Former Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse is expecting her first child with her husband of 12 years, Marius Iepure, and the professional dancer looks absolutely radiant as she sits down to talk with HELLO!.
Oti, 33, who has partnered with Starling Bank as they launch their new Share the Load tool, spoke openly about how she and Marius are a good team when it comes to sharing domestic tasks, and how they will parent together when their baby arrives.
Research by Starling Bank found that women do nine more hours of household tasks a week than men, not to mention taking on more of the load when they start a family, however, the Dancing on Ice judge says her husband is extremely domesticated.
“Right now, there are certain things I can't lift, I can't go down, I haven't seen my knees in like two months,” explains Oti.
“There are certain things that I physically can't do, and he's been absolutely amazing at stepping up and just taking that role. So, for my relationship, it works pretty well. I’m not complaining.”
She adds: “We communicate freely without judgment, and we're both ready to take on chores. This is something that we established very early on in our relationship, that everything is 50/50.”
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Oti also spoke about their childcare plans for life with a newborn, revealing: “So what we've decided because I am still working [and] Marius is still working, is that when I'm with the baby, I'm with the baby, and when dad is with the baby, dad has got to dad - and we allow each other space to actually have those moments.”
Becoming a mother is a chance for Oti to embrace a slower pace of life. She admits: “I'm always go, go, go, and my focus is just going to be completely different. I'm one of those intense people who if I love something, I get 100% into it.
“This feels very exciting because it's a new change, and both of us are willing to change our lifestyles and to share the load of growing this beautiful human being because it will be the biggest thing that we've ever had to do together.”
Oti says of Marius becoming a father: “I feel like I've in a way kind of gotten him used to having kids around. My best friends have kids, my sisters have kids. We work with children in our dance school.
“When it comes to the chores, my husband really steps up, and now he's more ready than ever to take care of me, of the house, the baby, my family and of his family, because that responsibility lies on him as well.”
Family is important to Oti, who believes it "takes a village" to raise children.
“I'm very protective of my family and I love my family, so I'm going to have them around us. We also are new, so we don't know what we're doing, and I really depend on mum, my friends and his mum as well. There's no shame in having family supportive family around you to also make you feel ok.
“I'm the one who will always help my sisters out. I'll spend time with them, I'll clean, I'll babysit. I do it with my best friends and I love their kids. I’m the fun aunt - we go to Winter Wonderland and we go to Hamleys.”
What is Oti looking forward to about motherhood?
“I think it's the unknown because I generally don't know what's going to happen, and that I think excites me,” she beams. “And I get to share this experience with my husband, and it will be our experience and nobody else's.”
As the birth approaches, Oti’s priority is now her baby’s health and happiness and me-time is lower on the list. “I'm just trying to raise a healthy, beautiful child. I think that's ok because my whole career is about me! I’ll take a little break for a bit.”