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

Closer (UK) - - Contents - By Jane Oddy ● Stacey shares her tips on healthy fam­ily eat­ing with Pres­tige cook­ware and their new pres­sure cooker range. For more info, recipes and in­spi­ra­tion, visit www.pres­tige.co.uk. Turn to p48 for Stacey’s style evo­lu­tion

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.”

TURN­ING POINT

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.

AR­GU­MENTS

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.”

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