Ashley Banjo felt ‘pressure’ parenting two young kids in lockdown ‘without help’
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Ashley Banjo has confessed he and wife Francesca Abbott felt the "pressure" of parenting their two young children without help throughout the pandemic.
The 32 year old, who recently said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle "drew parallels" when they phoned him after the BLM dance backlash, spoke out about his experience in lockdown during a discussion on helping disadvantaged communities through eBay for Change in an exclusive interview with OK! Online.
The Diversity star, who is dad to daughter Rose, two, and one year old son Micah, explained that his youngest child came into the world just as the coronavirus was sweeping the country, which meant he had no choice but to handle the situation alone with his wife without any help from outside.
While it was difficult, however, it also brought much joy to their lives as they spent quality time as a family.
"They are loud, that's how they are," Ashley joked, laughing about his children. "They are really good actually. I can't wait to get my little boy out into the world.
"I feel like when he sees big crowds he sort of freezes a little bit. I can't wait for him to see a Diversity show for the first time, for example. It's been an interesting lockdown, but made all the better for having to spend time with them."
Ashley, who recently blasted a troll who said Dancing On Ice was "overwhelming the NHS" due to the injuries on the show, continued: "If it was just a newborn, just one baby, it would've been hard but I think Micah basically came into the house when my baby girl was just one.
"So me and my wife… We obviously didn't have anyone to help. We couldn't see family, couldn't see grandparents, so it was just us two and two very, very young babies."
He added to OK!: "You sort of feel the pressure when you don't know what's going on in the world and you can't go out and can't even get any help from friends and family. It's pretty full on, but also a great time as well."
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The dad-of-two then opened up on the how the first year of Rose and Micah's lives have impacted their personalities.
He explained: "One thing I really see the difference between Rosie and Micah… Rosie was on stage in front of 6,000 people at a Diversity show and she toddles around and sort of really used to loud noises.
"With Micah, all together, he's a more sensitive soul. He's never been around more than seven people in a garden. He's sort of really had a different kind of life in his first year really. I can't wait to see him out there.
"One thing we did do a lot of is making TikTok videos together, so Micah's been a social media pro. "
Ashley also spoke to OK! about eBay's new campaign to support small businesses through their website. He said: "It's just something I'm really behind. The company has this hub with 50 small businesses so you can support disadvantaged communities, etc. all through the small businesses in this hub. It allows you to buy with a bit more thought behind it, rather than buy not knowing what it's going towards.
"I've really seen this year how powerful a platform can be. I like telling people where to go to positively impact the world. Being a dad, I sort of see the world much differently and I realised that if everyone was to make small changes like supporting each other or supporting small businesses, it can really add up to make a difference."
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