No one ever said that having two kids under two is easy — and no one is learning the hard truth of that more than Shawn Johnson East. The former Olympic gymnast and her NFL long snapper husband, Andrew East, announced the birth of their second child, son Jett James, on July 20; just over a week later, Shawn revealed that the couple’s 21-month-old daughter, Drew Hazel, was battling both a painful ear infection and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and had to be isolated away from her new baby brother and her parents.
It’s no surprise that the mama was emotional, what with that crash course in parenting two littles, and also no surprise that Shawn was raw and revealing of the unwelcome wrinkle in the new family of four’s homecoming on her Instagram story. As fans of the East family have come to love and expect, she’s not one to sugarcoat her experiences. From the hard (postpartum depression, mom-guilt) to the lighthearted (Drew in a leotard!) we love how much the influencer and gold medal-winning mom is willing to share — and that goes for product recommendations, as well.
To that end, both Easts have become investors in Athletic Greens, a daily green-powder nutritional supplement. SheKnows connected with Shawn via email to discuss the couple’s latest professional endeavor, how she fits self-care into her days (spoiler: It’s a lot harder now!), and what life is like as a second-time new mom.
SheKnows: First of all, congratulations on the birth of your baby boy! How’s everything going so far as a family of four?!
Shawn Johnson East: Thank you! Things are going really great. Obviously, life is a little more chaotic, but we’re in heaven as a family of four. We’re taking this time to be with each other and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard to imagine life any other way!
SK: Can you share a little bit about your birth experience this time around?
SJE: Baby boy was almost 10 pounds, and with my small frame, doc said the safest way to get him out was c-section! Everything went really smoothly and we are both happy and healthy. It seemed way less stressful than the first time around, but I’m not sure if that’s due to experience or not.
SK: You and Andrew both already balance a lot as influencers and parents — are you planning to take a step back and take a maternity/paternity leave of sorts? (Maybe not, since you’re graciously doing this interview!?)
SJE: We learned with Drew that the first couple weeks of having a newborn are some of life’s sweetest moments. Even though there’s a ton of adjustment, not much sleep, and your whole routine is thrown off, nothing can beat the cuddles you get with a newborn baby. We are planning on only doing a few things for work so that we can soak up every minute.
SK: Speaking of work and business ventures — can you share some insight into the decision to not just be a spokes couple for Athletic Greens and lend your names, but to actually become investors in the brand?
SJE: We are very excited to partner with Athletic Greens in this larger way, not only because we are huge believers in their product, but also because we think their mission, management team, and strategy are really impressive. The Family Made Ventures fund looks to invest in companies that can help make family life happier, healthier, and easier, and Athletic Greens does that. My husband and I both take Athletic Greens on a daily basis and truly love the product. It’s become an integral part of our mornings!
SK: When and how did you first discover the product — and what sets it apart, in your opinion?
SJE: We are always on the lookout for new products in the health space, and greens powder was one supplement that we just never found a product we liked that was also effective. I think we heard about Athletic Greens on a podcast and it instantly became a part of our daily routine once we tried it.
SK: We talk a lot about self-care at SheKnows, and how challenging it is for moms. What does self-care look like for you, and are you managing it right now, as the busy mom of a toddler and a newborn? Does Athletic Greens play a role?
SJE: Well here’s the thing. I’m realizing that my self-care time allotment is drastically shrinking. Between making meals for Drew, feeding the newborn, cleaning up, and working, there are more things that take energy than there are things that fuel me up. So pretty much anything I do in the self-care realm needs to be quick and effective. Fortunately, I still get a few minutes at night to do my skincare routine. If I’m lucky these days I’ll be able to enjoy a 5-10 minute shower, some quiet time in the morning to have my coffee, smoothie (woohoo Athletic Greens!) and breakfast with my husband.
SK: How do you prioritize nutrition? I know as moms, we’re so frequently snacking off our kids’ plates, finishing what they don’t, barely sitting down…
SJE: Wow, this is so true! I’ve learned over the years that nutrition is an area that can make such a big impact on how a day goes, but is also something that can be easily forgotten about. As a mother, I try to constantly remind myself to prioritize my health so that I can best take care of my family — physically with feeding our newborn, and with having enough energy for my husband and daughter. I’ve tried to change my routine to things that are more quick and easy. Whether that’s doing a quick smoothie for breakfast, blocking out 20 minutes on my calendar to eat lunch, or getting in a pack of Athletic Greens.
SK: The Olympics are in full swing and we’re glued to the TV (especially for gymnastics!) as I’m sure you are. Is it bringing up special memories for you?
SJE: Oh, absolutely. I’ve felt all the feels watching both these men and women set the stage for the world to watch. It definitely takes me back, but I feel like a completely different person now — 2008 feels like a lifetime ago! I’ve just felt an overwhelming amount of joy and pride watching them perform. I’m also so thankful that the first few weeks of having a baby require lots of hanging out on the couch, so we get to watch all day. Go team USA!
SK: I have to ask: Do you have ALL of your Olympic leotards? And is there any chance we’ll see another fun IG photo of you in one?
SJE: Haha, my husband got me to sneak into one for about 5 minutes at the very end of our pregnancy both times. We took pictures in both. I have some, but not all of the leotards! There have been some used as auction items for charity, which seemed like a way better use than keeping them around the house. The leotards mean a lot, but the experience is what means [the] most to me.
SK: You just shared your son’s name with the world and the sweet meaning behind it. Can you share more details about how you landed on that? Is it a name you’ve had in mind since your pregnancy with Drew? Did you and Andrew immediately agree on it?
SJE: Yes! We were so uncertain about our baby boy’s name. We had a few names we took to the hospital and wanted to wait until we held him for the first time to give him his name. Jett is the name of my great great grandmother, and James is the name of my husband’s grandfather. It seems like we both like gender-neutral family names, and Jett James is both of those!