Coleen Rooney: 'I adore being a mother'
The wife of one of football's biggest stars is expecting their third child in January. She tells Gabrielle Fagan about motherhood, bringing up her sons, and date nights with Wayne.
The nursery's ready and Coleen Rooney is looking forward to the birth of her third baby and excited to find out whether she and Wayne will welcome a little girl or boy.
"Everyone keeps asking me which sex I think it is, but we honestly don't know. We wanted it to be a surprise," says the 29-year-old happily. "I didn't know the sex the first time either, the second time I found out, but this time we decided not to because we'll be perfectly happy whichever it is."
She looks glamorous and blooming and says: "I don't know why, but I've felt really energised with this pregnancy. I've been very lucky with my pregnancies, I've never had sickness or swollen ankles or anything and I've managed to keep up my fitness. I do a mixture of ballet, yoga and pilates, which I love, and maybe that's helped. Or maybe with two little boys to run around after I haven't had time to feel tired!"
She and Wayne (30), the Manchester United and England captain, have been together 13 years, married for six, and have sons, Kai (6), and Klay (2).
If they have a girl it's unlikely they'll carry on the theme of names beginning with 'K' because so far Coleen hasn't discovered one she likes.
"There's no decision, we'll just wait and see when we meet him or her," says Coleen, an ambassador for Lamaze early years toys, which are designed to inspire discovery through play.
"Will this baby complete the family? I'm not sure," she says with a laugh. "It's all about having enough time to give to each child and three kids is a lot. I always wanted a big family and three is a nice number, so I think we'll just see how we get along. Life will be pretty hectic, particularly in the early days!"
It's already a busy household with two little boys tearing about, but Coleen - who grew up in Croxteth, Liverpool and was a 16-year-old schoolgirl when she started dating Wayne, then 17 - clearly loves every minute of it.
"I love being a mum. One of the best things is hearing the boys laugh and hearing them say, 'I love you Mummy'. I've always been a maternal person and there were a lot of children in my family which I helped look after. Motherhood came pretty naturally to me," she says.
"Wayne is a great dad and very hands-on with the boys, but when we had Kai things were very new to him. He hadn't had a lot of babies in his family so he had to learn a lot, but with Klay he was much more confident."
She admits that there was one outcome of parenting that neither of them was prepared for - the change in lifestyle.
"It was a shock to the system the amount of time you have to give to your children. Before we had kids, whenever Wayne had unexpected time off from training or playing we could just be spontaneous and just take off and go and do something or have a holiday. When you have one child, who's now at school, and another little one, you just can't do that," she says.
One permanent arrangement in the calendar is a regular 'date night' because they both realise, she says, the importance of making time for their relationship.
"I know couples who just have no time for each other and that puts a big pressure on your marriage. So once a week we'll go to the cinema or a show and out for dinner, just the two of us," says Coleen.
Recently, during a BBC documentary, Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals, Wayne revealed he writes love poetry for his wife. Coleen says with a smile: "Wayne is thoughtful and he can also be very romantic - when he tries!"
The couple enjoy their time away from the spotlight when they're together at home, in Prestbury near Manchester in their £5m neo-Georgian mansion set in 20 acres, complete with swimming pool and football pitch.
"It's rare we get a whole day together with Wayne's schedule, but when we do it's lovely just to stay in, relax together and do ordinary things. Kai loves board games, especially Snakes and Ladders so we'll sit down and have a game of that," says Coleen, who Wayne describes as "the boss at home" because she plans everything.
"I like to be very hands-on and active with the kids and I do like to organise things so we make the most of our time together."
While football dominates her husband's life, she reveals it's taken time for their eldest son to get the bug and, until recently, Kai preferred golf.
"Kai was never interested until about eight months ago and then all of a sudden he's just gone football mad! He plays at school and is always having a kickabout with his dad. He still loves his golf," she says.
"Funnily enough, Klay's the opposite - he's always loved kicking a ball. But now he's getting more interested in other toys."
She's delighted that her two sons are close. "They absolutely love each other and that's something I really hoped for because I've got two brothers, Joe and Anthony, and to this day we still do everything together.
"When Kai and Klay get up in the morning the first thing they ask is where the other one is. Of course they fight and argue, that's normal, but they do love each other," she says.
"Kai's really confident and is a bit of an entertainer, whereas Klay is softer, very loving and can be shy at first, but once he gets to know someone he comes out of his shell."
While motherhood is her priority, Coleen has also branched out into TV presenting and charity work.
"I never set out to have my own role ,it just happened, but I'm quite a strong character and I enjoy the stuff I do. I hope to continue that with being a hands-on wife and mother and spending as much time as possible with the children."
- Coleen Rooney is the new ambassador for Lamaze toys. Visit tomy.com