Georgia Kousoulou on her magical c-section, parenting and her new book, ‘I Wish I Knew.’

by Laura Healy |
Updated on

When we last caught up with Georgia Kousoulou, her and her husband, Tommy Mallet, two of TOWIE's favourites, were about to launch their new reality show Georgia & Tommy: Baby Steps on ITVBe, and now, to add to that, Georgia has just released her new book, I Wish I Knew, in which she discusses her personal experience of motherhood, including losing her identity, not feeling enough, the mental load, how hard motherhood really is, as well as mental health, her relationship with Tommy and the difficulties they have faced together.

Baby Steps, which two years on is still a hit, is a series that lets cameras get a behind the scenes look into their lives, started by following the couple as they moved into their new house and adjusted to last-minute changes in the birthing plan for the arrival of their son Brody. At the time, Georgia told us:

"I'm so excited to watch it. You can expect to see the raw reality of two people becoming parents that have never even held a baby. I'm so happy because that's how I wanted it." She insisted that people will see a completely different side to herself and her partner Tommy and the show has been really popular with more than 20 episodes aired.

"We've always been told, 'You're so relatable on Towie' but this is just a different level. I'm a bit scared because I've been that honest. I think people are going to see a more vulnerable side, I really let my guard down. It's just an emotional roller coaster after you have a baby. And it's all on there, it captures all the little moments."

One big part of the show was when viewers found out all about Georgia's c-section and the birth of baby Brody.

"The birth was actually amazing. I loved every moment of it. I was obviously petrified before. I'd heard loads of horror stories and people really talk badly of c-sections. Mine was planned because that was the safest way for Brody to come into the world because he was breech, but genuinely, it was calm and magical," Georgia remembered.

"You hear people say, 'Oh, you have to have a vaginal birth because a c-section isn't the way to do it.' And all that kind of makes you feel that you failed. But I want to break that stigma because it's just another way to bring your baby into the world. There's no right or wrong way and women need to know that if that decision is taken out of your hands, you haven't failed, it's just another way of delivering your baby safely."

The challenges of becoming a mum is something Georgia has been incredibly honest about on her social media platforms and now she has written I Wish I Knew to help new parents, following her own experience of becoming a parent and all the lessons and surprises that brings with it.

Following the birth of Brody, Georgia told us: "It's definitely much harder than I thought. I didn't really know what to expect, because can you really? I think everything's a challenge with a baby. You have a really good day, one day and the next day, you can't wash or you haven't even gone to the toilet. Honestly, it's so up and down. And every day is different although weirdly, it's the same. It's just a crazy, crazy life. It really is. No one told me how hard it is but it's so rewarding. You're absolutely knackered, and then you see their smile and you just think 'Oh my god.'"

Of course, being a celebrity mum on Instagram can have its pitfalls, something Georgia knows all too well and something she previously spoke to us about.

"I don't need people's negativity. I'm a new mum, I'm in the public eye. It's hard enough being a mum anyway, without people telling you how you should hold your baby or how you should feed your baby. At the end of the day, it's my baby, my body, I'm his mum, I know best. And I just think anyone else that's got anything to say can just get off my page." Now, Georgia says, " I've got used to it." She also adds, "I'm lucky to have a great support system on social media. I feel like I've built a little community." However, she admits, "you do get people saying certain things. It depends what mood I'm in. If I'm really happy, I don't mind what someone says but if you are having a bad day and you see a comment then you think, no, that's not nice and I will write back. Sometimes I can't help myself."

Georgia is keen to share the realities of being a parent with her followers. "Especially after having a baby, I'm really open and honest and I want to continue doing that because I don't think there's enough honesty out there. It's very polished on Instagram," she says. "It's all these mums that look like they've got their s**t together. And to be honest, when I've been up three times a night, I don't really want to see a mum that looks like she's got her s**t together. I want to see a mum that's sitting there on Instagram with no make-up, going 'Help. What am I doing?' Because none of us really know what we're doing."

The mum-of-one was also applauded when she spoke about her experience with her body post-birth and the pressure to 'bounce back.'

  "Honestly, it's scary. The first time I looked at myself, it freaked me out. But that's natural and completely normal. You look at your body, and it's not your body that you've looked at for all those years." Georgia explains.

"All of this bounce back culture is so crap and I don't want to hear it. I think when women are pregnant, people need to stop saying 'Oh you'll bounce back.' No, no, we won't! Why should we bounce back? Why would we bounce back? Just because someone wants to grow a baby why all of a sudden are we expected to come out of the hospital with a flat stomach? That's not reality."

"It's taken nine months to grow a baby, why am I going to have a six-pack? It's just impossible. And who wants to diet? I'm like bore off, I don't want to do that! I'm eating when I can and what I want and I'm sleeping when I can. You just need to have good people around you because it is a scary time. But you just need to remind yourself 'I've grown a human. I am amazing.'"

In her book, her relationship with her body is an important topic and one she is always happy to discuss. Now she says: " You spend your twenties dieting to look good in a bikini, then you fall pregnant and your body completely changes. I was so confident when pregnant - more confident than I've ever been - but after the baby, I needed to learn to love my new bod. It was daunting and I really struggled. After a while you think differently and you think my body is amazing and you are kinder to yourself and that is what I've learnt, to be kinder to myself. I don't put myself under as much pressure as I used to." Georgia continues by saying that when she needs to feel happier about herself, or just needs a pick me up, she loves a massage.

"I've started booking massages and I really enjoy them. I found a local woman in my area and I've started going to her for massages and it really releases stress and it gives me an hour out for myself. The health benefits are really good."

With her new book released on 29th February, and Brody now two years old, we discussed some of the topics covered in her book as well as the importance of writing it in the first place and how she found the writing process. Her book is called, I Wish I Knew and when asked about why she chose that title she says: "The title came about because I kept saying that. I wanted this book, I felt liked I needed this book in so many different scenarios. I didn't get to have it but I wanted to write everything I was thinking so everyone else could have it."

Georgia enjoyed writing the book and didn't find it too difficult. "I really enjoyed the experience," she says. "It was easy for me to be honest and open because that is what I do. Seeing it from the first meeting, to seeing copies, then a hard book, and an audio book; the experience has been amazing. It was a bit daunting when it's in black and white, a weird feeling, but it's the best thing I have ever done."

When we last spoke to Georgia, she and Tommy had just welcomed Brody, and now she talks about how being parents has changed their relationship. "There are times in parenthood when you are on different pages, then times when you are on the same page. It can be hard to navigate a relationship while bringing up a child." However, she also says, "the love for your partner - the father of your child - is on a deeper level," adding, " we're not perfect, we're just learning."

Although her book offers lots of advice and tips and as Georgia says, she is also still learning, her best piece of parenting advice is to "listen to your gut." Expanding on her advice, she says: "You can ask so many people but when it comes down to it, you know best. It's your child. I often second guess myself but I'm getting more confident as a mum and Brody is getting older, so I know best and I always go with what I thought. Trust yourself."

I Wish I Knew includes lots of valuable parenting advice, but Georgia is also not afraid to explore the more sensitive, upsetting issues of pregnancy and parenting. Georgia has always spoken out about how much it angers her when people ask women when they are having a baby, or when they are having their second baby and she believes this question just shouldn't be asked, explaining: "If you lose a baby, have a miscarriage or are struggling with fertility that question is a trigger. What happens is that question sends you to a dark place and your thoughts spiral. Why do we need to put people in that position? It's 2024, why are we still asking women when they'll have a baby, or have the next baby!"

Sadly, Georgia and Tommy know too well the sadness of baby loss because they lost their baby in 2023 when Georgia was twelve weeks pregnant. When asked how she manages the happiness of Brody with the sadness of losing a baby, Georgia replies, "thank God for Brody. He helped me so much, especially in those early days." Talking about living with grief she says: " Brody is a distraction but it is also very hard to show up and be a mum when you are grieving. When you are grieving, you are in heartbreak and just want to be on your own sometimes but you can't when you are a mum. Also I would never want Brody to know I'm sad. It's not his fault. It's one of the hardest things, Brody is a great distraction and one of the best things to take my mind off it, but grieving doesn't go away, it's been very hard."

However, Georgia says "writing the book has been therapeutic." She continues to say that "there were times it was trickier than others but looking back I'm glad I've done it." She confides: "I couldn't have not put that in the book because it is such an open and honest book and that was a massive part of my life and I don't want to forget it so I am glad it's in the book. I think it will help a lot of people."

Talking about Brody, who is now two, Georgia reflects on the different stages and the challenges they bring. She jokes, "I always say the newborn stage is easier in the day and harder at night and the toddler stage is harder in the day and easier at night." She loves having a two year old and says of Brody: "He is so funny and such a character, especially now he goes to nursery. He comes out and tells me everything that happened. We are like best friends. It's such a nice phase." Although she admits, "I love a newborn cuddle and that smell of a newborn. It's hard to choose a favourite stage."

With the release of I Wish I Knew, we asked Georgia if she and Tommy plan to continue filming Baby Steps. 'It would be hard to stop now," she says. "We've shared so much or our lives and we have so much more to come. We love it and Brody enjoys it, so I think we'll carry on as long as we can."

I Wish I Knew by Georgia Kousoulou (Seven Dials) is out 29 February 2024.

Laura Healy is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. She is a mum-of-two girls and loves writing about all things parenting, she is particularly interested in the toddler years and eco-friendly baby products, as well as children’s literature. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and has published short stories in the UK and Ireland, as well as previously writing freelance for her local paper.

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