In a candid interview with Romper, mother of two Tia Mowry-Hardrict talks the harsh realities of mom guilt, postpartum depression, breastfeeding and more

By Jen Juneau
November 05, 2019 02:47 PM

Tia Mowry-Hardrict is an accomplished actress, food vlogger and much more, but her most important role is Mom.

The former Sister, Sister actress, 41, posed alongside her daughter Cairo Tiahna, 18 months, and son Cree Taylor, 8, in a recent photo spread for Romper, in which she opened up about the ups and downs of motherhood.

And the second time around, for the first few months after Cairo was born, she developed intense feelings that she hid from her doctor, including crying all the time and having thoughts like worrying her daughter would be smothered overnight, she tells Romper.

“When I knew that I had postpartum [depression] … I didn’t want to admit it. It was that shame,” she says. But she did eventually tell husband Cory Hardrict, as well as her friends and sister Tamera Mowry-Housley.

“They became my support system. So when I was sad or going through my emotions, I would talk about it. I didn’t suppress them. I think that helped,” says Mowry-Hardrict, adding that she started to feel like her normal self by the time Cairo was 6 months old.

Amy Harrity/Romper

Another thing that helped, according to the star, was going back to work: “Just being on set and it not being about your boobs and a baby, it was about you again.”

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Tia Mowry-Hardrict and her kids for Romper
Amy Harrity/Romper
Tia Mowry-Hardrict and daughter Cairo for Romper
Amy Harrity/Romper
Tia Mowry-Hardrict and son Cree for Romper
Amy Harrity/Romper

RELATED: Tia Mowry-Hardrict Says She Was Fat-Shamed for Not Snapping Back “Right Away” After Pregnancy with Daughter

With two young children almost seven years apart in age, Mowry-Hardrict has had to learn what discipline techniques work over the years — but there’s one she definitely doesn’t employ.

“I don’t spank my kids, and in the African-American community that’s like, ‘What? Who are you? You’re not black if you don’t spank your kids,’ ” says the Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix vlogger.

And like most parents with multiple children, the actress struggles with making sure the kids both feel equal love and attention from her, to the point where it makes her feel “so much guilt” at times.

“There was this one time in particular when I was giving Cree kisses and he goes, ‘Mommy, you give Cairo more kisses than me.’ And that hurt me,” she says. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what have I done?’ … I felt so much guilt.”

Tia Mowry-Hardrict and her kids for Romper
Amy Harrity/Romper

Being open about breastfeeding, too, has been important to Mowry-Hardrict, both in person and in what she has presented to fans and followers on social media.

“I didn’t know how much power I had,” she recalls of breastfeeding Cree, whom she stopped nursing when she went back to work when he was 3 months old. (She nursed Cairo until she was 13 months old.)

And now? “I am not afraid to say this, but I literally have to pick up my boobs to see my waist,” Mowry-Hardrict jokes to Romper. “Literally haul them up and be like, ‘Oh, there it is.’ “

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