Mama June’s Daughter Pumpkin Says She's Ready to Quit Reality TV

It’s not easy for Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird to watch her family’s life unfold on the TV screen.

The 21-year-old reality star is getting candid about watching her mother, Mama June Shannon, struggle with addiction and recovery, their strained relationship, how she’s ready to say goodbye to reality TV and much more.

“It is hard… because I’m also trying to deal with it personally, and then I’m also having to film it,” Lauryn tells ET’s Deidre Behar of watching previous episodes of her family’s shows Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,Mama June: From Not to Hot and now Mama June: Road to Redemption. “Even on this season, it’s kind of hard because going back to the past kind of puts wear and tear, not only for me, physically, but mentally. I don’t want to go back into that mental place that I was when my mom was into her addiction and me having to step up and do all the things that I was doing and not really taking care of myself.”

“At this point, I really do feel like I have worked hard as a woman, [done] therapy, and really working and taking this time for myself and for my family,” she adds. “I honestly just kind of hate going back to the past.”

Mama June recently told ET that she’s 14 months sober after battling drug addiction and getting arrested with her boyfriend, Eugene Edward “Geno” Doak, in 2019. Mama June previously admitted that she and Geno would spend $2,500 a day, if not more, on drugs. After June was arrested, Lauryn was given legal guardianship over her 15-year-old sister, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson.

Mama June's Sister Calls Her Out for Neglecting Her Daughters (Exclusive)

Mama June's Sister Calls Her Out for Neglecting Her Daughters (Exclusive)

As for where her relationship with her estranged mom stands today, Lauryn says it’s “complicated” and she is working hard on setting boundaries.

“As it stands today, we haven’t seen each other in a year. So that is very complicated, going on and on with life and not being able to share those little moments with my mom,” Lauryn admits, “I think, not only for me, but for Alana, and even for [my 3-year-old daughter] Ella because she does love her Gigi. She does love being around her.”

“But as being the mother, as being the guardian of Alana and being the mother to Ella as well, I have to protect them,” she notes. “I have a job. [Mama June] may be sober, but I also don’t want to take any chances, because before when she would say she was sober, she wasn’t necessarily sober…It’s not necessarily that I’m not proud of her, I just also don’t want to get me or the kids’ hopes up like I have several times before.”

Lauryn shared that there is a moment on the new show where, after a year of not seeing each other, Mama June and her daughters reunite. “You’ll see that we sit down and meet after a year. That’s hard for sure, a lot of emotions there,” she shares. “I feel like me and Alana definitely got things that we needed to get off of our chest that she needed to hear in her recovery process.”

When it comes to Geno, Lauryn doesn’t mince words when she says she hopes he isn’t in the picture much longer.

“My mama has said several times that he’s not going anywhere and they’re not going to split up. So I kind of have to get used to that. But I’m also not too concerned with fixing things with him from the past, because to me he is a temporary person,” she states. “My mama has always said it would just be her and the girls. And it always has been that way. So ultimately, in the end, whether it be five years from now, whether it be two months from now and Geno and Mama split or something, he’s just a temporary person. So it’s like, why do I want to just waste my time and fix that?”

Mama June Opens Up About Estrangement From Her Daughters (Exclusive)

Mama June Opens Up About Estrangement From Her Daughters (Exclusive)

Focusing on her well-being and family, Lauryn shares that she’s “very impressed” with Alana, “Considering where she was two years ago, both of us, in the state of mind that we were in, the situations that we were going through, we really have overcome that.”

After over a decade of watching her family’s troubles play out on national TV, Lauryn admits she’ll be ready to turn the cameras off — and says it’s sooner than people might expect. She also shares that she’s ready to pursue a more traditional career path.

“Honestly, I want to go ahead and say goodbye if I’m being completely honest. Only because Alana grew up doing this and you don’t really have a normal life during production. We have two days off a week and I can’t get my life together in two days. I enjoy doing the show. I enjoy the income that it brings. I enjoy the lives that we impact,” she explains. “Ultimately, I want to go and be a nurse at a hospital. I want to go and make an impact in a hospital somewhere. TV is not something that I think any of us really want to do anymore, but we just keep pushing ourselves.”

She also explains that Alana wants to be a regular teenager and not miss out on important events.

“A lot of people don’t realize that. They’re like, ‘Oh, well the money’s nice. You won’t make that anywhere else'” she relays. “That may be true, but I also can’t get back all the birthdays I’ve missed from Josh’s family. I also can’t get back the family reunions, birthday parties, Christmases and things like that that I have missed.”

Lauryn also feels like the reality shows “took away” her personal childhood. “I do feel like it was so quick. I was 11, Alana was 6, and we’ve been doing it ever since then. And it’s frustrating.”

“But then I also say ‘no,’ that it didn’t ruin our childhood, because we were able to do a lot more things than the average people that were our age,” she continues. “I’m very grateful for the things that TV land has brought to us and been able to allow us to do, but it definitely is getting to the point where I think it’s time for us to say goodbye.”

However, Lauryn also adds that she’d love to continue entertaining her fans by starting a family TikTok or YouTube account. “People are making money on there,” she says “And ultimately, I do want to do a YouTube just with the little family that we have here in our house. Like me, Josh, Jessica, and Alana and Ella. I think that we could be funny. I think that we could make that a source of income as well and also just for fans to keep up.”

Mama June: Road to Redemption airs Fridays on WE tv.

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