Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and husband Andrew East “talk as much as possible” and have weekly “date nights” to deal with the “stress” of parenthood after welcoming baby No. 2, she exclusively tells Life & Style.  

“Babies are a massive stress on your marriage because you’re sharing yourself with someone else,” the gold medalist, 29, admits as she judged Red Bull’s Walk the Line, a first-of-its-kind slackline competition in downtown Nashville.

Shawn Johnson Andrew East Marriage Red Bull
Michael Clark

She continued, “Someone once told me, which I think says it best: Whenever you get in an argument with your spouse and you don’t have babies, you have to fix it before you feel comforted again. When you have babies, you don’t have to, you just get that comfort from them.”

The Iowa native notes she and Andrew, 30, “work really hard” at their marriage and use their regular date nights to “flesh” out any unresolved conversations or issues. 

Shawn and the football player welcomed their daughter, Drew Hazel, in 2019. The gymnast gave birth to baby No. 2, son Jett James, in July.  

“Our life is now 100 percent chaos, instead of 99 percent chaos,” jokes Shawn about how their busy lives have changed since becoming a family of four. “It is also the best. I love my son and my daughter, and they just make my life so awesome.” 

That being said, the Dancing With the Stars alum isn’t afraid to be extremely candid when it comes to the ups and downs of motherhood and pregnancy.  

“Honestly, I got really tired of the world saying it was so easy and perfect, when it’s not,” explains the Adventure Capitalists alum about her openness on social media. “I desperately needed to show the vulnerability of my life in hopes that someone would say this is normal and everyone goes through this.”

Shawn Johnson Andrew East Stress of Parenthood Exclusive
Shawn Johnson/Instagram

The Vanderbilt graduate has developed a thick skin being in the public eye, but she confesses she had a “really hard time handling mom-shamers” after her daughter, Drew, was born. 

“I had never done the ‘mom’ thing before. After going through it and actually being a mom to my daughter, I’ve learned that every single parent parents completely different,” she explains. “However you parent works for you.”