Tyra Banks is a busy woman, but her son comes first.
“Even just last night, I picked him up out of his crib … and I’m like, ‘I know I’m not supposed to, he’s sleeping all night,’ ” says the proud mom, adding that her new role is “heaven.”
“But I just picked him up and I just held him for 20 minutes at three in the morning, knowing I had to be here bright-eyed for a photo shoot,” she continues. “It’s that love.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
Banks also notes that the team at her cosmetics line Tyra Beauty was nothing but supportive during her maternity leave.
“My team is very empowered and we’re doing really well,” she says. “Even when he was born, we were doing so well and I wasn’t even there. It just goes to show, surround yourself with really strong people and empower them and they can really, truly be successful.”
The model and makeup mogul’s photographer boyfriend Erik Asla has been an important part of the process, too — from splitting diaper duty for their baby boy, who was born via gestational surrogate, to making Banks feel comfortable during her shoots.
RELATED VIDEO: See Tyra Banks’ Sweet Instagram Photo of Son York
“It’s so nice to be able to do things together. Because we love each other, I can be like, ‘I hate this shot, what is this?’ and he can be like, ‘You stand there and you stare into my camera,’ ” she explains of Asla.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t want to!’ and he’s like, ‘You stay there!’ ” she continues. “I would never let some photographer talk to me that way, and he would never let some model talk to him that way, but because we’re family, it’s easy.”
— Jen Juneau