May 03, 2012 10:00 AM

Courtesy Avery

Despite having worked throughout her pregnancy with son Cree, the transition to working mom has been an adjustment for Tia Mowry, who was back on the set of The Game when Cree was just 2½-months-old.

“There’s a lot of things going on in your mind as a new mom,” she tells PEOPLE. “When you go to work, you’re spending time and hours away from your child, and I would find myself crying and feeling guilty that I was not there.”

But despite her initial hesitation, the experience also helped the actress realize her day job was another way she could better mother her son.

“I had to change my perspective on the whole thing and say, ‘I am doing this for my son. I am working to give him a better life,'” she says, “to provide him and my family with the best.”

Luckily for Mowry, Cree was able to visit her on set, even scoring his own trailer, and soon became a hit with her coworkers and crew.

“I feel blessed to be able to bring my son to work and to share with him what mommy does at such a young age,” she says. “Now, it’s like second nature to him. He’s in the hair and makeup trailer and seeing mommy get ready … he always puts a smile on my face, keeps me at ease. And he was the hit of the whole set. Everybody loves Cree so much.”

Mowry’s desire to introduce Cree to her public persona is also why he will be featured on the next season of Tia & Tamera, set to debut this summer on the Style Network, and partly the inspiration behind her new book, Oh, Baby: Pregnancy Tales and Advice from One Hot Mama to Another.

“I don’t mind sharing with the world the most amazing gift that God has ever given to me,” she says. “I think it’s good to basically share with my fans what it’s like to be a mom, the joys and the challenges.”

Courtesy Tia Mowry

Having kept a journal throughout her pregnancy, Mowry says the book offers a “realistic perspective” on the experience, covering everything from cravings – hers included sourdough Funyuns and pickled garlic – to morning sickness, which she experienced round the clock.

“I think with a lot of pregnancy books, it all came from a medical standpoint, and you were missing the fun, kind of girlfriend approach,” she says. “You don’t want to be constantly reminded of all the bad things that can possibly go on through your pregnancy. You want to feel empowered.”

And with Cree, now 9 months, growing by the day, Mowry has begun tackling a whole new set of milestones, including crawling, clapping, swimming and his first words.

“He’s said ‘dada.’ ‘Mama’ we’re still working on that, which quite frankly I’m a little bitter about that,” she says laughing, adding, “Cree is one funny kid. He’s definitely taking after his mommy.”

Kiran Hefa

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