Actor Joe Swash has opened up about raising six children in a blended family with his wife, TV presenter and former X Factor contestant Stacey Solomon.
Swash told the PA news agency that parenthood is “exhausting” but his body has adapted to hectic family life.
“I think your body just adapts to your situation,” he said. “So after you’ve had three kids – four, five or six makes no difference. Me and Stacey have been tired for so long now that it’s become the norm.”
The couple, who first met in 2010 when Solomon won I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Swash was presenting the spin-off show, have three children together: four-year-old Rex, one-year-old Rose, and Belle, seven months.
Swash, who is best known for playing Mickey Miller in the BBC soap EastEnders, is also father to Harry, 16, from a previous relationship. Solomon also has son Zachary, 15, from her previous relationship with Dean Cox, and 11-year-old Leighton, whom she shares with ex-fiance Aaron Barham.
Swash praised the older children in the family for supporting him and Swash as they manage parenting duties.
“Our older kids are a godsend, they really help out,” he said. “They’re always helping with dinner, they help feed the kids, they’re amazing. We’re really proud of our kids, how they all muck in and help – and we don’t ask them either, it’s all done out of love. It’s lovely to see.”
Swash admitted that he and Solomon have busy working lives but they aim to be with their children as much as possible.
“Me and Stacey work quite a lot, but whenever we’re not working, we want to be together with the kids. So the idea is, whenever I’m working, Stacey’s at home. And whenever Stacey’s working, I’m at home,” he said. “Whenever we get the opportunity to spend time as a family together, we generally do that.”
The actor added that he had never imagined he would have more children after having his eldest child, Harry, with his former partner Emma Sophocleous.
“I thought that was really it, and I’d given up hope of having any more kids and a family. And then I met Stacey, and we’ve gone on to have three kids together, we’ve got six kids combined – and I would never have imagined myself in this position.”
It comes as Solomon recently opened up about her how busy filming schedule is impacting the amount of time she can spend with her husband.
In the middle of filming two TV series simultaneously – BBC’s Sort Your Life Out and a new Channel 4 show titled Brickin’ It – the presenter gave her followers an update on Instagram Stories while getting ready at 5.30am for another busy day of shooting and reflected on how difficult it has been for Swash, who currently stays at home with their blended family.
“I just leave at 6am in the morning every day and I don’t get back until about 9pm at night. I do feel bad because I think being home with the kids is sometimes harder than going to work, isn’t it?”
The Loose Women star continued in her Instagram Story: “[Joe] just doesn’t have that relief of me getting home and him being like, ‘Ah, it’s your turn!’ I’m getting home and everyone’s asleep.
“Sometimes I get jealous of him because I’m like, ‘Aw, you’re at home with the kids and the babies and I’m so jealous.’”