It’s not the popular narrative, but there’s something magical about being a single mother to a very young child, as many women who find themselves in that position will tell you.
Despite the hardships, the loneliness, the worry that you’re not enough, it can be an experience that forges an unbreakable and entirely unique bond between a mother and baby, when you’re cocooned wholly, with nothing but each other.
When model and skincare mogul Miranda Kerr, 38, talks about her time as a single mother to her first son, Flynn, you get the sense that this is how it was for them. Kerr split from Flynn’s father, Orlando Bloom, when Flynn was only two, and Flynn and his mother were a tightly bonded little pair for many years, much of them spent in Kerr’s four-bedroom Malibu home, which she still owns.
“We created a little vegetable patch together and we’d watch the vegetables grow,” she says of her time in the house with her eldest son, who’s now 10.
“It’s a very tranquil place, and very calming. Flynn is a very sweet boy and he loves being in nature. It’s very good for his spirits.”
Fast forward eight years and Kerr still loves to visit her Malibu hideaway, its light-washed rooms filled with memories. But today, their horizons and their household are wider and larger. Kerr has been married to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, 31, since 2017, and they share two boys together: Hart, who’s three and just starting preschool, and Myles, who turns two in October.
Flynn spends his time between two households: with his mother, and at the home of his dad, his stepmum Katy Perry and the couple’s daughter, Daisy, who turned one in August.
And, yes, the two households really are as friendly as they seem: Perry recently starred in a 30-minute video on Kerr’s Instagram page, and the Kerr/Spiegels attended Daisy’s first birthday party.
“We’re just really lucky,” Kerr says. “We all like each other’s company.”
Between all the parenting and co-parenting, Kerr runs her cosmetics empire, Kora Organics, which launched a suite of new products earlier this year and is sold in 30 countries around the world, and Spiegel is the “driven” and “consistent” (as Kerr describes him) head of his Snapchat empire. The family live in Brentwood, an hour’s drive east of San Francisco – famous neighbours include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Garner – though they’ve reportedly just snapped up a new pad in Los Angeles for about $US100 million.
Kerr is also about to release her second furniture collection, called Tranquillity, and another tea and dishware colourway with Royal Albert.
So, things are busy. “No two days are the same,” says Kerr of their hectic but largely routine-driven lives. Some things are mostly the same, though.
Kerr tends to begin her day around 5 or 5.30am, with a workout. “I’ll do Tracy Anderson or Megan Roup or Ballet Beautiful or yoga,” she says, and follows it up with dry body brushing and a skincare routine using her own products. Spiegel heads straight to his home office – he’s been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic and told his office pretty early on that he has no plans to go back. Then the kids get up and Kerr gets them ready before she begins her own work.
She clocks off early so she can have dinner with the children, perhaps after taking them for a walk – a good way to get in her daily steps, which Kerr records with her Oura ring – and then she and Spiegel have a little time together in the evening before they start it all over again.
The pandemic allowed the family to cement their time together, particularly because of Spiegel working at home (“The kids pop in to say hi to him, which is cute,” Kerr says), but it also brought grief.
The family flew to Australia for Christmas in 2020 to visit Kerr’s grandparents, not knowing it would be the last time they’d see them. “Basically, my grandparents raised me,’’ explains Kerr. “My parents were really young when they had me, so they were always working.’’
Her grandfather transported houses for a living, and he’d unearth geode crystals from beneath their foundations and bring them home for a young Miranda to play with. Her grandmother Ann would give the children noni juice to drink, which went on to become one of Kora’s hero ingredients.
Kerr’s grandfather was stricken by cancer, and passed away in February this year. But her grandmother’s death shortly after came as a terrible shock.
“We knew my grandpa was sick but it was a surprise when my grandma died 20 days later of a broken heart,” Kerr says.
“We’ll never get that time together back, but it was so special to have that … four generations under one roof.”
For someone as family-driven as Kerr, the shock was hard. But she says the lessons she learnt from her grandparents’ lives are reflected in the way she raises her own children, and particularly in the way that she nurtures the relationships between her family and Bloom’s, and in the way she has an open-door policy to friends and family overall.
“My grandmother had what I call generosity of spirit,” she adds.
“She’d always be welcoming people with a cup of tea or making a cake or cutting up fresh fruit for everyone. Everybody was always welcome.”
Could, perhaps, another baby be on the agenda? A daughter maybe?
“It’s definitely something my husband thinks about,” Kerr says.
“But personally, I’ve always wanted to have three boys in particular. I love that I have three healthy boys – and happy boys. And I feel very blessed. But who knows what the future will hold?”
This story originally appeared in the November issue of marie claire Australia, on stands now.