogging — how are you making it work?
Tamera Mowry-Housley: I basically just take it a day at a time. And I have realized now that I like to see myself as a seasoned mom. I have a 4-year-old, I have a 2-year-old, so I have two children under five. Either I have it together or I’m going to get it together [laughs]. I’m learning as I go and for me, it’s all about organization and planning ahead. So with that, I rely on my smartphone. Nowadays in this tech world that’s what everybody is doing. Your cell phone is not just a cell phone anymore. I definitely rely on my smartphone and Total Wireless to keep me confident during the back-to-school chaos that a lot of moms go through. It also helps me stay connected with my friends and family that I love and I really love their shared family plan because it’s affordable. It’s only $25 per line and that’s insane. There are so many apps on phones now. They have family calendars, they have apps for meal prepping when you go grocery shopping. So my phone is basically my one-stop shop. I’m not only looking at social media, I’m looking at what I have to do every day and then, if I really want to be adventurous I look at what I have to do for the week and then for the month. But I want to make sure I keep everything organized, that way, I’m not in my head freaking out. I can be present with my children, with my husband and with my family. You want to be able to enjoy that family.
Part of being able to adequately care for your family is by practicing self-care. And part of self-care is taking care of your physical health. I know that you injured your back, so have you been able to get back to exercising, and if so, what are your workouts of choice?
When you have C-sections, just remember: Do core exercises whenever you can. My daughter, her nickname was chunk munk when she was born. I prayed for a chunky baby and I got one and I loooove it. She doesn’t love it so much because I’m always kissing her. But yeah, I hurt my back because I picked up my kids at the same time — both of them. But I’m doing so much better now. Pilates is amazing! It’s been helping me throughout this entire process. And walking. Walking is great. And also, like I was talking about apps, fitness apps are really amazing as well because they show you how many calories you’ve lost. I love it.
Do you see more kids in your future?
I do! I do. Maybe one more, but my heart has always wanted to adopt. I can remember as young as 11, God just placed that on my heart, and when I met my husband, I told him about that dream and aspiration and he said, “You know what? Me too!” So who knows? Timing is everything. I want to make sure that we are in a place where we can give all of our children that attention and love.
Speaking of kids, I know Ariah sometimes confuses Tia for you. Is that as hilarious to you as it is to everyone else?
It’s so funny. She’ll look at Tia and she’ll say “Mommy? Mommy?” And I’m like “Hey!” We say, “Where’s your mom?” and she will point to me. So I don’t think she gets that there is two of us [laughs]. It’s funny, but now I’m teaching her because they Facetime all of the time. So I’m teaching that when she Facetimes her, “That’s Auntie Tia, Ariah. Auntie Tia.” But they have the cutest relationship. I think Ariah looks more like Tia than she looks like me. I do! And I think Cree looks more like me than he looks like Tia.
Did Cree mistake you for Tia when he was younger?
He did! He was with Tia and Tia was holding him up at one point. Around the same age as Ariah, she was holding him and he was looking at her face and he said, “Auntie!” So he was calling Tia “auntie” and not me. She was like, “What is happening?” It’s crazy.
Speaking of your sister, the Sister, Sister reboot conversation seems to be centered on giving the fans what they want. However, you and Tia have worked really hard over the last few years to carve out your own lanes and have success individually. Is there any hesitation about trying to do things as a duo again?
Not at all! If anything, I think the timing is perfect. My sister and I, we had a plan. I was even pre-planning before I had kids. My sister and I always said first we were going to do something together, then we wanted to solidify our careers separately, so that when we came back together again it would be even stronger. Because we have fans who love us together. Then we have fans who love us individually. So you bring those fans together with the fans with the fans who love us together? Wooooo! Something happens when my sister and I are together. It really is magical. It’s not work. And we wanted to make sure the timing was great and we’re listening to our fans and the studios are listening to our fans. I just personally wanted to say thank you to Sister, Sister fans out there. I think if it weren’t for them, this Sister, Sister reboot wouldn’t be moving forward. Your voices have been heard, and we are more than halfway in making that 100 percent possible. So fingers crossed, knock on wood, prayers gone up — it’s happening and we’re so excited.
Last year on The Real you guys had a lot of guest co-hosts. Who is your dream guest co-host when the new season begins?
Michelle Obama knows how much I love her. Michelle, can you please come on our show and sit by me? Do a girl chat? Pleaaaaase? [laughs] I love her sooooo much, and she knows this. But I would love to have her come on. Put it out there!