*Naturi Naughton opens up about motherhood, her parenthood journey, and upcoming album in a new interview with PEOPLE.
The “Power” star says her new music will highlight “some of the emotional struggles I have as being a single mother.”
Naughton and her ex, known only as Ben, welcomed daughter Zuri in July 2017. The former couple split shortly after the birth.
“I love being a mother,” Naughton says. “It’s hard work. It is a challenging balance.”
“I do try and make sure I separate the two,” Naughton says of being a mother and star of her own drama series. “When I come home after shooting a long day, it’s almost like taking off the luggage of that and then I go straight into Mommy.”
“I am just Mommy. I’m not Tasha. I’m not Naturi Naughton,” she continues. “I just get to be mommy and that actually is really liberating because that little girl just sees me as just perfection.”
“Literally no matter what I’m wearing or what my hair looks like when I wake up with her she’s just like, ‘Mommy, you look so pretty.’ I’m like, ‘Really? Mommy is a mess.’ But to her she sees nothing but beauty and that’s honestly amazing.”
“I’m like, ‘Oh, she’s getting it.’ But that sucks. I have to kind of curtail her playing with other kids or other people. I can’t just let her be free and that’s part of what being a child is. So, I do feel bad, but I also have to protect her,” Naughton adds.
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MOTHERHOOD at its finest❤️Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful Mommy who has taught me how to love, nurture, teach, cook for & raise my beautiful daughter! It takes a VILLAGE! I’ve been blessed to have had generations of great mothers in my life! I wouldn’t be who I am, without them ALL! Thank God for all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Great grandmothers, Aunts, and ALL the women who choose motherhood! #happymothersday #iLoveYouMommy ❤️❤️❤️
As a teen, Naughton was a member of 3LW alongside Adrienne Bailon Houghton and Kiely Williams. She tells PEOPLE that although things “didn’t work out,” she learned a lot from the experience. She also no longer speaks to Bailon or Williams.
“It was a tumultuous breakup. However, I do look back and remember, ‘Oh, I was on the TRL tour, opening up for Destiny’s Child,’ ” Naughton says.
“I think a lot of people that know me now, who even watch Power, don’t realize how long my journey has been. This has been since I was 15 and I’ve been in the business for 20 years. I look back at that experience of being in a girl group, although it had some learning experiences that were growing pains, it just showed me what it takes to make it in this industry,” she explains.
Naturi Naughton’s full interview appears in the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.