EXCLUSIVE: Lydia Bright, ‘I’ll have four kids by 40’

Lydia Bright has taken parenting tips from her mum Debbie

Lydia and Loretta Bright

by closer |
Published on

It’s 9am on a Monday morning when we chat to former TOWIE star Lydia Bright, and her daughter Loretta is laying on the sofa with a fractured leg, an unfortunate accident that happened a week earlier on her fourth birthday.

“Sorry, there is a lot going on here,” she laughs. “Loretta can’t go to pre-school at the moment so I’m trying to juggle everything at once.” During our chat, Lydia pauses a couple of times to tend to Loretta, and their close bond is clear to see.

But while she juggles parenting and work, something so many of us are familiar with, she says that despite the chaos, she wouldn’t change a thing. “Of course, there are hard parts and juggling everything can be overwhelming, but when I had Loretta, it made me,” she smiles. “Becoming a mum has been the best part of my life. Loretta brings so much to my life, it truly is the greatest love.”

Lydia Bright with her daughter Loretta
Lydia Bright with her daughter Loretta ©Getty

The former TOWIE star, 33, raises her daughter as a single parent after splitting from her partner, Lee Cronin, during the early stages of her pregnancy, and she says it took a while for her to come to terms with it.

She says, “I was heartbroken and felt very lost. It wasn’t the most magical pregnancy, but then the minute Loretta was born, all that sadness and loneliness went. It wasn’t the order of my life I’d imagined, but I am a massive believer in destiny and I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I think it was always meant to be like this.”

Asking her what it’s like to raise a daughter as a single mum is a difficult question for Lydia to answer, because she’s “never known any different”. However, she says she feels blessed to have a huge amount of support from her family, including parents Debbie and Dave Bright, who have four of their own children and have also been foster carers for over 30 years.

Debbie and Lydia Bright in 2018
Debbie and Lydia Bright in 2018 ©Getty

She says, “Loretta is the first grandchild and the first niece, so everyone dotes on her. She’s so spoilt with time and affection, and if I need help I’ll pop it in the family WhatsApp and everyone fights over her. I’m so lucky.”

Lydia says mum Debbie – who has fostered over 250 children – was an amazing support when she initially struggled with the idea of being a single mum. She says, “I remember her saying to me, ‘No bad will ever come from having a baby’, and she’s so right. She’s spent her whole life fostering children coming into the world in less than perfect circumstances, and they’re all complete blessings and bring so much happiness.”

During her pregnancy, after struggling to find children’s books featuring single-parent families, Lydia felt inspired to write one featuring a single-parent elephant and her calf as the main characters. Just last month, her debut book, Mummy And Me, hit the shelves.

She explains, “I wanted to create a beautiful and magical story with a single-parent family so my daughter and others felt represented. I had the idea to make the characters elephants because I found out that elephants in the wild are single mums and raise their calves with help of the herd.”

Lydia found fame in TOWIE, and she says she grew up with a lot of the cast, including Georgia Kousoulou, Mark Wright and her ex-boyfriend,James Argent. She remains close with many of them and she, Georgia – who is mum to Brody, two – and Lucy Mecklenburgh – mum to Roman, three, and Lilah, one – see each other regularly.

Georgia Kousoulou and Lydia Bright
Georgia Kousoulou and Lydia Bright in 2015 ©Shutterstock

She says, “We meet up for playdates a lot, we take the kids to soft play and have a good old natter. Our children are best friends.” And thanks to Lydia’s mum still fostering she regularly does playdates with her too.

“Not many people do playdates with their mum!” she laughs. “Mum has three children at the moment who are all a similar age to Loretta, so we are always meeting up, or she’ll drop the children to me or vice versa.”

Lydia – who has biological siblings Georgia, 34, Freddie, 26, and Romana, 20 – was just one when her parents became foster carers, often looking after two or three children in addition to their own at any one time. And she says it’s influenced the way she parents.

She says, “Throughout my teens, my mum fostered a lot of babies so I was always helping out. I love kids and my mum has taught me not to sweat the small stuff, she has always been so laid back – you can’t be regimented with six children! She has rubbed off on me too, I’m quite a relaxed parent.”

Her bond with Debbie is special too. She says, “We have a very tight relationship, we are so close. I had a magical childhood and there were always so many children around. I’ve always had to share her, so I loved it when we did TOWIE together because we got to spend so much time together.”

And single Lydia says she is keen to replicate her upbringing with a large family of her own when she meets someone else. She says, “I cannot imagine just having one child. I definitely want more children, four would be lovely. I’m 33 now and I think four is realistic before I’m 40. But I just have to take every day as it comes.”

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