Stacey Solomon pauses Joe Swash marriage plans as weddings ‘make her cringe’ – The News


 Stacey Solomon is a refreshing dose of reality in social media world where yummy mummies with pristine homes show their flat tums in bikinis mere seconds after giving birth and find newborns a cinch  The Loose Women star’s posts are unedited and unapologetic about the realities and rigours of motherhood  With neither the time nor the inclination to edit her photos, she simply shows herself as she really is – and her posts are all the better for it  Stacey, 30, says: “If I have my picture taken in a bikini on a beach and I don’t look perfect, there’s nothing I can do  “I’m not going to pose again because that’s just the way that I look. And I’m not going to sit there and airbrush them – I just don’t have that time or energy  “Being real is the only way I know how to be. I spent a long time not liking myself growing up, and there’s no value in that I look at myself and I think I’m pretty and I’ve got a nice body and there’s nothing wrong with the way I look I don’t want to be ashamed of it.”     Her ability to tell it like it is, with intelligence and humour, is just one of the reasons she is still a household name a decade after coming third on The X Factor and becoming queen of the I’m a Celebrity jungle the following year  And her down-to-earth attitude includes being honest about motherhood. In her nappy-sized post-natal pants or baby-tum bikini, she is the champion of all mums who feel overwhelmed with exhaustion as well as with love  “People make motherhood look like a breeze, but it’s so hard,” says the mum-of-three, who has sons Zachary, 11, Leighton, seven, and five-month-old Rex   “I was worried sick about trying to breastfeed Rex. It was abysmal – the whole thing was horrific and I was really emotional and upset Scrolling through my Instagram I saw a mummy blogger who was still breastfeeding her baby after one year  “And I just sobbed. I thought, ‘How is she doing it? How? How has she got this far?’ I looked around for other people who were really struggling and I just couldn’t find them And I thought, ‘What the hell? Why am I the only person out there who just wants to hide in a hole and cry?’ ”  When the nation’s favourite girl-next-door fell in love with cheeky chappy Joe Swash, 37, four years ago, there was genuine warmth towards them  That sense of familiarity from strangers is touching. But recently Stacey was swamped with advice from people scolding her for weaning Rex too early Was that annoying?  “People are always really nice,” says Stacey. “When people say, ‘I feel like we know you’, I think, ‘You probably do – we are who we are and there’s not much more to us’  But sometimes it’s hard when people tell you what they think you should do. I always have to have a word with myself because most people aren’t doing it to be horrible or catch me out They’re doing it because they think it’s the right thing to do.    “With Rex’s weaning, that’s why I got a nutritionist involved Because it’s a massive responsibility having Instagram.  “I don’t want to encourage people to do anything that isn’t right or is dangerous Deep down I know it’s not malicious. I know they’re concerned but I don’t think they have reason to be ”  Stacey is the woman you hope to meet at a baby-and-toddler group as her honesty will reassure any new mum  Although she looks perfectly glossy and sounds like the voice of reason on Loose Women, she also shares her struggles  She says: “The best thing about being open is it gives people the tools and knowledge to spot any worrying signs  “I was only diagnosed with postnatal depression years after having Zachary. When I was about to have Leighton my midwives flagged me up for extra support because I was so nervous This time around I knew what I was looking out for.  “A few months before I had Rex, my midwife flagged me up to mental health services in my area Five days after having Rex I had a call from perinatal mental health services when I really, really needed it  “It’s good to speak up so midwives can get in touch with those services early on so you’re on their system, so if you are struggling, they’re ready and waiting ”  Only once has Stacey regretted sharing her thoughts, and it was on the live set of Loose Women  “I was asked if I’d talk about my fear of death and I said yes, without realising how scared of it I actually was,” she says “I hated the whole thing – I cried my eyes out and it was the worst experience ever ”  Stacey recently returned to work and feels the newborn haze is clearing. Read More Top news stories from Mirror Online  “I’m definitely out of the horrible foggy part when you think nothing is real and you’re a bit rubbish,” she says  “It’s the exhaustion now I’m struggling with. When we went away I got a few nights’ sleep and thought, ‘Oh my God, this feels good I can actually walk for more than 10 minutes and my brain works better’. Since we got back things have gone the other way round It’s like delirium.”  Stacey’s followers felt sure she and Joe – who has son Harry, 12, from a previous relationship – secretly got wed on their recent holiday, but she said she could never get wed without her Loose Women colleagues as bridesmaids  But they shouldn’t look out for their invitation any time soon.  “It’s not the biggest thing in our life at the moment,” she says “We’ve got four kids between us, we’re so focused on making sure they’re happy and that everything’s not too complicated for them because there’s a lot of dynamics in having a blended family  “So marriage is on the back burner. And I really struggle being the centre of attention – that’s why I love being on Loose Women because I’m one of four It’s embarrassing when it’s all about you. That part of a wedding makes me cringe ”  Stacey is also refreshingly honest about her relationship with EastEnders star Joe She says: “He’s a great male role model for my boys. I’m very lucky. But every time he loads the dishwasher he sends me over the edge It doesn’t matter how many times I say, ‘Scrape the food waste into the food waste bin first’, every time I open the dishwasher it stinks of food I just lose it. No joke.”  Recently the family posed in festive pyjamas for a Card Factory Christmas campaign She says: “We love those special gifts.  “When they mean something it gets treasured I try not to get carried away with getting loads of stuff. Giving kids everything doesn’t make them very nice If they can appreciate being with each other and having a laugh together, they’re going to have a better Christmas ”  Most mums find Christmas a high-stress time without going on live TV. How on earth does Stacey cope?  “I don’t,” she admits But she has this message for real mums everywhere: “We could all find something to feel bad about every day So instead let’s say, ‘We’re all fed, watered and alive. That’s good enough.” Create a personalised family photo Christmas card at participating Card Factory stores or at CardFactory co.uk.

Michael Martin

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