Have you ever wondered what it’s really, truly like to be on a reality show? Who dresses and styles you? How do you get cast? What do you do with your kids when you’re off fighting with Raqi Thunda? We were talking to Jen “the Pen” Bayer of Love And Hip Hop recently and she was more than happy to answer all our questions, and she even offered to be our newest VH1 Blog contributor. Every Wednesday, Jen will give us the rundown on the latest trends, fashions, and more, but today, she’s kicking off her inaugural post with some answers to the basic questions like how did she get on this show anyway? (Answer: It was on her vision board so she willed it to happen.) Take it away, Jen!
“The Reality” Of Being A Reality TV Mom
I figured since this past Monday’s episode was centered around Cons and I finding the “perfect sitter” for Caiden that I would dedicate this blog to Caiden and the “reality” of being a reality TV mom! Let’s rewind for a second though. I had always known I was going to be a cast member on Love and Hip Hop. It was on my vision board. When the show aired in 2011, I said to myself “I need to be on this show! I am the title of this show!” But of course at that point the show was already in production, so that ship had sailed. As the first season ended I knew they would be would be gearing up for season two, so I started my “stalking” (which involved me telling Cons at least 3 times a week) that I NEEDED to be on this show! Well, production started again and before I could bat my little eyelashes, the trailer for season two had hit the Internet and I had found out that I was pregnant! My mission to be on season three was even bigger this time around! I had the rapper, the baby, and the history of reality TV and radio. NO ONE could tell me I wasn’t made for this show. Cons himself couldn’t deny it anymore, he knew if he didn’t make the call to Mona Scott-Young that he would never hear the end of it from me! So here we are halfway through season three and the job of juggling career and mommy life has found me beyond hectic and full of anxiety.
I’ve had more panic attacks about leaving him so I could go to work then I can count on my fingers and toes, but through all the craziness I’ve made it work thus far. I must admit I was extremely lucky in the fact that Caiden was so much a part of our storyline. The days I knew he would be filming with us were the nights that I rested and actually slept through the night. You could never imagine until you become a mother how much of your whole entire life this little being takes up. There were nights I just couldn’t sleep knowing I would be gone the next day working for eight hours or more, my brain would not shut off knowing that Caiden would cry as soon as I walked out that door. Caiden was ALWAYS fully aware of the days Mommy would be working — as soon as hair and makeup walked in the door, his neediness for me would grow. Babysitter there or not, Caiden would sit on my lap for an entire two hours as my glam squad worked. Although, it really was amazing how quickly Caiden adjusted to production and the cameras being in our home, of course like any child the first day of filming he was a bit skeptical of the new faces, new energy and our home being flipped upside down in the matter of minutes. By the end of filming that first day Caiden walked through our apartment like a little boss, surveying and inspecting everything that was out of place! That moment I will never forget!
Sooo many people have asked, “What’s it like to be on TV and have a baby?? How do you fit it all in??” Honestly, on the days I’m not working I’m as normal as any other mom in America. There are days Caiden and I don’t even get out of our pajamas, I’m lucky to have a great friend in my building whose daughter is Caiden’s age, so we swap apartments and do play dates all day long. Those are some of my favorite days! I made sure no matter how busy I might have been during the week that Sundays are always dedicated to Caiden and I going to Queens to visit my best friend and her kids. I’m the type of mother that often feels guilty if I can’t devote 24 hours a day seven days a week to Caiden. I make sure that the weekends we visit family, friends or go to the children’s museum or just go toy shopping and allow him to throw whatever he wants in the cart!
Juggling both the life as Mommy and as Jen The Pen is never easy but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is what I asked for and it’s exactly what I got. I thank Cons sooo much for being such a hands-on Dad. On the days the sitter can’t be here and I have something important to do, he always works his schedule around taking care of Caiden for the time that I’m out of the house. The plus side of both of our careers is that we get to make our own schedules most of the time so that there’s always someone here to be with Caiden. And, worst case scenario, Caiden comes along! This baby saw the inside of the MTV building at 4 weeks old, so at this point it’s all second nature to him. Sometimes there’s just no better place for him to be then with his parents. And we are extremely blessed to be able to take him along if need be. All that Caiden has experienced, seen and learned in his first year of life is remarkable and I believe that it will all only make him a better and more well rounded human being.
I am proud of the way my family has been portrayed this season on Love and Hip Hop and I thank our NFGTV/VH1 family for seeing our vision out. One day Caiden will look back and see the footage and I’m confident that he will be just as proud. This is the ultimate “Family Movie”!