Jeannie Mai Jenkins is loving being a mom!
In Tuesday’s episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, the 43-year-old TV personality reflected on her new chapter as a mother, nearly one year after giving birth to daughter Monaco.
“It is hard work, but I love every part of it,” said the star, who shares Monaco with her husband Jeezy. “And it doesn’t feel like work. I gotta be honest with you. Having Monaco made me feel like I’ve been born again. It sounds so overly spiritual and almost religious. But no, I just mean that, like, I see through different eyes.”
She continued, “My ears hear different sounds. My heart beats to a different melody. I’m just so amazed at how a little person could make you feel so good about yourself and so hopeful about life. You think that after, you know, after living 40 years, I’m like, I got this down. I’m in the bag. I understand what this world is like.”
Since Monaco’s arrival in January, Jenkins has also been outspoken about the challenges that come along with being a first-time mom.
From dealing with the dreaded “fourth trimester” to a disappointing experience with breastfeeding and a scary bout with postpartum anxiety, The Real alum has shared a no-filter glimpse of her life-altering year — all of which she said has been an eye-opening journey.
“That little person has completely awakened me to seeing the world a whole different way,” she said. “And the crazy thing is, my daughter gives me so much confidence. I like myself more as a mom. I like myself more getting up and taking care of somebody else and tending to her and watching her actually register things that we’ve worked so hard to teach her. I can’t believe, like, that’s such an accomplishment. I didn’t realize that.”
And, along with her rapper husband, 45, whom she calls “the Captain of Chill,” the new host of America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation has realized that parenthood is a full-circle experience.
“I’m gonna go deep for a second, but you realize how much you went through as a child, as an adult because you’re either healing from those things or you’re reworking or relearning or unlearning things that you went through as a child,” she said. “You get to do it all over again when you have a baby. That’s the crazy part.”
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She concluded, “Like, I can’t believe I didn’t have the best childhood. And I definitely have trust issues and things that I’m dealing with today because of that. And I love my parents and I love my family. They did the best with what they know, but now I know more. I actually have more tools to equip this little girl to be the healthiest and the most peaceful minded she can be because of what I’ve learned that allows me to live my childhood again. And that is life-saving.”