"Most of the time, I've got my kids with me, so I'm not as prone to meeting people," Brinkley tells February's Prevention, out Tuesday. "And then, you never really know if someone is talking to you because you're a celebrity. It's not my number one priority."
Brinkley, 56, has three children – Alexa Ray, 25, Jack, 15, and Sailor, 12 – and says being a mom was always part of her life plan.
"I always knew I wanted to be a mother ... it takes a lot of work," Brinkley says. "My work makes me a better mom. It gives me a little door to step out of my parenting and bring the excitement from that day back home."
She also says she's found a novel way to bounce back from her painful – and very public – divorce from ex-husband Peter Cook. (She was also previously married to singer Billy Joel.)
"You've got to find a way to keep laughing, even if it's black humor, and my friends are very good at that," she says. "Some people think of happiness as a luxury, but it's a necessity, and you need to make space for it in your life."