In between homeschooling, workouts and looking after new baby Blake, Rochelle Humes spoke exclusively to HELLO! about pandemic life with her husband Marvin and the kids, and parenting struggles in general. She admitted she had found homeschooling "intense" during lockdown numero uno, and we're sure many parents can relate…
"It's very different, but we're slowly getting used to it which is also weird," she explained: "I found it quite intense last year, I don't know if it was because I was pregnant, but I was like 'woah it's a lot'."
WATCH: See inside the Humes' epic playroom
The most difficult thing for Rochelle has been the uncertainty: "What I find the hardest is not having the answers for my kids. Especially my eldest asking 'When do you think we'll be going back to school, mummy?' And I hear a lot of them ask their teachers that on Zoom. It's hard not having the answer, as we know about the same amount as they do."
She added: "I just feel for them really, it's something we didn’t have to go through when we were little and it’s a confusing time for kids."
Rochelle and Marvin have three children together
When the little ones aren't logged on to Zoom for lessons, Rochelle works hard to keep them entertained. "I’ve just been doing life skills really, just showing them a bit more around the house," she candidly revealed. Going on to say: "You know, everyone has to make their own beds, to make them feel a little more grown up. Even little things like, 'Right mummy’s making dinner who wants to help me peel potatoes?'. Things you think to kids aren’t fun, a lot of the time they actually are as they can feel like a mini adult."
When The Saturdays star first got Instagram, she was reserved about revealing her children's identities online, but has since made a U-turn on the decision. Why the change of heart? "When I had Alaia, Instagram and that sort of world was relatively new, and I just wanted to be a bit considered and know how to handle it - and know what kind of world I was putting them into," Rochelle said.
Baby Blake was born during the pandemic
But now, her family are grateful for the updates: "It’s nice for people that follow me to have a bit of an insight and my friends prefer it as well because otherwise they just constantly ask me for pictures, so they are like, 'Oh amazing I've seen they are doing this and doing that.'"
Rochelle's lovely home with Marvin has a huge playroom for the children, and she revealed that "it was done before anything else in the house". Going on to confess: "It was actually supposed to be a lounge, but we made it into a big toyroom."
Rochelle shares parenting tips on her Instagram feed
But there's one key way that they keep it tidy, and that's with regular clear-outs. "My kids know that Santa doesn't come unless you clear out all of your other toys for children that aren’t as lucky, we’ve always done that. We do that before every birthday, and we’ve just done it for The TOY Project before Valentina's birthday," reported Rochelle.
Marvin and Rochelle have been married for almost 10 years
The TOY Project and Amazon are encouraging people to rebox their pre-loved toys for children in need across the UK and the globe. Amazon will also be donating new toys to the charity.
"As parents, you always wonder when our kids grow out of it, what are we going to do with it, you don't want to see them go to waste," the star admitted. "Everyone is spending more time at home, noticing what they are not using. You've probably got a cupboard of toys and your kids will only use a few things at the front, so now is the perfect time to clear out."
Rochelle is currently working with Amazon to encourage people to ‘rebox' toys for children less fortunate by donating them to The TOY Project. Visit thetoyproject.co.uk for details on how to donate.