By now, most of us have heard of Mia and Ro McGhee, parents and reality TV stars of ” Growing Up McGhee,” set to return to the small screen this June on UP TV. As part of the new lineup, Ro and Mia along with their sextuplets— bring audiences a refreshing look into their busy world, each week, as the cameras follow the funny antics, challenges and everyday victories in their daily lives. Mia tells us; their journey to reality TV stardom began as she decided to upload a photo of her and Ro along with their newborn Sextuplets, Rozonno Jr., Josiah, Madison, Olivia, Issac, and Elijah on a whim. That was six years ago. The photo went viral, and the rest is reality television history.
Initially, the couple tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant, but after several failed attempts the news of not just one, but six babies came—completely changing their lives.
Despite their backgrounds (Ro, never knowing his own father and Mia, having a tumultuous relationship with her Mom) the happy couple welcomed the challenge all the same, as they understood first hand the importance of creating a safe and loving environment for their children. So while the news of their six miracles created a challenge, it also brought the promise of becoming the best parent’s they could be— though they never imagined doing it in front of millions.
With the show’s season premiere just around the corner (June 8th at 9pm EST on UP TV), we sat down with Ro and Mia to find out how life has changed since becoming reality TV sensations.
Fe-media: Your whole life pretty much changed after the picture of your family went viral. What was that like ?
Mia: “It was surreal. I had just uploaded the picture to my Face Book of maybe 50-60 friends. By that evening it had gone viral. Friends of friends started sharing and it just went on from there. Before we knew it, it had gone viral. ”
Fe-Media: When did the offers start coming in and what made you go with a reality show format?
Ro: Pretty much right after. The first call was from Good Morning America, and then after that there were so many others. Own reached out to us first about the idea of a reality show. We’ve been with Up now for the past few seasons.
Fe-Media: Are the children aware that they are somewhat famous ?
Mia: They have an idea. Especially when people come up to them or us as a whole. They thought for the longest time that all families had their own TV show. (laughs)
Fe-Media: How do you handle it, keeping them and you grounded?
Ro: We just do. We keep it as real as possible. From day one we knew that this was an opportunity to not only provide for them but to also show them and us as examples of what a strong Black family looks like. That was important to both Mia and I. That we show the positive side of what our lives were like. WE are 100% real. What you see is what you get. We pray a lot too.
Fe-Media: You mentioned praying a lot, so your faith plays a big part in keeping it all together ?
Mia:Yes, Oh goodness yes! There is no other way that we could do all that we do without our faith. One child is a challenge. Six is colossal. Prayer, going to church, staying connected to God… Yes, that’s what get’s us through. We are blessed to have a good support system also, our own families as well as our church family. We aren’t doing it alone. We’ve had a village from the start.
Fe-Media: Walk us through a typical McGhee family day.
Mia : Our day starts pretty early, around 6 am. We get the kids fed and ready for school. By 8, they are on their way. By 4, they are at home having dinner, after dinner we do homework and then they are allowed an hour or so of TV. By 8 they are all in bed. The next day we do it all over again.
Fe-Media: So you have a pretty strict regimen. How do you balance it all, work, kids, life in general all being captured on camera?
Mia: Yes we do. Trying to get six kids, all with different personalities to co exist isn’t always easy. We knew early on that we would have to have a plan or we’d both go crazy .
Ro: We’ve always been disciplined or so we thought. When those six babies came along we found out how little we knew. We prayed a lot and cried too. I never knew I could cry so much (laughs) but we got it together. We make it work. Mia is an excellent mother. She’s great with our children. She recognizes that they are all different and so she plays off of that. They all need something different form us. As far as life infront of the camera, that’s real. We just do what we do.
Fe-Media: What has changed for you the most since doing your reality show?
Mia: Awareness. Being aware that we are being watched. That we are role models to those who tune in. Putting our best forward. Trying to do the right thing. Some moments are raw but they are honest .
Ro: Being recognized. I’m still getting used to that even though it happens a lot. To have people come up to you and talk to you about the show and how much they enjoy it. Responsibility too. We’ve been given a platform, to use it correctly is important. I touched on being a positive Black family which is important and obvious to many of our viewers. Being told that we are getting it right when we had no notion of any other way.
Do you plan on having more kids ?
Mia: (Laughs) No, that’s a definite no! [But I must say] I do have the fever though as of late. I see babies everywhere and I just want to hold them and touch them. Their smell, it gets me every time. But no, no more kids for us. We are definitely finished.
Ro: What she said. (laughs).
What lies ahead for The McGhees?
Mia: We are like most families. We take it one day at a time. The kids are our number one priority. Getting through each day with our minds in tact os good. And keeping family first.