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DomiNque Perry Shares Heartfelt Advice For New Moms: 'You’re Not A Bad Mom'

DomiNque Perry is undoubtedly a part of the new generation of Black actresses we love to see onscreen. From her current role as Aja in BET’s Diairra From Detroit to her unforgettable role as Tasha in the forever-rewatchable series Insecure, she’s become a culture fave. But what some people may be surprised to know is that she’s also a mom of a peace-loving six-year-old, appropriately named Zen. The Black Jesus actress shared that home life with her daughter is happily calm, and becoming a mother was the God-given addition that helped elevate her life.


When discussing how she sees her future, it’s full of ease. She’s planning for a career where she’s consistently given roles that challenge her as well as producing opportunities while leading a camp for children with autism; her daughter has high-functioning autism. It’s crucial to her to nurture Zen’s unique qualities and protect her natural rawness. “Once she gets older, we’ll tame that a bit, but not too much because I love the fact that she’s honest and says what she wants. Now, I speak up in places where I feel my voice needs to be heard. Life has made me want to speak up for myself.”

Today, DomiNque is working daily to build the life she envisions while keeping her daughter a part of all of her decisions. In this exclusive conversation with xoNecole, she walked us through how motherhood has affected her life and career, how she protects her peace while remaining authentic, and the role self-care plays in her parenting journey.

DomiNque Perry and daughter Zen

Photo by Jerome Shaw

Let’s jump right in! How has motherhood changed you?

Motherhood has changed me for the better. Now I know what it’s like to have someone love me unconditionally. I didn’t feel like I had that before. Of course, I had love for my family, but motherhood grants you this deep kind of umbilical cord love that, for me, is unmatched. She’s my best friend, and the way she looks at me makes me feel worthy.

Also, motherhood made me want to be better overall. I work to be healthier, and I make sure to do my wellness check-ups because of her.

I love that because, unfortunately, sometimes, you hear conversations surrounding women neglecting their self-care once they step into motherhood. 

Yeah, that can happen, but you have to take care of yourself. A lot of people look at mothers as rundown or sleepy. And, of course, there are times where we’ll be tired, but being her mom makes me want to look and be better – because I have her watching me. I mean, I was tired before I had a child, that’s just life (laughs). You have to keep going.

Speaking of life, let’s get into your work life. Obviously being an actress is a unique career, but many women can relate to having to handle business while balancing mom life. How has motherhood affected your acting career and how you show up in the entertainment world?

As far as acting, it gives me a little bit more insight into deeper feelings that can come with different projects. I haven’t gotten too many roles that are outside of comedy, so I’m looking forward to that. But because I have a child and deal with another side of life, I’m able to go into roles with a different perspective.

But she never changed my grind. While I was pregnant, I was still auditioning. And right after I had her, I was back auditioning a month later. She’s come into audition rooms with me and everything, my daughter is a part of the journey. She hasn’t changed anything – just added to it.

DomiNque Perry and daughter Zen

Photo by Jerome Shaw

Another thing, you’ve been transparent and vocal about life and different things you’ve encountered throughout your journey. How do you keep the balance between protecting your peace, yet still keep your authenticity? 

I don’t really have a balance with that, and that’s my problem. My mom even tells me in my personal life, I share too much. And sometimes, that’s how you get hurt because people can have a lot of information on you. But personally, I like to hear relatable situations. Because sometimes when we go through bad situations, it can just make us feel alone. So, I try to let people who go through ups and downs see I’ve gone through it, too. I try to maintain a level of secrecy, especially as a woman, but naturally, I’m just very real and raw.

By the way, I love the photoshoots you do together. What are some other feel-good activities you two do together? 

Honestly, we have such a simple lifestyle right now because I’m not at the level I want to be in my career. I know later we’ll do a lot of traveling and businesses and everything. But as of right now, we like just being at home. She loves to be in her playroom. We do a lot of park dates. Oh, and we love music and dancing. I love the early 2000s, so her favorite song is "Touch" by Omarion. Because she has autism, she likes the same playlist of songs and that one is always on repeat.

You’re managing so much, it’s inspiring. If you could give one piece of advice to a new mom, what would you say? 

I’d say – it’s okay. You’re not a bad mom. Don’t listen to what a lot of people “tell” you to do. Like breastfeeding, my body didn’t create milk, so I was under stress, like maybe I’m not a good mom. But it’s okay. Give yourself some grace. Know that you’re beautiful even if you’re going through postpartum or are stuck with things from childbirth or post-childbirth. It’s okay. Make some time for you. Workout. It’s okay. Whether the father is there or not, whether you’re single or not – give yourself grace. That’s the most important element.

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Feature image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET+

 

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