With a new children's book, a baby skincare range and a third child on the way, singer and author, Rochelle Humes, is busier than ever. Her latest book, The Mega Magic Teacher Swap, tells the heartwarming story of two best friends, Mai and Rose, who return to school for a new year and, as with any good children's story, there's an important lesson to be learnt from it.
You see, Mai has dark hair that is curly and never stays put, while Rose has blonde hair that's straight as a ruler - and they often ask themselves, why can't they have each other's hair? The question is, can they learn to love themselves the way they are? We hope so! Here, Rochelle shares what inspired her to tell the story and what she hopes families everywhere will take away from it...
I want to encourage all kids to cultivate inner strength. That was the starting point for writing my children’s books, the latest of which, The Mega Magic Teacher Swap, is out now. I think the phrase "you can’t be what you can’t see" is so true, and I’ve tried to reflect this by including characters from all walks of life. Books and stories are often a child’s first love, so it’s important they see themselves in that space.
As soon as you have children, they become your strength. My girls, Alaia-Mai and Valentina, are seven and three now, and my third child, a boy, is due in October. They motivate me, surprise me, and keep me strong every day.
Children bring a new perspective. I love the innocent way my kids see the world. When Alaia-Mai saw the Black Lives Matter protests on TV and asked me what it was all about, I tried to explain it to her in a seven-year-old appropriate way. She just looked at me and said, "But Mummy, if we all had the same skin colour, wouldn’t that be really boring?" Sometimes, we all need to view the world like children do.
I love working out with my family. During lockdown, we’d go for long walks and, more recently, we’ve started doing little workouts as a family. Every Sunday, we meet our family friend, who is a personal trainer, and he guides us through a 30-minute routine. We all really enjoy it and there’s definitely a sense of healthy competition, too.
When I feel stress, I put my phone down. I’m quite strict, telling myself not to take anything else on. Then, in the evening when the kids have gone to bed, I’ll treat myself to a hot bath. I’ll often call one of my best girlfriends for a natter because when you’ve been Mummy all day, it’s refreshing to be reminded that you can also just be you.
My husband, Marvin, keeps me strong. He’s level-headed, and he makes me feel like anything is possible. Whenever I doubt myself, he’ll help me to lay out the options. His driven nature bolsters my self-confidence, helping me to see that there is always a solution.
Pilates is how I find my happy place. When it comes to exercise, I don’t like too much cardio. Pilates feels like a form of therapy, and it’s how I unwind when work pressures and family life feel overwhelming. I try to do it every day, including while pregnant. I don’t think about anything else while I’m doing it, so it allows me to switch off. I also love the satisfying ache you feel afterwards.
The Mega Magic Teacher Swap (Studio Press) by Rochelle Humes is out now. Rochelle is the founder of My Little Coco, available in store and online at Boots.
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