We don't know what's more impressive; Rochelle's upwards career trajectory since The S Club Juniors (presenting primetime telly and The Saturday's global success, for starters) or how she juggles this with being a brilliant mama to Alaia-Mai, five and Valentina, two.
Mother&Baby spoke to Rochelle to discover the top lessons she's learned since becoming a parent...
I was so nauseous the whole way through my pregnancy with my eldest daughter Alaia – I felt like I was on a boat the whole time. Everyone knew I was pregnant as I just couldn’t stop being sick – there are only so many times you can say you’ve got food poisoning!
1) Nothing prepares you for pregnancy
Yet with Vali, I had an easy pregnancy and I enjoyed it so much more. Pregnancy changes your body in ways you can’t liken to anything else, but my husband Marvin made me feel so confident. He was obsessed with the fact I was pregnant and that made me feel nice about my body changing, rather than freaking out.
I was married and pregnant at 23, which is quite young. But I felt like I’d done so much in my life already, I was ready. And I love everything about being a mum. I love that every day is a learning experience – no two days are the same. I love building a security blanket and a little nest for our kids to grow up in. And I love watching them grow. Our job is just to support them, make sure they’re secure, and give them the tools to become good people.
2) I was so, so ready to be a mum
Alaia was desperate for a sibling and longed for the baby to be a girl, but we didn’t know what we were having. So when I had Vali, and facetimed Alaia to tell her she had a sister, she was so happy! We got her to take the iPad into her bedroom and shut the door, because she wanted to be the one to announce the news to all the rest of the family. And being very much in charge of that really helped – she just adores being a big sister.
3) You need to make your toddler feel important when having a new baby
When I had my first baby, everyone said to me: ‘You must sleep when she sleeps!’ And I thought to myself, what are they talking about?! When she sleeps, I’ve got lots of stuff to get on with! But the second time around, I did exactly that and whenever Valentina slept, I slept. Or I’d just sit on the sofa and do nothing. I’d just made a human, and that takes a little while to get used to.
4) To take it easy!
When Alaia was four, she began to notice differences between her and her best friend. It started with her telling me that her skin was a different colour, then that her hair was curly. And that’s what inspired me to write my children’s book about two little girls, one with dark curly hair and one with straight blonde hair, who desperately want to swap hair. But they soon learn that getting what they want isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
5) That our differences make us special
The Mega Magic Hair Swap, £6.99, amazon.co.uk
It’s such a special, special time. I was on maternity leave and I loved having the time to make fresh, home-cooked meals, and trying different foods and seeing what the kids like. Alaia used to love a roast dinner – I remember the first time I gave her gravy and her legs went mental in the highchair! She’s got fussier as she’s got older though, but that’s always the way.
6) Weaning is cool
You can read all the books and do all the preparation you want to, and listen to a lot of opinions – wanted or not – but the most important thing is that you get to know your own baby. If you’re lucky enough to have more than one, then you’ll know that no two babies are the same, so you just have to learn your baby. You’re the only one who can make her happy.
7) Not to follow anyone else’s rules
Make sure you're following Mother & Baby on Instagram for relatable memes, inspiring stories and parenting hacks!
Join the club! Introducing our brand, spankin’ new Facebook group called #mumtribe. Simply search ‘#mumtribe’ into the search bar and meet like-minded mums, win gorgeous goodies and have some fun!
For parenting tips, tricks and advice you can trust, click here to download a free digital issue of Mother and Baby magazine.