Watching entrepreneur and reality star Samantha Faiers calmly juggle business calls and tend to her two children while looking like a movie star on our exclusive shoot is impressive, to say the least.
Alongside running their businesses, Saint Avenue and My Little Darlin’, Sam and her partner, Paul Knightley, are parents to adorable son Paul, four – known affectionately as little Paul – and three-year-old daughter Rosie. The couple may have shocked some fans by falling pregnant after less than a year of knowing each other, but they’ve certainly proved now that they’re in it for the long run.
The couple are so happy that Paul told OK!: "We will 100% get married, but nobody is going to know about the proposal except me. I'll be the only one who knows when and where it's happening."
The pair recently enjoyed a dinner date to celebrate their six year anniversary in London, and Sam was spotted with a ring on her wedding finger sparking rumours that a proposal has already happened!
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Paul previously said he understood the interest. "We've got kids and we're happy so I understand why people are curious, and as long as people say it in a nice way I don’t mind."
Sam was keen to point out why it hadn’t happened earlier. “I just feel like when the time is right, it will be. There was no way Paul would have done it across Billie [Shepherd, who is Sam's older sister and married Greg Shepherd in 2019] getting engaged and married.”
She continued: “He’d want it to be special for me and he knew I was so devoted to my sister getting married, the hen do and the planning. I feel like now that’s all calmed down, maybe soon… [laughs]. But yeah, we both really want to get married and we’ve said it would be lovely to be married before we have more children.”
While the shoot with their children is an undeniably glam affair, Sam was keen to open up about the disorder that has plagued her since childhood. From the age of eight, Sam has suffered with trichotillomania, a condition that sees her habitually pick out all her eyelashes. “I didn’t see picking out my eyelashes as self-harming, but it is,” she tells us.
It all began as a coping mechanism. “When I was younger, I was really close to my stepdad, who I consider my dad, Dave – ‘Chatty’ on the show. I was a real daddy’s girl. Unfortunately, my dad went to prison and he got quite a long sentence when I was younger and I took it really hard. Then, one day, a family friend’s little girl told me that if you pick out your eyelash and make a wish, it will come true. So I used to pick out an eyelash and wish for my dad to come home from prison. It’s sad, but as the years have gone on, I don’t directly relate it to that now. It’s just a habit.”
“I’m speaking about it more now because I am at the point where I am ready to grow them back. It’s such a subconscious thing. I do it either in my sleep or I pull them when I am in a daydream. My mum tried to stop me for years. She put little mittens on me at bedtime, I had hypnotherapy and incentive presents but nothing worked. Now I’ve got kids, the last thing I’d want them to think is that it’s okay to pull your eyelashes out.”
Sam decided to undertake therapy in order to combat it, and was inspired to make this decision by her daughter. “When Rosie was around 14 months old and I was still breastfeeding her, I would go to pull or stroke my eyelashes and I noticed she’d rub her eyelashes too – she was copying what I was doing.
“She didn’t know to pull, of course, but that was a big red flag. I was like, no, I can’t have her doing that. So when Rosie began to copy me that was the turning point. I knew I needed to get help. As a mum that is devastating. My mum must have been devastated, too. For years, she tried to get me to stop and she just couldn’t.”
Big Paul’s mum, nanny Gaynor, was on hand to help with the children as we chatted, and as Sam opens up about her condition and family life, it’s clear her feet are still firmly on the ground – albeit now in Surrey rather than her home county of Essex.
The 29 year old tells us: “I know my sister and I live a bit of a glamorous lifestyle sometimes, but 90 per cent of the time we are mums at home with our kids having tantrums and changing nappies!” She’s of course referring to her older sister and fellow former TOWIE star Billie, with whom she stars in ITVBe’s The Mummy Diaries, now in series nine.
Sam Faiers takes daughter Rosie on girls' day out as they enjoy afternoon tea and Christmas shopping
Sam Faiers reveals designer dupe of Kim Kardashian’s iconic knitted loungewear set – get yours from £25.49
“Me, my mum and sister have always been really close,” Sam proudly told us, adding that they call themselves “the three musketeers.”
The family are still hoping she’ll return to Essex. “They always want me to move back to Brentwood. I don’t think I’ll ever move back. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish and Paul and I wanted to move for ourselves and the kids. And it’s nice because when we do get together once or twice a week it’s really good quality time.”
Their distance hasn’t stopped them planning getting pregnant at the same time. “Me and Billie have said if we both had a third, we’d love to be pregnant together. Because what happened was, it was Nelly, then Paul, then Arthur then Rosie, so effectively we didn’t go ‘out out’ together for four and a half years! We can’t have a gap like that again. So we need to time it right this time.
“I think Billie and Greg are just happy with their two, enjoying being married now. I know for sure that I want more.”
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