Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East Felt ‘Disconnected’ After Having Kids: Our Marriage ‘Struggled’

A tricky transition. Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East’s marriage has experienced ups and downs since they became parents in October 2019.

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“I have tried to be really open about this,” the Olympian, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, September 23, while promoting her Philips Avent partnership. “I think that’s the one thing people never really talk about is babies [being] a huge stress on your partnership and your marriage and your spouse. Just because you’re now sharing your spouse with someone else … and you have someone who consumes all of your time.”

The Winning Balance author, who shares daughter Drew, 22, and son Jett, 2 months, with the former professional football player, 30, told Us that making time for her relationship was “really hard” as a new mom.

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“We struggled with that with Drew,” the former gymnast explained. “Not in a dramatic way, of course, not calling it quits, but we really struggled with feeling disconnected from each other. I didn’t know who he was as a dad. He didn’t know who I was as a mom. It just changes who you are.”

The athletes had to “start the dating process over again,” and they were intentional about navigating this change when their baby boy arrived in July.

Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East Felt ‘Disconnected’ After Having Kids Our Marriage Struggled
Courtesy of Shawn Johnson East/Instagram

“We’ve had our ups and down with, like, trying to figure it out again,” the Iowa native told Us. “But I feel like we’re going to get through it faster than we did [last time]. I think we already hit, like, the little slump and we’re going back up. … We’re having to schedule our little talks and our dinners, but we really appreciate any time we get with each other.”

The Dancing With the Stars alum added that she and Andrew weren’t the only ones making a major adjustment when Jett arrived. Shawn told Us that they prepared Drew for her big sister role by trying not to “make too big of a deal” out of the change.

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“She was in the baby doll phase when he arrived,” the Celebrity Apprentice alum said. “She loved pushing baby dolls around and being a little mommy. So we tried to make it just another day, like, ‘This is your baby. We love you.’ We tried to keep everything normal with her. We [made] sure we didn’t take any time away from her. So if I was tending to my son, then Andrew would spend all his time with Drew and vice versa.”

Since Jett is a “chill baby” who “barely cries,” his big sister and parents have “nothing to complain about, Shawn joked.

Although he’s a “happy baby,” the Challenge: Champs vs. Stars alum has relied on Philips Avent products to help ease her transition to two under 2. “They’re truly a lifeline in my household,” Shawn gushed. “We use all of their products. I can vouch for every single one of them. … All of their resources, all of their products make being a mom and being a parent so much easier. And they’re tried and true. You can’t get any better.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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