TLC series sMothered is gearing up for its second episode of Season 2 this Sunday — after a premiere that left viewers’ jaws on the floor.
Mother and daughter duo Mary and Brittani are one of the most talked-about new additions to the second season after it was revealed that, despite Brittani being an adult, they still SHOWER together (another couple share the same bathwater).
However, the pair told Monsters and Critics in an exclusive interview that they think it’s perfectly acceptable considering the circumstances.
Brittani suffered from congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) growing up, a condition that brought on the early onset of puberty and which has left her vulnerable to panic attacks.
Mary says that by still showering with her now-adult daughter she feels like she’s protecting her.
“I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with taking a shower with my daughter if she needs me to be there,” she says. “She has been dealing with panic attacks on and off for many years this all started from her CAH when she was a little girl.
“If I am not in the shower with her, I’m usually around the corner just in case she needs me. I love my daughter and that’s one way of protecting her.”
She added that all her close friends have never had an issue with it either. “They actually look at me as if I am the most nurturing, and caring mom they have ever known and love the way I protect her,” she says.
Brittani added, “People will always have different opinions about my mom and I showering together. If they find it weird, then that’s their own personal opinion. I personally don’t find it weird because she is my mother, she just watches over me since sometimes the closed-in spaces make me panic a bit.”
THAT bachelor party incident
In the sMothered Season 2 premiere, Brittani was shown passing her exams for police training college. But even now that she’s entered adulthood and is set to start her career, she still doesn’t want to move out of her mom’s place. There is one person who IS keen for her to move out, though, and that’s Frank – Mary’s partner.
He and Mary were set to get married — and, in fact, went through with their wedding day — but never officially tied the knot after Frank got off-his-face drunk at his bachelor party at a strip club, and ended up going into a private room with a stripper.
He then threw up when he got home, before enjoying some late-night, let’s say, “me time”, in front of the computer — with Mary catching him in the act.
Mary is a woman of God and classed what Frank did as cheating. So after their wedding, she ripped up their marriage certificate and never signed it.
Has Brittani always not liked Frank?
Brittani, despite not knowing the intimate details, has never forgiven him — and the tension between the pair on the season premiere was palpable. But did Brittani actually like Frank before that incident, and would things have been different if he hadn’t done that?
“Frank and I always had our differences,” says Brittani. “I always had a bit of a bad feeling about him. Like a warning gut feeling. I never judge people for who they are, but I can tell if something or someone doesn’t feel right.”
However, she added: “Even if it seems otherwise, I would respect my mom and still accept her for whoever she loves. It’s just one of those things I knew just to be cautious about him in general.”
On the show, Frank said he felt trapped by the closeness of the relationship Mary has with her daughter — and that he felt it was stopping them pursuing their future together properly. Does Brittani have any sympathy for him?
“No, I came first,” she says. “My mom is honestly the only close family I have. Just because he feels trapped, my mom definitely doesn’t. If I left and I wasn’t around my mom for long periods of time, my mom would be hopeless and miserable without me. He needs to realize that my mom wants to protect me at all costs.”
Frank works as a tailor and at one point on the premiere, Brittani visited him at his work — where they had a ridiculously awkward conversation. Is it always like that when they speak?
“When Frank and I have conversations at the shop I just feel like he makes things awkward,” says Brittani. “For example, me moving out — I just turned 20, I’m still trying to fly on my own and figure out more about myself. This is a new generation where I really am trying to discover who I really am and what I want to do. I don’t understand what his rushing me out the door on my own is about. I’m trying my best to be more independent.”
Mary has forgiven Frank
For her part, Mary says she is finally over what Frank did on his bachelor party night, but she holds the same view about him wanting Brittani moving out.
“It took me a very long time to get over what Frank did to me — only in this last few months have I really forgiven him,” she says. “I have decided to move forward and have a brand-new start with him and to trust him.
“Brittani is still very young, she just turned 20. It’s not like she’s in her 30s and still living home. She is trying to get her life in order, and I need to be there for her in every way that I can. I want the best for her, and I truly believe Frank does too.”
So what if Brittani suddenly decided she did want to up sticks and move out? Would Mary be ok with that?
“If Brittani wanted to move out next week, I would probably try to talk her out of it,” she says. “Unless I felt secure that she could stand on her own two feet and make it on her own. If I knew she could make it, I would step aside like any other mom would and I would wish her the best. I want the very best for her she’s a beautiful, smart, good-hearted woman.”
On the premiere, it was revealed that Mary has two other children, although no more detail was given than that. However, Mary gave us the lowdown on what they think about her joined-at-the-hip relationship with Brittani.
“My older daughter has always praised me for the way I’ve raised her and her baby sister and there really never were any jealous feelings about it,” she said. However, she added, “Her brother always had a jealous streak. When I was pregnant with Brittani and I shared my exciting news, he looked at me and said, ‘mom why are you having another baby especially at your age?’ I believe I was in my early 30s.”
Mary served as her daughter’s protector and shoulder to cry on when she was growing up, after Brittani was bullied at school as a result of her congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which caused her to be bigger than the other kids and show puberty signs from a very young age. However, Mary believes their relationship would be close even if Brittani hadn’t gone through that as a child. “She’s always been my special angel baby,” she says.
“Personally, I feel like my mom’s and I’s closeness would be the same without the CAH growing up,” Brittani adds. “My mom always told me that before I was born she always wanted a baby girl, and that it was a dream come true. No matter what, we still have that unbreakable mother-daughter bond.”
Sneak peeks for the rest of the season show Brittani and Mary getting cosmetic surgery together — on the same day! What would Mary say to people who say that getting work done with your daughter is irresponsible, especially when she’s only just out of her teens.
“If cosmetic surgery is going to make her feel better about herself then she should go ahead and do it,” says Mary. “No need to worry about what others say, it’s for her and no one else. If it makes her feel better, then she should go for it.”
Brittani is not just a ‘sweetheart’
Most enticingly, the sneak peeks also showed a heated conversation between Brittani and Frank — in which she tells him in no uncertain terms that while one side of her is a “sweetheart”, she is also part “bitch”. So is she more of one than the other?
“I follow the Golden Rule,” says Brittani. “If you treat others how you want to be treated then so be it. Don’t go around planning a wedding then hurt my mother.
“The thing that bothers me the most is Frank realizes he’s wrong and goes back running to my mom as my mom takes him back anyway. My mom deserves so much better!
“I want her to be treated with respect. I know nobody’s perfect, but it still hurts me deeper than her because she wants to see the best in him but that’s just not how it goes… once a cheater is always a cheater! I’m a sweetheart when I first meet people of course.”
sMothered airs Sundays at 10/9c on TLC.