Heidi Klum: My Kids Make Me Feel Beautiful

03/09/2012 at 11:00 AM ET
Courtesy ELLE

After her painful split from singer Seal, Heidi Klum coped by spending all her time at home, surrounded by the people she loves most — her children.

“I’m a lioness,” she tells ELLE in its April issue. “I have four cubs. I’m a mom. I want to take care of my kids and protect them.”

Klum, 38, who was married to the singer, 49, for seven years until their January separation, tells the magazine that even though she’s an internationally renowned supermodel, Leni, 7½, Henry, 6½, Johan, 5, and Lou, 2, are the ones who make her feel most beautiful.

“In my job, people tell you that all the time: ‘This shoot was great. You look amazing.’ But you never know what they say when you turn away,” she says.

“But the kids don’t edit anything. When they kiss you and tell you they love you and say, ‘Mama, you’re the best’ — that’s really the only thing you care about.”

To that end, she’s also open to letting them be themselves and is trying her hardest not to “put them into a box.”

“I’ve done that in the past,” she admits adding, “They’re all different … I think Henry is the artistic one. But I want him to figure out for himself who he is.”

The same is true for her other son and two daughters. “[I want them] to find themselves. To do what they enjoy doing,” Klum says.”To find someone they can share their lives with and be happy.”

— Lesley Messer

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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blessedwithboys on

Aw, Heidi, you sound like a great mom! 🙂

Meela on

Yeah for Heidi soldering on!!!

Having children forces you to get up, dust yourself and get on with it!

She is also smart enough to recognize that she might be surrounded by “YES” people who aren’t being true!

I get it Heidi and you are so right!

Anonymous on

Wonder what she’s going to do with her large “Seal” tattoo…

Cammy on

Wow, I didn’t recognize her on the cover. She looks beautiful, just different.

Marky on

If she wants what’s best for her children, why not work on the relationship with their father? Kids need their parents and especially as they get older. People give up on their marriages without really trying, it seems……

Shannon on

ROTFL@ Anonymous

awkward 😦

Lizzielui on

Marky, how do you know they haven’t been trying but realized that it could no longer work? It will be far better for the kids if they split amicably rather than living in a marriage full of anger, chaos, and resentment just for the sake of the kids.

meghan on

It just seems like a sudden split because Heidi went on and on about her happy marriage.

me on

I feel the same way about my kids…i love them more than anything and they’re the only ones that ever made me feel beautiful 🙂

Angelina on

meghan – I wonder if the split was sudden for us, the strangers who follow her life, but not really as sudden for Heidi and Seal.

Yes she spoke often about how fantastic her life was, but when you live in the spotlight like they do it might be easier to say you’re happy and move on than having to explain every detailed problem.

Just a thought…

Lizzielui – I completely agree. I’m happily divorced, and although it was hard for my boys, I know it would have been mmuch harder for them to be forced to live with 2 miserable parents, at the same time, as opposed to 1 happy parent at a time!

SHar on

Do we know that it was her that wasnt willing to work on her marriage?? Maybe it was her husband – therefore we shouldnt judge someone when we know nothing about what went on behind closed doors. She has a tough job ahead raising those kids on her own – we should all offer our support and well wishes instead of being so hateful and cynical. How can someone hate or dislike someone they dont even know. Oh I know – they read the National Enquirer and that tells them everything they need to know. I have been a single mom of 3 for 28 years and I for one wish her well and think she will be a great mom.

B.J. (the girl) on

I don’t know Heidi or Seal, but I’ve heard they split up because he had anger issues — isn’t that something you’d get a hint about BEFORE having so many kids?

Their split definitely shocked me more than most celebrity couples, because they sounded so perfect. It just proves that not everything is how it seems, and even the happiest people have their dark secrets.

shelby on

@Angelina — How do you know? My parents divorced when I was 10, and my mom had the same reasoning. She was wrong, though; it was a disaster. Failed remarriages on both sides, abusive step-parents, chaos, and always missing one of my parents. Very damaging. Twenty years later, I’m married with children, and neither my husband nor I believe in divorce. It’s up to us to work out our issues and keep our marriage healthy, because our kids deserve a stable home and family life.

Angelina on

@shelby – I don’t know. I’m not an expert, and I don’t claim to be.

Every situation, every family, is different, and in my case it was the best thing for me AND my kids. It’s not something I ever wanted to do, but it was the right choice for me and my family. I don’t believe my home life is unstable because there is only one parent at the dinner table at a time.