Omar Epps: 'Nothing Can Really Prepare You' for Parenthood

07/18/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Frazer Harrison/Getty

In a new interview with WebMD magazine, House star Omar Epps says that “when it comes to parenting, there are many books and a lot of helpful things, but nothing can really prepare you.” Noting that “once you are driving that ship, it’s the hardest, yet greatest job in the world,” Omar says that the rewards are well worth the effort. “To see them learn something and to really see them go from zero to past zero,” is the most exciting part of parenthood, he says, adding,

“I have learned to keep my innocence. I am an artist, so I have it in me to find the wonder in life. My kids are also pretty disciplined and determined. If they set their mind to do something, they will accomplish it and that is pretty admirable.”

Omar gives wife Keisha Spivey Epps full credit for shouldering the load with their daughter K’mari Mae, 5, and son Amir, 18 months, while he’s at work on the hit FOX show, making all doctors appointments and sleeping in Amir’s room so Omar gets a full night’s rest. “My hours are too crazy and I can’t deal with midnight wake ups, so we make do,” he says. With that said, the 35-year-old actor is counting his blessings on all fronts!

“I feel blessed to do what I love and be able to make a living and take care of my family. It has been a great ride so far, so it’s kind of easy to find a balance.”

Omar is also dad to daughter Aiyanna Yasmine, 10, with ex-wife Yusra Salama.

Source: WebMD

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 16 comments

Mallory on

Absolutely love him on House, but I find it a little weird that he and his wife don’t sleep in the same bed. Oh well. Whatever works for them.

mp on

Omar seems to be the most press-shy cast member of House, so it’s good to hear from him. His wife is a real trouper, and I’m glad he openly acknowledges that.

Elle on

Used to work at the preschool K’mari attended. She is a darling, bright kid and her mom Keisha is extremely nice.

aroundtheywaygirl on

I’ve been a fan of Omar since Juice. Love him.

Anna on

He can’t deal with midnight wake ups? What if his wife also can’t deal?

CelebBabyLover on

Mallory- It sounds like that’s only when he’s working on the show. Like most TV shows, I’m assuming they have hiatuses and such between seasons (of the show, I mean).🙂

If that’s what needs to be done for him to be able to be at his best for work, then more power to them for being able to deal with that!🙂

Mallory on

CelebBabyLover – Hey, I got that. I just think it’s weird. Like Anna said, what if his wife needed help? But hey, it’s not my life, so if it works for them and he and his wife are happy, then more power to ’em.

12 Weeks Pregnant on

The midnight shifts can be hard but they are part of the job!

missnorcal on

Working on an hour long television show is grueling work. I think they work 16 hours a day minimum from what I hear. That alone sounds tiring. Added to that, he sounds like he must be a very light sleeper and can’t sleep with his wife during the taping of the season because her needing to get up to a crying baby would wake him up and effect his work. I have no doubt that if the roles were reversed and she was on the tv show, that he would do the same for her. Being in top form to be able to memorize his lines and work all day is important for the financial support of his family. I am certain that if his wife or children needed him in the night that he would have no issue with getting up. Families all over the world make various adaptions to what might be considered “normal” to make things work as best as they can for their family.

MZ on

After reading some interviews with other TV stars, I hear sometimes the don’t get done filming till like 2 AM and then still have to be at work at 8 AM. So, I do understand him not getting up for the middle of the night wake-ups when he only has a few hours of sleep anyway. Like the other posters said, I’m sure those arrangements are only during taping; actors usually get a few months off during the year.

aroundtheywaygirl on

Omar and his wife are not doing anything so completely out of the norm. My MIL did the same thing when my FIL worked 18 hour days running a major New York City hospital. I do it for my husband when he is working on a film. My friend does it for her husband when he’s working on a major case for his law firm. And, another friend of mine who is a SAHD does it for his wife when she’s working on a major financial deal. It doesn’t help for the sole breadwinner or majority breadwinner to be sleep deprived and not in top form to do there job. It’s not that they abdicate total responsibility. If there is a serious problem with the kids during the sleeping hours all spouses spring out of bed to help. If your spouse has a job where they work long grueling hours or have non-traditional hours you do what you have to do to support them and make sure they are well rested. Sometimes that means not sleeping in the same room with them for bit. If Omar said they had a nanny so he and his wife cold get some sleep everyone would be jumping on the sanctimommies “you don’t need a nanny” wagon.

meghan on

Whatever works for their family. That’s all that matters.

NikNak on

Maybe he should’ve elaborated on why he can’t deal with midnight wake-ups. I don’t like assigned roles based on what society says.

I mean as long as there’s a reason why she needs to be the only one participating in raising their children (that’s what he makes it sounds like), then cool. Otherwise, he sounds sexist.

CelebBabyLover on

NikNak- He DID explain it, as have some of the other posters. When he is working on his TV show, he works long hours, so in order to be in tip-top shape, he can’t get up at night to help with the kids. Also, I’m sure he does his share of parenting duties during the day on days when he’s not filming.

kai on

^^maybe we should have a little more trust in today’s women. I’m sure his wife is capable of making her own decisions and standing up for herself. As others have said, it sounds fairly normal to me considering his work arrangements.

Besides, he doesn’t have to defend himself. It’s his business.

MiB on

I think aroundtheywaygirl said it excellently, it happens all the time and it’s not sexist, it’s pragmatic.

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