Women of Standard had the privilege of speaking with celebrity go-to mom, Erica Reid who shared transparently about her journey from singlehood to marrying music producer L.A. Reid, the joys and challenges of parenting, and her new book, The Thriving Child.
After growing up in Aurora, Colorado, Erica Reid attended Clark Atlanta University, supporting herself by working as a hostess at several restaurants in the Atlanta area. Her work ethic and independent spirit was fostered by her mother, who raised Erica and her two sisters on her own. Erica explained that where she was from, you didn’t really see successful black people so her experience as a student living in Atlanta where she often saw successful black doctors, lawyers and athletes, was empowering and uplifting.
Everyone in Atlanta seemed to know about super-producers L.A. and Babyface. In fact, they produced Erica’s favorite song when she was in high school – Two Occasions by The Deele. However, Erica never imagined or even thought for a second that she would one day marry a member of that famous duo, even when L.A. Reid frequented one of the establishments where she worked. The two never actually met until after Erica graduated from college, lived and worked in both Paris and Greece, and then returned to the United States. One day she was visiting a friend who worked at L.A.’s office and as she was leaving, Reid started a conversation with her.
Preparing for Love
Prior to meeting Reid, Erica said, “I was not on a mission of looking for anyone. I was on a mission of trying to find a way to support myself. I had to figure out life!” Although she was not purposefully seeking after marriage, her steps were orchestrated in a way that prepared her for it.
She was attending World Changers Church in Atlanta and said Creflo Dollar provided the male guidance that she needed since she did not have a dad at home. He taught her how to be a lady and a virtuous woman. She knew to respect herself but said she had to learn that there were “certain things a lady did not do.”
Through her singleness and even when she began dating, she was determined not to let any man stop her from having a deeper relationship with God or learning about herself. “You cannot give love to your children, friends, parents, siblings, or a man if you are not fulfilled. You cannot look outside of yourself to fill a void,” Erica added. She took the time to work on herself, getting “free therapy” by watching Oprah Winfrey and showing up for the first church service at 7 a.m. on Sundays.
After finishing college, Erica said, “All of my friends had someone except me. I did want someone but I finally realized it was not His plan for me. When I finally let go and let God, He delivered this man to me. He was not chasing me and I was not chasing him. It was truly divine intervention.”