Coleen Rooney - How motherhood has changed me
- Credit: not Archant
These days, Coleen Rooney is arguably more accomplished in front of the cameras than her footballer husband Wayne, but with a fashion range, motherhood and the pressures of a busy schedule to deal with, this Presbury-based lady is someone who, understandably, does not like to waste time
Coleen Rooney is chatting to me in London’s Savoy Hotel where she’s working as an ambassador for the Tesco Mum of the Year awards. And surrounded by an entourage of PRs and publicists, time does appear in limited supply.
‘Sometimes I’d love to spend more time at press events and really be able to get into conversations, but it’s always a packed schedule and that’s the way I’ve got used to living,’ she smiles.
Given the intensity of her schedule, it’s a wonder this 28-year-old mum finds time to really enjoy the gorgeous Prestbury neo-Georgian mansion she calls home. The trappings of both her and Wayne’s successful careers are evident, but these days the mum-of-two is more concerned with raising her children than revelling in that WAG status.
She told me: ‘Your priorities in life change – they have to...not that it was ever an intention of mine to be a WAG. That was just something the press dreamt up. I think we’ve all moved on a bit from then!’
Born and raised in Liverpool, Coleen was a schoolgirl when she met Wayne before his Everton breakthrough. A Croxteth local, her modest upbringing could not have prepared her for the penetrating media eye lurking around the corner no sooner had her 16-year-old striker boyfriend lashed in a spectacular winning goal against Arsenal in October 2002.
Since then, the couple’s marriage has endured regular media speculation and, perhaps to counteract the tabloid smears, the 28-year-old has chosen to build herself a sensible family image. One of four siblings, she’s now a proud mother to two young boys, Kai and Klay.
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‘You get older and realise the sacrifices your elders made for you. Over the years I’ve realised how much I idolise my mum – she is my hero. I just don’t know where I’d be without her. She brought me up in a way I want to emulate with Kai and Klay; and I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood.’
Even with a posse of friends and helpers, the presenter of Coleen’s Real Women admits the support of her mother, Colette, remains a constant. ‘She gives me so much advice, and now I’ve got my own children she’s always there to help out.
‘You go through so many emotions with motherhood – it’s something you just cannot prepare for. When I first fell pregnant with Kai it was a hugely exciting time, but like any mum, you have nerves, worries, and you need reassurance at every step. These days there is so much support out there – family, groups, even things you can research online – but if I was to offer any sort of advice, it would be just to enjoy the whole thing.
‘Yes, it’s tiring, it’s hard work, but you get used to it and now I’ve had my second I’m much more relaxed with him being a baby. A lot of the paranoia has gone, and that’s a natural progression for any mother, I think.’
As well as throwing herself into full-time motherhood, Coleen has cemented respect in the fashion world too. She has a refined eye for style, most recently designing a range of bikinis for Littlewoods. Refreshingly, her outlook often bucks trends...indeed, she has intentionally pursued alternative routes to the norm.
‘Looking the same as everyone else doesn’t interest me,’ she admits. ‘That’s not to say I’m going to start wearing outlandish stuff – I still want to feel safe, but having an edge is important. I think as you get older you learn what suits you better...what styles suit your shape.
‘Over the years my body shape has changed so my style has changed. But I know what lengths, what cuts, what shapes suit me best, so I tend to stick with those.’
With her husband set to fly to Brazil for the World Cup to represent England this summer, we can expect to see Coleen taking the opportunity to mix business and pleasure in sporting her latest line on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
‘It’s a world away from Cheshire and I know everyone is looking forward to the World Cup. In the past it would have been a huge thing for me, but I’ve always got one eye on the school run these days!’ And although the Rooney clan may inhabit the ‘Golden Triangle’, as the affluent area of Prestbury, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge is often described, there’s something refreshingly grounded about Coleen.
‘Most of the time I just put my gym stuff on when I’m at home. Once I do the school drop-off I go to the gym for a while, but I’m not one of those glamorous mums who turns up at the gates looking like they’re on a night out. My constants are my wedding ring and a pair of stud earrings, and that really does it for me,’ she smiles.
And given that husband Wayne will be leading the line for the Three Lions this summer, it’s only pertinent to ask if the couple’s sons could help in some of England’s future major tournaments. Coleen laughs. ‘Well, Klay is a bit young - he’s not walking yet – and Kai isn’t much into sports at the moment, but he is always running around and likes to try new things. I know Wayne is looking to spot a few football skills in him, but at the moment he’s mainly into his dancing. At least it’s an active household!’