Why Coco Rocha Never Gives Her Kids a Time Out

Coco Rocha, 30, was a new mom when she became an owner of a modeling agency. Now she mentors other women, gives her 1.2 million Insta fans revealing glimpses of the fashion world, and, oh, she’s had another baby! Who knew a supermodel could be so relatable?
Matthew Priestley

I was so clueless the first time around.

“We were so nervous about leaving the hospital with Ioni. They said, ‘You can go home now,’ and my husband, James [Conran, also her business partner], and I were like, ‘Us? Are you sure?’ I look back and think about how easy that time was. Newborns do nothing! Now Ioni is 3, and she wants to do everything.”

I still dislike the discipline part.

“I got spanked. I got grounded for two months at a time. I thought I’d discipline Ioni strongly, too, but just putting her in the corner is the saddest, most upsetting thing. Whenever I say, ‘Ioni, if you don’t listen, I’ll put you in the corner,’ I ask myself, ‘Why did I say that? Now I have to follow through.’ She won’t stay, so I sit with her and we wait it out together.”

Who can figure out sleep? Not me.

“I don’t think I’ve slept normally in three years. Ioni used to at least fall asleep on her own, but now she doesn’t and it’s my fault. After Iver came home, I’d lie with her at bedtime so she felt like we were still buddies. Well, we’ve been doing that for seven months. Recently, I said, ‘When you were little, you didn’t need me here,’ and she said, ‘No! I like this!’ ”

I do exactly what I swore I’d never do.

“My mom dressed me to match her. We lived in British Columbia, Canada, and wore dramatic matching hats. As a kid, I loved it. As a tween, I wanted to look cool, not like an old lady. So I swore I’d never make my kids dress like me, but now I do. I’m not sorry about it either! Iver and I both wore ripped jeans one day. It was so impractical, but we looked so cute.”

Mom-shamers are the worst.

“I breastfed both kids for four months, and each time, my milk got low. I posted on my Instagram about getting formula delivered, and people started commenting, ‘How dare you?’ ‘You’re lazy!’ It was out of hand. I thought, ‘I don’t need to explain myself to you.’ It was the first time I realized mom-shaming was a thing. Sometimes I laugh it off. Or I cry. Or I block and delete. It depends on how tired I am.”

I’m a lousy storyteller.

“The kids have a grandfather who is the most imaginative human. He can look at a tree and create a magical story about it. Me? If Ioni asks for a story, I think of a movie she’s never seen and tell her the plot as if I’m making it up. I recently told her the entire Benji movie!”

*We’re totally trying this!*

There’s nobody I’d rather hang with.

“If I can’t take the kids on a work trip, it hurts. I love being a mom. James and I went on a babymoon before Iver was born, and I tried to enjoy it, but I felt sad. I missed Ioni. If that’s weird, I guess I’m weird. Being a mom is just my favorite thing.”

Matthew Priestley

Suburban life rocks! Coco at home in the nursery with Ioni, 3 years, and Iver, 7 months. 

Frequent Fliers

Tried-and-true travel advice from a mom who takes her kids around the world

Stay in Your Seat

“I don’t walk the aisles with them because they’d never sit back down and I don’t want them to think the plane is a playground.”

Be Ready with Activities

“I get Ioni new activity and sticker books for every flight, and I don’t let her open them until we’re on the plane. Then it’s ‘Ta-da!’ I download some new apps too. If all else fails, I pay for Wi-Fi and let her watch unboxing videos on YouTube. Those are like catnip for her.”

Make it an Adventure

“Run down the hallways in the airport. And tell them turbulence is like riding a roller coaster.”

This story originally appeared in Parents magazine as “Mom Truths With Coco”

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