In our Sleeping With… series, we speak to people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life to find out how they make sleep magic happen.
Tia Mowry has been busy these days—you can be sure of that. The mom of two, who stars in Netflix’s Family Reunion, is currently shooting season two of the series. Mowry also recently launched Anser, a vitamin company, and has a Youtube channel, for which she creates DIY and cooking content regularly.
Mowry lives with her husband, Cory Hardrict, and their children, Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2, in Los Angeles. “Scheduling is really important in my household,” she tells SELF. “If the kids are not on a schedule, I feel like it’s hard to navigate. But with that said, of course I’m not militant. Of course there are days where you’re not perfectly on schedule. So I do forgive myself if I’m not.” Bedtime in Mowry’s household is full of sweet bonding rituals with Cree and Cairo, along with lots of luxurious small-business skincare. “One thing about me is I am all about the experience,” she says. For more on what a night before bed looks like for the Mowry-Hardrict clan, read on below.
My daughter goes to bed every night around 7:30 p.m., and this is one of my favorite times of the day when it comes to my kids.
I absolutely love putting them to bed. For some reason, ever since Cree was born, it feels like I’m putting a bow on a present at the end of the day. Kind of like, everyone’s safe, everyone had a good day, they’re home, and we had a good day. So I look forward to nighttime with my kids.
With my daughter, we give her a bath. We have this little playtime thing with her where we’ll tire her out. So for 15 minutes, we’re just singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” or trying to do something physical. Then I read a book and we put on this really cool thing called the Hatch. It lights up and it’s timed. It turns on white noise, so she knows that it’s time to go to bed. And what’s really cool is in the morning, it’ll turn yellow when it’s time for her to get up. So that’s been working for us perfectly.
Once she’s down, it’s the best. I literally do the, “Whew!” And then Cree, my son, goes down at 8 p.m.
The coolest thing about Cree and I is we have this ritual where right before we go to bed, we drink some tea together. He’s nine, and it’s crazy, because he’s the one that initiated it. He says, “Mommy, do you want some tea?” And I’m like, “Yeah, baby!” Cree drinks a different kind of tea than I do, but the tea that I drink is called Magic Hour tea. I was introduced to it by one of my friends. They call it ceremonial tea. You have to look at the packaging—it is just so incredible. It’s about the experience.
So we have our little moments together, and we drink our tea, and then what I do for him—and even with Cairo—I’m really big on oil diffusers. Cairo has this Unicorn diffuser, and I put a sleepytime oil in, and it’ll help her go to sleep. And the same thing with my son. He has this diffuser where you can put it on any color. I’ll ask him what color he wants on today—red, or blue, or yellow—and then I’ll put some oils in there. I’m a huge fan of Saje essential oils, they’re amazing. I let him go through all of the oil and he will choose which one he wants. Which is great, you know? God, I feel like I’ve said a lot and I’m not even on me yet. Welcome to being a mom! This is why you need a schedule!
When I put him to bed, we give each other kisses, and he likes to recap his day. He’s been doing this ever since he was like, two. And he’s so considerate, too. Around this time he’ll check in, like, “Mommy, how are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m fine, baby!” Then it’s lights out for him.
Now it’s time for my routine. And again, the reason why I feel like having a schedule is so important is because this is how I can get to my routine, you know?
I’m a huge advocate for self-care, especially when you’re a working mom. Self-care is not selfish when you are deciding to take care of yourself. So this is the time when I just really focus on myself. I like to take baths at night. It’s just a way that I can wind down nicely. The bubble bath and bath salt that I use is L’Occitane en Provence. I absolutely love their products, and I use the Foaming Bubble Bath, which has lavender in it, and then I use the Relaxing Bath Salts. So again, my routine is all about relaxation, just getting to wind down.
Then I give myself a nice wash, and I’m a huge fan of Honeypot. I’m all about supporting small businesses, and especially African American-owned businesses. Then I like to burn some oils and some scents. One thing about me is I am all about the experience. And it’s the same thing in my dressing room. Because I work hard, and I work a lot, I’ve learned that I really have to make sure that whatever I’m doing is an experience and is enjoyable. So I burn some lavender oil, and then I like to put on lotion.
I like to do all of this the night before because my mornings are early. I’m up at 6 o’clock. So in the morning, I’m ready to go. The lotion that I like to use is called Jones and Rose Pearberry Shea Butter, and the ingredients are shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil, so it’s very, very, very moisturizing. I put that on as soon as I get out of the tub. I also do body scrub with something called C & the Moon Malibu Made Body Scrub. So that’s what I do—I’ll do the scrub first, and then of course when I get out of the tub, I’ll put the body oil on.
Before I start getting to my face routine, I like to take my Restful Sleep supplement from my own supplement line, Anser. Then, by the time I’m done with my skin-care routine, I’m ready for bed.
It works perfectly. I’ll wash my face with a face cleanser called Collosol. I love that you don’t have to use water with it, you just put it on a cotton pad and rub it over your face. It cleans your face so well, and it just has a nice fragrance to it, and it leaves your skin so nice and soft. Then I’ll use some oils. My favorite oil that I just cannot live without is the Rodin Luxury Face Oil. I dropped some on the floor, and I almost cried. Then I’ll follow it up with the Rodin Luxury Face Cream.
I am a huge fan of Lunya sleepwear. That’s one thing that I have to be in. I’m a spoiled brat when it comes to my pajamas and what I sleep in. If I’m not wearing family PJs that matches everyone, I am wearing Lunya’s Washable Silk Set. It really just makes you so ready for bed.
Right before I get into bed, another ritual that I like to do is burn sage and palo santo. I even have some in my trailer right now. It just cleans out the bad energy and then I put the good energy back in, with the palo santo, and then I’ll put on my air purifier. I’m a huge fan of Rabbit Air purifiers. I actually have them all throughout the house. We live in LA, and let’s be real, the air has not been the best. So I’m all about making sure that I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy. All of the kids have Rabbit Air in their room, and I have one as well. I put that thing on, and then that’s my bedtime routine.
I have two kids that now are doing remote learning. You know, if I’m being very honest with you, we have our ups and downs.
The first week was rather overwhelming for Cree. He actually had his first kind of mental breakdown. It’s hard, because he’s like, “Mommy, I want to be with my friends, I want to be around kids my age.” I was like, “I know, I get it baby,” but it’s hard when you’re a parent and there’s nothing that you can do. What I ended up doing was I put affirmations in his room. We changed his playroom into a school room and it’s loaded with affirmations, just inspiring words that he can meditate on. And trust me: It’s not just for him, it’s also for me.
And then for my daughter, we actually changed a room in the house into her room. I thought it was really important to separate the two kids so that they can stay focused. Cairo, let me tell you—this is a two-and-a-half year old girl, and she is a G. She’s doing very well. Of course, she has good days and bad days. She has three 15-minute classes throughout the day. They’ll have music time, story time, and it’s a lot.
But my husband is so amazing. While I’m at work, he’s there taking care of the kids. I was in quarantine for seven months, and then just started work two weeks ago, or three weeks ago. On the first day of work, my husband was so funny as I was leaving the house. He had Cairo on his hip, and he was like, uh, where you going? I’m like, I’m going to work! And I could see in his eyes, he was like, oh my god, I got the kids on my own. He’s doing so well. But my point is, I have a lot of help, helping assist and keeping the kids on schedules, and my goal is to keep the kids happy. Everybody’s mental health is important.
I didn’t force Sister, Sister on my son. I did mention that “Mommy and your Auntie, we have a television show.”
He knew of it, but he never watched it. So he started watching it, and for the first time I’m watching it with him, and I just start crying. I was crying because it was such a surreal moment for me to have my son watch a television show that he can watch and that he is watching with me. It was like going back in time. You know, I’m just a teenager, early teen, and he’s watching Mommy. Like, what child has that opportunity, to be able to see their mom back in time when they’re almost his age, you know? And to see him enjoy it and laugh. He finished all six seasons. If I’m cooking in the kitchen and he would be in the other room, I would hear, “Wah, sista, sista!” He loved it! He’s like, “Mommy, why are you and Auntie so crazy?”
I think what’s really important to mention and what I’m passionate about is how important it is for you to take care of yourself. Especially women.
I’m saying this because this is what I’ve personally gone through—this is what I personally have seen with my own mother—we tend to always put everyone first. It’s just part of who we are. We’re nurturers. It’s very instinctual. But what happens is, we tend to forget about us. And we tend to forget about what’s important for us. And what’s important is we take care of ourselves. Because I feel like, if you don’t take care of you, how can you be the best mom? How can you be the best wife? How can you be the best friend? How can you be the best daughter? I’ve learned the hard way, meaning, I was using all of me so that I didn’t have anything left to give. I’ve learned the hard way that it is very, very important for you to take care of you and to take that time for you. I have the kids on a schedule so that Mommy and Daddy have time to love up on each other, Mommy has time to take care of myself, so that when the morning comes, I am well-rested, I am healthy, and I’m feeling great to follow my dreams, to be there for my children, and for my loved ones. It’s important.