Tess Holliday and her sons Bowie, 3½, and Rylee, 14, star on their first cover together
Tess Holliday is reflecting on her motherhood experience, both as a single mom and as a married woman.
Recalling her early years as a parent, Holliday says she struggled to feel close to newborn Rylee after she gave birth to him at age 20.
“I loved him, but I didn’t feel maternal toward him until he was a toddler,” she said of her older son.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
According to Holliday, Rylee currently doesn’t have a relationship with his biological father, whom she described as a one-night stand in her 2017 memoir The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl: Loving the Skin You're In.
Meanwhile, her husband of nearly five years Nick, with whom the mother of two shares son Bowie, has been living in his native country of Australia since September.
“[He’s] working on himself,” Holliday told the publication, which also noted that she declined to clarify the current status of their relationship.
RELATED VIDEO: Tess Holliday Comments on Her Strained Relationship With Her Father: ‘I Just Wish He Would’ve Supported Me’
Though she didn’t clarify her romantic status, Holliday, who came out as pansexual in July, did say she prioritized her life for the better recently.
“I was putting my kids and my husband ahead of myself. I was losing myself. But all of that is changing,” she says.
What’s not changing is her commitment to her kids, regardless of what naysayers throw at her.
“People assume I can’t pick up my son or that I’ll drop dead soon. But I’ve always responded with, ‘Why would I put my body through being a mom and childbirth to not be around for them?’ ” Holliday says.