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September 07, 2018 03:40 PM

Candice Swanepoel is a model mama — but it’s not always easy.

The Victoria’s Secret Angel, 29, opened up to PEOPLE Thursday at the ANGELS book launch and exhibit in N.Y.C., where she admitted parenting sons Ariel, 11 weeks, and Anacan, 2 next month, has had its fair share of challenges.

“It’s pretty intense, but it’s amazing. To see the love between them is amazing,” she revealed. “It’s a lot, I’m not gonna lie. The second one is a lot easier, but the situation of having two makes it harder.”

Joked Swanepoel, who is on the cover of Russell James’ new book, “My second one is an angel. ‘He’s like, ‘Mommy, I know you don’t need more stress.’ “

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Aside from feeling more laid back and confident in second-time parenthood (“The second one, you’re like, throw it over the shoulder,” she joked), the model raved further about Anacan’s relationship with Ariel, calling her older son an “amazing big brother” who’s “kissing [Ariel] all the time.”

“It’s funny because he doesn’t know how to deal with the love,” says Swanepoel. “And you know when you think something is really cute and you just want to squeeze it? He doesn’t know how to process that yet.”

Candice Swanepoel
Raymond Hall/GC Images

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In July — 22 days after she gave birth to Ariel — Swanepoel clapped back at critics who commented on her body after baby.

“This is me 12 days after having my son. If you have something bad to say about it … check yourself. Society can be so cruel to one another. Beauty standards are sometimes impossible for women these days,” Swanepoel wrote on her Instagram Story.

“I’m not ashamed to show my postpartum tummy. I am proud actually. I carried my son for nine months in there. I think I’ve earned the right to have a little tummy,” she added. “Is it because I’m a model? Well we are normal people too so let me enjoy the beach in peace please.”

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