Essence Atkins knows more about love and motherhood than the average new mom thanks to her on-screen family. The actress recently told that she entered the wonderful world of parenthood with a few pointers because of her role as mom to two teenagers, Coy Stewart as ‘Kevin’ and Teala Dunn as ‘Lindsey’, on the recently syndicated show ‘Are We There Yet?’.


“We have been close friends with the Stewart family for a while, and they just have wonderful children. When I found out I was pregnant with a son, I sent Coy a message. I told him, ‘Thank you for being the first person to teach me how to love a boy. You taught me how to love a son,'” said the actress.

Essence went on to say, “Coy has a little brother and we’d play NERF wars and things like that on set. It was just great fun to be around them — young people who are so talented, hungry and ambitious, and also so intelligent and thoughtful. To have the experience of them look at me and think of me in that way (as a mom) — it was a boost to my confidence. You know there’s a moment of ‘Oh my gosh, we’re pregnant!’ and then the ‘Can we do this? Do I have the capacity?’ and they made me feel like I had the capacity.”

Now, as a mom to 9-month-old Varro Mendez, Atkins is doing her best to balance her career with family life while doing everything with excellence. “I’m a type-A person, and I think a lot of career women are,” says the actress. “We have great expectations for our careers and for our children. And anytime anything falls short, we have a tendency to blame ourselves if we think we can do things at a greater capacity. We need to give ourselves permission to go with the ebbs and flows of life as there are always going to be mitigating circumstances. Not everything has to be perfect. We just have to do our best — sometimes that bar is higher than others.”

Essence along with co-star Terry Crews and their on-screen kids will star five days a week in their family friendly show. Check your local listing to see when ‘Are We There Yet?’ airs in your area.



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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