They’ve been in a relationship since 2016, and moved in together at the end of 2018 before having their first baby together in May last year.
And in a new interview, Joe Swash, 38, gushed about being a father figure to Stacey Solomon’s, 30, sons from previous relationships but admitted it’s ‘tricky’ with other parents involved.
Speaking on the podcast, Step Life which is about navigating living in a stepfamily, the former Dancing On Ice star enthused that when Zachary, 12, and and Leighton, eight, grow up: ‘They will say I’m one of their dads!’
Tricky: In a new interview, Joe Swash, 38, gushed about being a father figure to Stacey Solomon’s, 30, sons from previous relationships but admitted it’s ‘tricky’ with other parents
Former X Factor star Stacey shares eldest son Zachary, 12, with her ex Dean Cox, and her middle child Leighton, eight, with her ex Aaron Barham.
Joe and Stacey are parents to baby Rex, 15 months, while Joe is also dad to Harry, 13, with his ex fiancé Emma Sophocleous, 35.
Speaking about their blended family, the soap star said: ‘I treat all the boys exactly the same. I think that’s the only way you can do it.
‘You know, I love Stacey’s boys. I love my boys. I hate saying it like that because by saying that there’s a separation, I’m really honoured to be able to say I am their stepdad.’
Family matters: The former Dancing On Ice star enthused that when Zachary, 12, and and Leighton, eight, grow up: ‘They will say I’m one of their dads!’
Blended family: Joe and Stacey are parents to baby Rex, 15 months, while Joe is also dad to Harry, 13, with his ex fiancé Emma Sophocleous, 35.
Joe explained that he’s ‘pleased and ‘proud’ to be a part of Stacey’s son’s lives and enthused that being a father figure to them, gives him ‘as much joy as being a dad.’
He said: ‘So when I met Stacey, Leighton was only three, And Zach was only, I think he was only seven or eight and you know, I’ve been in their lives longer than I haven’t been in their lives. And I love that.
‘I love that when they get older and they have wives and stuff, they will say I’m one of their dads. And I’m so pleased and proud to be a part of their lives. I can’t wait until they grow up. So I love being step. It gives me as much joy as being a dad.’
The EastEnders actor made it clear that it’s not all plain sailing, with five parents involved in their blended family set-up.
He said: ‘It’s challenging. It’s different, there’s different things you need to kind of think about, you know, they both have got their own dads.
‘So, you know, you’ve got to make it clear to them that, you know, I’m a father figure, but you’ve got your dads. Do you know what I mean?
‘I like to kiss and cuddle, wrestle and all of that. And the other dads they do other things. So they get the best of both worlds, you know.
A case of the ex: The former X Factor star has son Zachary, 12, with her ex Dean Cox (pictured)
Baby daddy: Stacey also shares son Leighton, eight, with her ex Aaron Barham (pictured together in 2012)
‘It’s a tricky one as well with other parents. You don’t want to step on the other parent’s toes and stuff like that. But you got love them as you love your own and treat them as you’d treat their own.’
Joe explained how he and Stacey simply focus on creating a safe space for all of their children.
He said: ‘Me and Stace we say we’ve got no control over what they do when they’re with the mums and dads.
‘All we can do is make sure that this place is a safe haven, that they can openly talk and not feel that they’re going to be questioned or told off or anything like that. And that they can be relaxed and be themselves.’
Discussing how they manage with three of the boys splitting time between parents, Joe admitted: ‘We’re really lucky.
‘We’ve got a really great family who help us lots, but I think the way Stacey and I do it is the kids are always priority.
‘So Wednesdays Harry comes and stays with me. Well, he’s coming to stay with me quite a lot. He’s now 13. So he comes and goes as he wants, but he comes and stays three or four nights.’
The TV star confessed that lockdown was ‘tough’ but that he and Stacey don’t mind ‘making the sacrifices’ involved with caring for all of the children.
Joe said: ‘So there’s really very rarely at moment where there’s no kids in the house and especially in lockdown as well, when the kids have been at home and you get a little moment through the day, as they are not at school.
Making it work: He said: ‘It’s challenging. It’s different, there’s different things you need to kind of think about, you know, they both have got their own dads’ explained Joe
‘So it’s been tough, but you know, Stacey said, we’re doing this to make the kids happy. That’s all I saw. That’s our goal.
‘We always make sure it’s the kids that we consider first, so mine and Stacey’s priorities are not at the forefront. They’re not as important.
‘As long as we get the kids to school and the kids have school activities outside of school, they all have balanced relationship with all their parents, including us. And that’s what we can do really.
‘Me and Stacey fight in the odd moment, but you know we wouldn’t change this for the world. You know, we love each other dearly and we love our kids so much. And you know, we both work. You don’t mind making the sacrifices.’
Joe also confessed that when Rex was born he became ‘the anchor for everything’ in terms of tying the families together, and gushed that they’re now like ‘a little wolf pack’.
He said: ‘When little Rex come along as well, it sort of changed something for us all because they all had Rex, he was like the anchor for everything. Everything sort of comes from Rex.
‘He connects all of us together. So when we had Rex, you know, that sort of instilled in Harry, particularly that, you know, this is his family, that’s your brother. You know, these are your step brothers. We never say that word “step” bit.
The anchor: Joe also confessed that when Rex was born he became ‘the anchor for everything’ in terms of tying the families together, and gushed that they’re now like ‘a little wolf pack’
‘My mum is a foster carer and she’s got a little boy Daniel that we’ve had since he was eight years old. And he is nearly 16. He’s been with us forever.
‘He’s part of our little clan as well. Right. So at the moment we’ve got Harry, Daniel, Leighton, Zach – all of them here. So we’ve got our own little Wolf pack going on.
‘Up until then [the birth of Rex], I think that everyone felt that there was some separation between us and then when Rex came along, everyone adores him and we’re all a part of him.
‘So it really did. It really did help bond and kind of tightly knit, our little group, you know?’
More! Looking to the future, Joe revealed that he and Stacey do have another child ‘on the agenda’ and talked of the ‘elusive girl’ with a houseful of boys
Looking to the future, Joe revealed that he and Stacey do have another child ‘on the agenda’ and talked of the ‘elusive girl’ with a houseful of boys.
He said: ‘I think Rex has definitely lulled me and Stacey into a false sense of security. He’s been like the angel baby. Either we’ve got really good at being parents or he’s an angel!
‘So I would love to maybe think about it after a discussion, I think maybe one more would be the limit, you know, there’s, there’s always that elusive girl out there. You know what I mean?
‘Maybe we will push the boat out one more time. I know for a fact we’ll end up with another boy! But that would be ok!
‘We spoke about it [having another child], we have definitely spoke about it. It’s definitely something that’s on our agenda.’
Dancing on Ice champion, Joe is fronting a new campaign designed to teach children about rail safety.
The Stay Safe with Thomas campaign, launched by Network Rail and Thomas & Friends™, is designed to give parents the tools to educate their children about how to keep safe when travelling on the railway.
Doing his bit! Dancing on Ice champion, Joe is fronting a new campaign designed to teach children about rail safety
Network Rail and Thomas & Friends have worked together to create the Stay Safe with Thomas book to help parents approach the topic with their children from a young age.
In the story, a mischievous Thomas learns that being safe is more important than being silly and learns valuable lessons on the dangers of misusing the railway.
As part of the campaign, Joe is featured in a short film reading the Stay Safe with Thomas story. Parents can use the film as an engaging way of approaching the subject of rail safety with their children.
Father to two children and two stepchildren, Joe admitted that rail safety is not a topic he has explored much, but since joining the campaign he has begun having conversations about the subject with his own children.
Brilliant! Network Rail and Thomas & Friends have worked together to create the Stay Safe with Thomas book to help parents approach the topic with their children from a young age
‘Rail safety is something I knew Stacey and I should talk to the kids about, but we thought it was something they might learn at school when they are a bit older.
‘We had talked about being careful when out near the road, but even though we use the railways often, we didn’t really know where to start and we didn’t want to scare them.
‘Our kids love Thomas the Tank Engine and when we read the book, they loved it. The activities at the end got them thinking too and it was such a gentle way to get the message across.’
The campaign forms part of Network Rail’s commitment to helping parents educate their children about staying safe when travelling on or around the railway.
Presented by Rachel Silver, a mum and stepmum, Step Life is available on most podcast platforms including Apple podcasts, Acast and Spotify.
For more information go to www.steplife.co.uk or follow @steplifesupport on Instagram.