Garcelle Beauvais on How She Co-Parents Twins With Her Ex
As a child of divorce, actress Garcelle Beauvais grew up very differently than the way she's trying to raise her twin boys.
The 47-year-old actress, best known for her roles in "The Jamie Foxx Show," "NYPD Blue" and TNT's "Franklin & Bash," was 3 when her parents split up. Living with her mom, Beauvais didn't see her dad again until she was 14 and never had much of a relationship with him.
So when she split from her husband of a decade, Mike Nilon, in 2012 after she said he was unfaithful, she vowed to make sure their 6-year-old twin sons, Jax and Jaid, spend as much time with their father as with her.
"I'm not gonna lie. It breaks my heart when I hear them say to their friends, 'I'm at Mommy's house this week.' Even when they're not with me, they are constantly on my mind," she wrote in a new blog for People magazine.
"Luckily, co-parenting with Mike has been a blessing because we let each other see the boys even when it's not his or my week. That's because we put them first," she said. "It's better for them to see us both at their sporting events and school activities."
Beauvais said the exes do what they can to make sure the boys feel at home at both houses.
"They have clothing at both places, but they bring special stuffed animals, toys or books with them when they travel between their homes," she said. "Sometimes, they'll call me from their dad's house, and we'll pray together on the phone before they go to bed. Plus, technology helps. We have Facetime calls, so we do get to see each other when we're not together."
She also tries to normalize whatever the kids are feeling.
"Sometimes my sons tell me, 'When I'm with you, I miss Dad, and when I'm with Dad, I miss you.' I tell them that these feelings are normal," she wrote. "I let them know that both of us love both of them very much."
The actress addresses children of divorce in the second in her series of children's books. "I Am Living in 2 Homes" continues to follow the adventures of siblings Jay and Nia as they live their daily lives, splitting their time between their mom and dad's houses.
Young readers can fill out a questionnaire in the back of the book to start a dialogue with their parents about their own living arrangements.
"The message of our book is whether you're raised in one home or two, Love is Love, Family is Family," Beauvais said.