Maci Bookout is excited to show a "more real and authentic" side of her life to Teen Mom OG fans. After ex Ryan Edwards and his family were fired from the MTV series earlier this year, Bookout told PopCulture.com that she's looking forward to viewers seeing the reality of her day-to-day life in the new season premiering Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Bookout shares 12-year-old son Bentley with Edwards and 6-year-old daughter Jayde and 5-year-old son Maverick with her husband Taylor McKinney. Going through ups and downs with Edwards' substance abuse issues and legal problems on camera over the years has been a challenge, and Bookout told PopCulture it was "easier" for everyone filming without him this season.
"I'd say it was easier, especially on Bentley, because he's only about hanging out with his friends and his sports and stuff," Bookout said of her preteen's desire to film the more difficult parts of his life with his dad. "It's definitely easier for him this season and just more enjoyable for me and Taylor because we got to film more of our real-time busy schedule with the kids and we're able to talk about us and our family and our dynamic."
The mother of three is looking forward to seeing more of her kids' personalities on the show this season, especially the younger two, who have been cracking up the camera crew with their antics. As Jayde and Maverick get older and begin to find their own interests, Bookout said she's excited for Teen Mom OG fans to witness their growth.
Bookout is also letting viewers in on her journey with PTSD after witnessing a deadly gas station shooting. Filming the season about six months after the incident, Bookout was "still in the brunt of it all," but has developed more coping skills as time has passed. "I'm doing really well with therapy and different practices I've learned along the way," she told PopCulture. "Much better than I thought I would be at this point, so that's good, but there are still certain things that can get me off track."
Loud noises and the area around where the shooting happened are triggers for the reality star's PTSD, but she's been working with her therapist on processing her emotions without allowing them to overtake her. Filming about her mental health journey has been "different," and Bookout is admittedly nervous about sharing this part of her life with people who might not understand.
She explained, "It's kind of one of those things though where — like being a teen mom and being a single mom — I've always been OK sharing my life and everything that goes on in it if I can make someone not feel so alone." Teen Mom OG returns to MTV Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant at 9 p.m. ET.