Family Collage Disclosure3




My family should star in a sitcom. Well, at least the children. They are a cast of characters, always entertaining each other even when we’re not even trying. My daughter was cracking jokes before she could complete sentences. Don’t tell her she’s pretty unless you want her to strike a pose and take off her socks to show you her “pretty polished toes.” My model child also is a dance sensation–having mastered the Harlem Shake, which became a viral video in my nephew’s second grade class. Speaking of my nephews, they came up with celebrity aliases this morning. My sister dropped them off at camp and told the director she was there to drop of J.R. and Julian. The woman looked at her with a blank stare, and said, ‘Oh, you mean, Rocky and Colt?” My sister should have laughed at the joke. I mean, this is a woman who dressed up as Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star Joseline.

My parents are just as humorous but if I say something they don’t think is funny and post their picture online my mom might threaten to “give me something to cry about,” even though she rarely raised her hand at me as a child. I’m sure if we lived in the Hollywood Hills instead of Penn Hills growing up, we may have grown up on the silver screen. Since you can only read and not watch my family’s funny stories, I recommend tuning in to another comedy–TVland’s The Soul Man. From the creators of Hot in Cleveland, The Soul Man revolves around Cedric the Entertainer’s character, Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, an R&B superstar-turned-minister who takes over as preacher of his fathers church. Niecy Nash (“Reno 911”) stars as the reverends wife, Lolli. The pilot also features John Beasley (Everwood) as his father, Wesley Jonathan (What I Like About You) as his younger brother, and Jazz Raycole (My Wife and Kids) as his daughter. The Soul Man Season 2 premieres tomorrow night at 11 p.m. est. Recently, Diary of a First Time Mom caught up with the show’s stars and dished about parenting.


Do you have the same real life parenting styles as your television characters?

Niecy Nash: Lolli (Ballentine, the vibrant wife of Reverand Boyce ‘The Voice” Ballentine, played by Cedric the Entertainer) is a little nicer than I am. My comedic foolishness and  angst with my children has a little bit more bite. You know what I mean. I’m a little spicier when I deal with my children. I think when Lolli was dealing with her child on the show, she is very loving and very tender on the show. She understands the temper tantrums and running out of the room. You know I’m not having all that. Niecy Nash is not having all that. I don’t take foolishness from anybody who is not contributing to the mortgage. Period. Point blank. She’s a little bit more tolerant than I am.

Cedric the Entertainer: I think my character (Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, an R&B superstar-turned-minister) is pretty in tune with who I am in the sense that “Voice” is a person with serious intentions yet he has a comical side to him. He’s very attentive to his wife, very  loving and focused on what he’s trying to get accomplished, yet at the same time he can see the humor in everything too. That’s kind of my personality in general. I was able to pull that straight to the screen. I’m like that at home as well.  I’m a serious man, and at the same time, I make sure my household is ran a certain way. I can find the humor and make sure we’re not always nipping  and biting at each other about things. Everybody knows when it’s time to be serious, I mean what I say.

You both make blending families look as easy as blending a smoothie. In what ways, can you use humor to lighten a tense situation and create a positive co-parenting environment?

Cedric the Entertainer: I told my wife, ‘Look you married the dude that got the whole thing. I got a wife and a baby mama.’  OK, so I’m coming into the came with all the stereotypes. My daughter was really great. She has a great sense of humor. My wife has a great sense of humor about it. We were just able to really uniquely blend in. She (my wife) dove in  and wanted to be involved and help guide her in any way she could, and just as easily fell back if she felt as though it was crossing the line. We just try to have fun with those moments. Sometimes my daughter would really want to be mothered by her, and there were times when she just only wanted her daddy. It takes a lot of work. When you’re blending families, there is tension on the younger kids. We had to have a great understanding with my daughter on how she is loved, how she fits in and how this is a whole family.

Niecy Nash: Everybody is not going to be funny. Everybody is not a comedian. Everybody can’t bring that to the game. But what I think you can bring  to a blended family is being consistent. You can’t do big stunts, like I’m going to buy you this big thing, or I’m going to take you to this great place, and then the rest of the t ime, you’re disconnected.  The thing with my children and my new husband was being consistent. If I’m going to help you with your homework, and I say that’s what I’m going to do every,that’s what I’m going to do. If we say we’re going to go to get ice cream on Fridays no matter what, thats what we’re going  on Fridays no matter what. And at some point,  we unplug from all of the technology and just sit around in the nothingness of it all. And that’s when it’s funny. Because now, we’re all trying to entertain each other and have fun in the situation. But we just stay really consistent with spending quality time, and for us, I think that was the key.

Hey DFTM Fam–Do you have a funny family story? How do you use comedy to lighten the mood at your house?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

2 Responses

    • firsttimemom

      Catch it on On Demand! It’s pretty funny! I usually fall asleep before it comes on, so thank goodness for technology.


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