Sarah Simmons is known for her relationship with Michael Simmons and their stint on Love After Lockup.
Following a successful season on the show, they were moved to Life After Lockup. Viewers have watched as Sarah navigates the world while raising her two beautiful little girls while Michael continues to parade his flavor of the week around.
With a new season of Life After Lockup beginning this week, Monsters & Critics had a chance to talk with Sarah Simmons about all things Life After Lockup and dealing with COVID-19 as she continues to raise her children.
Monsters & Critics: How have you been dealing with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus and the kids and filming?
Sarah Simmons: Well, I mean, aside from filming, the coronavirus, and the kids, it had been one hell of a chaotic mess in the house, I can tell you. It’s a lot to be the sole caretaker for two children, at first being afraid to leave the house, but when you’re a single mom, you got to and you have to bring your kids.
So it was challenging, but I think in a way, it gives us that quality time, so I’m appreciative of it. And then with filming, when things opened back up, we were able to take COVID tests and be able to film, finish off the season, so that was pretty exciting, finally be able to put that back into work.
M&C: So you’ve been on the show since Season 2. How has your life changed since being on the show and do people randomly recognize you when you’re out?
Sarah: Well, for starters, my real life, actual job, is I serve at a restaurant. Let me just say that that has no longer been me, a waitress, but more of a meet and greet constantly.
It’s been challenging, it’s been tough, a lot of people come into the restaurant just to meet me. I get bombarded a lot, photos a lot, go to the grocery store, they recognize my kids. Basically almost, I’d say about 80 percent of the time, wherever we go, we get stopped.
M&C: So social media, how has that changed for you with the trolls and all of that, and how do you deal with it?
Sarah: Oh my God, I am so grateful for haters on social media, so grateful for it. Being with my ex, it destroyed my self-confidence and then you get social media for being on the show, so I mean, it was shocking, that time, so hard to handle.
But I think that the more and more I was seeing it and dealing with it, the more I realized, you know what? Who cares? They don’t know me like they think they do. And the only opinions that I have ever cared about are people that love me and that I love back.
And that allowed me to become hardened and more confident in myself. And now I appreciate, whether it’s negative or positive, people’s own opinions and perspectives. Everyone is entitled to that. It’s just taught me an amazing life lesson and I’m just really proud that it’s something I can probably teach my children, too.
M&C: Did you watch the other seasons? And if you have, who was your favorite couple or couples?
Sarah: I would honestly say, I’ve watched enough, and I feel like my favorite is Brittany and Marcelino, basically because of Brittany.
Dealing with somebody who came out of prison and watching basically them make terrible decisions and them being a statistic, I’m sorry to say, it’s just, it’s the truth. Michael is probably an advocate of what everyone expects to happen.
And well, with Brittany, her spending all those years in prison, I’m not exactly sure how much time, but for her come out and get custody of her son and make a relationship work and have more children and be in a home and really, really do good for herself? That is amazing.
M&C: Okay, so how much do the girls know about where Michael is and his absence? Do you get into that on the show?
Sarah: I don’t really feel like in the show if I had opportunities to show others how I relay everything to my kids. Obviously my one-year-old, there’s no reason for that, she’s one. But with my five-year-old, I had to make a choice.
Do I keep things from her or do I tell her the truth? And I chose to tell her the truth. So I tell her the truth about everything. Any questions she has, I tell her the truth. I explain it in a kid-friendly way.
I keep, obviously, the severe details out, but if he were to go back to jail or he had gotten in some trouble, I’d say, “Once again, Daddy went to big people time out. And right now, Daddy makes bad decisions, but he loves you.” And if she asks why he doesn’t call, “Well, to be honest, kiddo, I don’t know. I have no idea, but I know he loves you.”
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M&C: So as far as the divorce from Michael, where does that stand? Can you talk about that?
Sarah: I can’t talk about that in much, much detail, no, but I think there will be some touches on that at the end of the season coming up and I’m really excited about the season, to be honest with you. It’s probably one of the most exciting ones for me.
M&C: So looking back at everything that has been put out there thus far, do you have any regrets or changes that you would have made?
Sarah: Changes? Maybe. I mean, what I know now, looking back, I’m like, “Oh, I could have handled this, this way,” but I don’t regret being on the show, I don’t regret anything that I did.
I know that I’ve always been extremely authentic because my situation was bigger than any camera, bigger than who was going to see it at the time. It was just the forefront of everything.
And I love being able to kind of go back and watch myself in the moment, being the person I am today. It almost is like a better visual memory of where I was to be more proud of myself or [inaudible 00:06:46] to do better. So I’m very grateful for that.
M&C: What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did?
Sarah: That is a really good question. The one thing that I say that I am heartbroken about people’s perspectives and the wrong idea, is that everything I’ve done, literally, everything that I’ve done has been for my children. Every decision I’ve made has… Because of my kids. And if I didn’t have my kids, I think that I would have been long gone before any of it.
M&C: What can we expect from this next season of Life After Lockup?
Sarah: Oh, goodness. I say the best way I can explain it is, there’s always chapters, there are always new things that you have to deal with when you move forward. And I guess the biggest thing is you can expect that unfold and how, in reality, people deal with being in a new relationship with an ex who’s also the father of your kids and that it’s not as picture-perfect, but it’s also not as terrible. It’s just, it’s a huge process.
To see how things play out for Sarah Simmons and the men in her life, be sure to tune in weekly.
Life After Lockup airs Friday nights at 9/8c on WEtv.