Following their split last year, Cheryl and Liam Payne continue to co-parent their son Bear, and in a new interview with The Telegraph the pop singer/”X Factor” judge opens up about their differing approaches to parenting.
“I’m the strict one; Liam isn’t,” says Cheryl, 35, of the One Direction singer, 25. “I’ll be the one saying, ‘Just one square of chocolate,’ but Bear is so good. If I get cross with him he puts his little hands on my face and looks into my eyes to see if I’m deadly serious or a tiny bit cross, and it melts my heart.”
She’s also quick to praise her ex’s ability as a father. “Liam is a great dad. He’s much softer than me,” Cheryl continues, saying of their breakup, “But it is what it is, and I’m okay about it. When you have a baby, you are not consumed with just thinking about yourself. It’s your responsibility to keep things settled and happy, so you make the best of everything. And we have.”
For the “Love Made Me Do It” singer, motherhood has been a transformational experience. “Everything changed for me from the moment Bear was born. My old brain came out of my head, and all my worries, anxieties and feelings of emptiness went, and a new brain replaced it. I knew the word ‘fulfilled’ but I’d never known what that felt like,” she declares.
“Money, fame, success should have made me feel that but they never did, which is probably why I looked for it in my relationships with men, but that never worked either,” she adds. “I was always angry at myself. And then even though I’d had a really tough pregnancy because I had gestational diabetes, I felt more peaceful. The moment I held him in my arms I had that feeling: fulfillment. It’s stayed with me. And I’ve changed so much. I really have.”
In fact, the experience has been so amazing that she’s considering having another child, even though she’s single at the moment. “You don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship,” she says. “I’ve got a friend who has had two children using donors. Not everything has to be conventional. You can spend ages looking for the right man, waiting for the perfect time to get pregnant, then the right man might turn out to be the wrong man. There are definitely other routes I would consider.”
Asked if she’s open to another relationship, she responds, “Not right now — it’s so not something I’m even thinking about. I wouldn’t rule it out maybe at some point in the distant future. But it’s not a priority. I’ve found the love of my life and he’s absolutely enough for me.”