Stacey: “I want more kids with Joe”
Loose Women star and mum-of-two Stacey Solomon opens up about her future with actor boyfriend Joe Swash, and her fight to regain her self-esteem
She’s been widely applauded S for proudly showing off her natural curves in unedited posts on social media, with fans branding her an “inspiration”. But singer-turned-tv presenter Stacey Solomon – who was just 19 when she found fame on The X Factor – admits she hasn’t always been so confident in herself. She reveals, “I didn’t have great self-esteem when I was younger and it was really important that I worked on who I was inside. I felt that if I liked myself, then I could find someone who liked me as well.”
The star is mum to ten-year-old Zachary with teenage love Dean Cox, and six-yearold Leighton with former fiancé Aaron Barnham. She tells Closer how it was the birth of Leighton that helped her finally believe she deserved a good relationship.
The Loose Women panellist, 29, says, “It was a real turning point. Not long after Leighton was born, I decided to really embrace who I was. Until then, I’d been more critical about myself as a person. I would worry about whether I was doing the right thing, or being a nice person.
She adds, “Being a mum for a second time gave me a confidence boost. I know I don’t always get it right, but my intentions are always good. It’s about allowing myself to make wrong decisions and the odd mistake and not beating myself up about it. Once I felt good about myself, I was emotionally in the best place to meet somebody.”
Following her split from Aaron in 2014, Stacey has found love with former Eastenders actor Joe Swash, 36 – whom she met on the set of I’m A Celeb!. The pair have been dating for almost three years and she’s been living temporarily at Joe’s house with her two sons until they all move into their “together home” later this month.
“Living with Joe has been good and bad!” Stacey laughs, “But I fall more in love with him the longer we are together.”
Earlier this year, the star admitted she might never have children with Joe – who has an 11-year-son, Harry, from a previous relationship – admitting she worried her sons could feel left out.
But after she revealed the pair had finally moved in together last week, she admits she can now see babies in their near future. She tells us, “I would like more children, but I want it to be the right time. We’d like to be in the house for a year or two and make sure the kids are happy. We are so privileged that we’ve got children already, so if it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. As long as everyone is secure, we can start thinking about it.”
TYING THE KNOT
She adds, “Probably the most attractive thing about Joe is what a great dad he is. He’s so passionate about his child, and about us as a family. Also, he’s really kind. He has a similar background to me, with the same family morals and values as mine. I think that’s what makes our relationship work. My boys are obsessed with him. He’s the fun one – he’s Fun Joe! I’m not when I’m in mum mode and making them eat their greens and brush their teeth!”
But she dismisses the idea that marriage could be the next big step in their relationship. She reveals, “We’re not against marriage, but it’s not something we think about right now. We don’t feel it is a necessity.”
The pair’s busy working schedules often keep them apart, and Stacey – who recently
‘If I liked myself, I could find someone who liked me too’
teamed up with cookware brand Prestige – will soon have to face four weeks away from Joe, who, as presenter of the I’m A Celeb! spin-off show, will shortly start filming in Australia.
She says, “I’m actually quite looking forward to it. We’ll have a few weeks together and then I will have the whole house to myself – I can choose the food shopping and there won’t be any arguments about what’s on the telly! I might even put up a few new decorations that Joe doesn’t know about!” As co-panellists on Loose Women, Stacey formed a close friendship with former glamour model Katie Price (Jordan), who recently checked into The Priory clinic after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder – which has been blamed for her wild partying in recent months. Reflecting on her former colleague’s recent ordeal, Stacey says, “We’re sending Katie our best wishes. We really care about her and hope that she’s well.”