Shawn Johnson East Shares How She and Husband Andrew Have Different Parenting Styles
Former Dancing With The Stars champ and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East recently welcomed her first child, daughter Drew, with husband Andrew East in October. Raising a newborn comes with plenty of joy and challenges, where Johnson East is finding that she and her spouse have varied approaches when it comes to raising their daughter.
Shawn on mom-shaming
The new parents are extremely active on social media, giving detailed updates of their lives to their many followers. Johnson East recently commented that sharing their private lives can sometimes come at a cost. Being a new mom for just four months so far, the former gymnast revealed she’s already been mom-shamed on a variety of parenting topics including how she handles her daughter and supplemental bottle feeding.
“We all start out reading negative comments and taking it so personally,” Johnson said, according to Yahoo! Lifestyle. “So I’ve had to kind of build-up that strength and that thick skin over time.”
Johnson East realizes that she is most likely just one of many moms who face online shaming. “I try to just take the perspective of: Wow, that made me feel a certain way so that means moms out there are feeling this as well,” she said. “And if it’s a big enough topic or enough people are saying it, I’ll try to address it in a lighthearted way.”
The former DWTS star feels that mothers tend to take on an enormous amount of guilt when it comes to parenting, often questioning their performance and always trying to be as close to perfect as possible.
“I feel like moms, in general, have this innate feeling that it is our responsibility. And even though it’s a parenting duo, at the end of the day you just feel this mom guilt that feels heavier than parenting guilt,” Johnson East shared. “I think that people do direct it to the moms unfairly because they feel like, ‘Oh it’s the mom’s responsibility to make sure everything is going smooth, micro-manage every part of their life.’”
The pressure to make all the right choices for her daughter can often be overwhelming for the former Olympian. “Every single decision you make you feel is impacting their future and setting them up for life or tearing them down,” Johnson East told Us Weekly. “That guilt can really take over sometimes.”
Micro mom/Playful dad
Since baby Drew’s birth, Johnson East has discovered that she seems to have taking on the role of ‘micromanager’ out of the determination to always do what’s best for her daughter, which can sometimes include inadvertently correcting her husband even when it’s not necessary.
“I feel like every mom becomes it, just because you have this instinct of how you think your kid should be raised, and dad will go over and do something and you’re like, ‘Oh no, she likes it this way,’” the Winning Balance author admitted. “We actually had a conversation about that the other day. I’m like, ‘I’m sorry I have been working on it. I will try not to micromanage you.’”
Despite Johnson East’s concerns on her own performance, she realizes she and East make a great parenting team. “He’s more the laid back, playful kind [of parent]. I’m more of keeping on schedule,” she said.
Like most new parents, the young couple is finding what works best for them and most importantly, their baby daughter.