I first met Sherri Shepherd more than a decade ago when I was a reporter in Tulsa. She graciously let me interview her for a feature story I was working on and I immediately became a fan.  She was funny, down to earth, and if I remember correctly, she couldn’t wait to be a mom someday.

Cut to many years later and her star has risen astronomically and she is finally a mom. When I met her she was starring on ABC’s “Less Than Perfect” with Sara Rue. She also spent 7 years as a co-host on The View and is now starring in the new NBC comedy Trial and Error. She tells me that co-star John Ligthgow is a huge help to her on set with her son Jeffrey.

And away from set she has an amazing support system in place to help when life in Hollywood seems overwhelming. She explains how friends like Niecy Nash and women she met in Mocha Moms are her lifeline when things get complicated. She has built a mom tribe of women who understand the challenges of motherhood in the entertainment industry and don’t care if she’s uber famous. I’ve always wondered what it’s like for celebrity moms to try to make genuine friendships. How do they know someone isn’t a creepy fan or just out to use them?

(Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)

I guess you can never really know something like that which is why sometimes you have to open yourself up and trust people. That’s hard for me and Sherri admits that’s hard for her too. She tells me she recently met a new mom friend and was reluctant to open up at first. But in the end, she was glad she did because they had a lot more in common than she thought.

Sherri broke down in tears after announcing she would not be returning to The View.

In this interview she’s very honest about the challenges of balancing a very busy career of traveling and work with the demands of motherhood. Like a lot of career moms, there are times when you miss a homework assignment or a school event because of long work hours. It’s hard not to feel guilty or beat yourself up about that. Fortunately, Sherri says she’s at a place in her career now where it’s easier to build her work schedule around her son. He’s at the age where he can travel with her for her comedy tour. And now that she’ll be working steadily on a sitcom in LA, ideally that means a more consistent schedule.

Sherri clearly loves her son and makes it a priority to make sure he has some consistency and feels safe despite her often inconsistent career. She tells me that once the red carpets are wrapped and the glam squad goes home, she’s curled up in her sweatpants watching TV like the rest of us. One of the things I’ve discovered since starting this podcast is just how much alike we are as moms. We just want our kids to be happy and feel safe no matter if you’re the biggest star in the world, or the biggest star on your block.

Watch for Sherri as “Anne Flatch” in season two of Trial and Error on NBC.