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Just having one or two kids is fun, but having 3, 4, 5 and 6 is fun too!,” says Terricka Cromartie about the blended family life she shares with husband Antonio Cromartie.

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The power-couple star on USA’s The Cromarties, which centers on their marital life, their five kids (Antonio has 14 kids in total), and Antonio’s transition into full-time dad after 11 years in the NFL.

During the first half of the season, Terricka loved having Antonio home to help raise their kids, but his OCD, intense competitiveness, and method of parenting the same way he would coach a football team sometimes proved to be too much.

In the back half of the season, which kicked off May 8, the Cromarties are back and offering viewers a glimpse into Antonio’s life after the NFL, which he describes as, “Being at home with the wife full-time and enjoying family life.”

Check out our Q&A with The Cromarties below.

Tell us how you manage the everyday challenges of being a mom while starring on a reality tv show?

Terricka: It’s kinda been a blessed experience for us. Our day-to-day continues normally as it did prior to the show. We struggle with time management with the kids and filming and making sure they have a normal lifestyle, ‘cause they still go to school full-time and participate in their activities while filming. So we try to keep the balance so they can experience the joys of being on this show while at the same time still being a kid. So that’s the biggest struggle but our team here has made it great because they understand the importance it is for us that our kids maintain a normal lifestyle.

Speaking of that, there’s so much talk about income inequality these days. Do you ever worry about how your family will come off to others who also have more than a couple of kids but whose lifestyles are not as privileged as yours?

Antonio: We (aren’t) really concerned about it because we grew up in the same way. I grew up in a single-parent home. Terricka grew up in a single parent home, so we understand that aspect of life. I don’t think we live a lavish life. We just live within our means of what we want and we can provide for our kids. Can we live a lavish lifestyle? That would be something that’s different but we chose not to. Our biggest thing is just to make sure that we give our kids something that we didn’t have. The important thing is a family with both parents in the household. Our biggest thing is to give our kids what we didn’t have growing up.

Terricka: We raise our children to be respectful and to be good students in school and we reward them for those things. We keep it balanced. We don’t buy just for the sake of buying. There are moments where we do spoil our kids when it’s deserving.

Have there been moments when you’ve asked producers that a segment be cut because it was too embarrassing?

Terricka: No, we haven’t experienced that. We have a really good team They work really well with the kids and they take time for us and the kids. We thank God that we haven’t had to experience anything that was too embarrassing. We do have a lot of fun and we laugh a lot on set. It’s just been a really enjoyable experience. They make it really easy for us.

Talk about the evolution of Antonio from NBA player to full-time father of 14 on a reality show?

Antonio: The transition from playing in the NFL for 11 years to now coming home is not having to get up. My body is always up at a certain time, so I could wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and start cleaning the house because I don’t really have nothing else to do.

It’s my body getting used to the transition for 11 years — just finding a niche and something else to do. My biggest thing is just always trying to do something I love, from coaching to broadcasting. That’s something I’m leaning towards too but the family time is most important. I’m able to go on field trips and be a chaperone or pick my kids up on the first day of school. Those are some of the things I missed while playing for 11 years and now that I have that, it’s something that’s priceless to me.

What are three of your favorite or core parenting values that you live by?

Terricka: I don’t know that there’s any one thing but I think the biggest thing that I always tell anybody who asks me is to just really be patient with your kids and understand that a lot of things are age sensitive. You’re going to have days where your kids are gonna run you crazy but just enjoy those moments because pretty soon they’re not going to be that age anymore and you’re going to miss it. My biggest thing is just to enjoy it, whether it’s a crazy day or a good day, just enjoy it for what it is and sit back and learn how to laugh at the little things.

When you watch the show, does it reveal your strengths and weakness as a parent and how your parenting styles differ?

Antonio: The show has revealed that I’m too strict. I need to be laid back a little more and be able to talk to the kids and not always give them a “No.” I think the strength part of it is me having patience with the kids and try to understand them more. But I think my biggest weakness is not letting them be kids but treating them more so as adults, and that’s something that needs change within me. That’s what the show has revealed.

Terricka: My strengths that I didn’t even realize I had maybe came through other people’s comments in regards to me as a parent. Just how I teach my kids and how I allow them to develop. I encourage my kids to go over and above what somebody else would expect of a one-year-old. My expectations of them are a lot larger than what most people would expect. So I realize that I have the strength in that, as far as communicating with my kids and their daily development. I think my weakness is I’m very worrisome about my kids. I don’t know if that’s expressed on the show. I know I’ve experienced it with working on the set. I’m the worrisome mom. I’m always worried about the safety of my kids.

And parents want to know if you share some of the fears that they have for their children

Antonio: Everything going on in society is surrounded on racial and social injustice, so us being on the show, that’s part of the fear that comes into it because of what’s going on in Black America right now, and the injustices that’sgoing on throughout America. And it’s also just parenting, having the fear of not doing something the right away for your kids, or not teaching them certain things or how to do things. You don’t want to fail as a parent by not explaining to them or teaching them something as they go through life.

How do you work in romance, sexy time and reconnecting as a couple?

Terricka: We just sneak away… occasionally. We definitely plan date night and make time for us. Sometimes we do it during the day while the kids are at school.

What do you find most rewarding about starring on a reality TV series with your family?

Terricka: Just to be able to share our story. A lot of people had speculations about us and our household and how large it was and us having kids outside (the marriage) but they never really understood us as a whole.

I think people get a true glimpse inside our household and they can see that we’re extremely relatable. We’re not the parents that know everything but we’re young and we’re making good decisions with our kids and we have a blended family. We don’t really showcase blended families but other families who are blended, know that you can have a blended family, you can be different and it can work and you guys can be very successful with it. I’m glad we’ve been able to showcase that.

Tune in to “The Cromarties” Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on USA.


The Cromarties Talk About Life With Blended Family Of 14 Kids  was originally published on