Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys and Mashonda Tifrere with their blend family – Photo by Cole Cook
By Beautifully Said Team
Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and Ex-Wife Mashonda Tifrere appeared on ABC Good Morning America Wednesday to discuss Tifrefe’s new book Blend. The three parents sat down in an interview with GMA co-host, Michael Strahan. Keys wrote the foreword while Beatz wrote a chapter in the book.
Courtesy of ABC News
Tifrere’s new book is about co-parenting. Sharing the family’s journey from their rocky beginnings to where they are today. Tifrere spoke about how the tension between the parents affected her son. “He was, you know, acting out in his own little way,” she said. “He had some issues in school . . . he wanted to know why I couldn’t go see him at his dad’s, and why can’t his dad come over and see his bedroom at our house.”
Tifrere said it was “a wake up call.”
“Like, we’ve got to do better, we’ve got to figure this out,” she said. “Even if we don’t want to for ourselves right now, we have to do it for him, cause he doesn’t deserve this.”
It was that moment that Tifrere knew something had to change. In working to blend their family Tifrere spoke about the time she invited Keys to Kasseem’s 6th birthday.
“That was a pivotal moment, because we had already been doing a lot of the work as far as communicating and really consciously trying to get to a new level of respect and … a different level of humanity with each other,” Tifrere said.
“And I felt like, you know, ‘I really — I want Alicia to be here,’” Tifrere recalled. “And not only did she come, but she stayed until the end of the party, and that moment was our first time really hanging out together as a family.”
Beatz also shared a message for men dealing with a similar situation.
“When families don’t blend, and there’s a child involved, you know, as men, we always look for the way out,” he said. “‘Oh, well, you know, she’s not letting me see the kids … I won’t see ’em then.’”
“We just take … our personal experiences with the mom and use that as an excuse not to see our child,” he said. “And I think that that’s the wrong way for the fellas to think.”
Beatz added that when “you actually put the work in and put the time in to blend,” it’s a win for the whole family.
“The child wins, and you as a father win, and the mom, and the bonus mom win as well, so then everybody wins,” he said.
The journey in bringing their families together was not an easy process. After Tifrere and Beatz divorced in 2010, the parents could not get along for a while. This affected their son, Kasseem Jr., now 11.
Keys who shares two biological children (Egypt and Genesis) with Beatz, loves being a part of their blended family and a bonus mom to Kasseem who he calls “Umi” which means mother in Arabic.
“We love each other. I mean, we hang out with each other. We go to dinner together,” Keys told Strahan. “We’re doing Thanksgiving, we’re doing the holidays.”
“It is a beautiful partnership,” she added. “And that is really, really special. I’m very, very proud of that.”
Blending families together and co-parenting with exes is “a real thing, and it’s possible,” says Keys.
Tifrere added that the blending process “can’t ever stop, because our children are growing.”
Keys said she feels that she and Tifrere are “life partners” because of this.
“I remember one day … Mashonda said to me, you know, ‘We’re going to be grandparents together,’” Keys said. “And I was like, ‘Wow.”
The idea of sharing grandchildren one day “gives me chills right now,” Keys added. “It’s so beautiful.”
Strahan ended the conversation by asking, each of you describe your blended family? Tifrere: “Flow,” Keys: “My Inspiration, ” and Beatz: “Victorious.”
Are you apart of a blended family? If so, what has been your journey in blending your family?
In her new book “Blend,” Mashonda Tifrere chronicles her journey co-parenting with her ex-husband, Swizz Beatz and his wife, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.
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