‘I’m lucky to have Jamie’ Louise Redknapp on the importance of co-parenting as she navigates her new life

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  • Louise and Jamie Redknapp shocked fans back in 2017 when they announced their split after 19 years of marriage.

    At the time Louise, 45, revealed she’d started to feel ‘like a Stepford Wife’ and added ‘I lost myself’. After stepping out of Jamie’s shadow for a successful appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, Louise yearned for her old life as a pop star – and earlier this year released her first studio album in almost two decades, Heavy Love.

    Last month the former Eternal band member kicked off a headline tour and, although it’s been postponed for now due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she thanked Jamie, 46, for supporting her dream and stepping in to care for their sons Charley, 15, and 11-year-old Beau while she was on the road.

    No guilt

    As well as nursing her heartbreak over splitting from retired footballer Jamie, Louise initially had to deal with false claims that she’d walked out on their kids. She said, ‘The hardest thing I had to read about myself was that I’d walked out on my children. I wanted to stand on top of wherever and yell, “Do you think I would walk out on my kids?!” Those boys are my everything. It was like watching somebody else’s life unfold in front of me.’

    But, thanks to Jamie’s support, Louise can now focus on her career without feeling guilty. She explained, recently, ‘I’m able to do the job I can do because he’s happy to share things with me. I have friends who don’t have that, but he’s hands-on. It’s kind of nice that I’m guilt-free doing this. I’m enjoying it, the kids are happy. I’ve loved music all my life, so to go back into it – it fits like a glove.’

    Teamwork

    Most parents will agree that it’s more important than ever to put the kids first as we face our biggest crisis in peacetime. As the country continues to battle the COVID-19 outbreak, Jamie has revealed their sons have been split – with Beau living with him and Charley self-isolating with Louise.

    Discussing homeschooling Beau, Jamie said, ‘He’s been really good, he’s been doing lots of homework’, before adding, ‘Chazza was with his mum. Doing homework hopefully.’

    Earlier this year, Louise even confessed she still loves Jamie, and said, ‘How could I not still love him? He’s the father of my boys.’

    She added, ‘We have a great system co-parenting between us. Our rule is that while one of us is working, the other is with them. We both want the kids all the time and encourage the other to go out so we can have them.’

    Happiness first

    Although Louise and Jamie clearly still care for each other, she previously admitted that married life – towards the end – made her feel like she was ‘unravelling’. She said, ‘I was losing myself and felt very lonely. The lives of everyone around me were so fast-paced, whereas mine felt stagnant.’

    And Louise confessed that she thought she’d be judged harshly by the public for leaving what seemed to everyone like such an idyllic life.

    She added, ‘I wish I’d spoken up and said how I felt, but I thought everyone would think I was nuts and say, “Look at you, you’re so lucky!”’

    But now it seems Louise and Jamie have a system worked out where not only are they happy but, more importantly, their sons are too.

    Louise said, ‘He’s a fabulous dad, I’m really lucky. It’s been lovely to have a passion, and to be able to do it. For so many years, being a mum and being at home, you feel really guilty for actually doing what you want to do.’