Shawn Johnson East is a lot like the rest of America right now while in quarantine with her family: trying to make the best of it. Not only are the unusual circumstances everyone is going through a bit wary, but the 28-year-old is doing so as a new mom, after welcoming her first child, daughter Drew Hazel with her husband, Andrew East this past fall. The Olympic medalist is keeping positive though, telling PopCulture.com exclusively that she's staying as optimistic as she can amid the pandemic.
"I'm good. [I'm] self quarantining at home with my husband [Andrew] and daughter [Drew] and just trying to stay as positive with everything going on as possible," Johnson East told PopCulture. Like most, the Iowa native turned Tennessee resident and her family are finding ways to keep busy and entertained by doing "a little bit of everything," and yes, puzzles are involved.
"We're still trying to post on YouTube and kind of just keep ourselves distracted that way with our podcast. Outside of that, we are doing a ton of puzzles and cooking at home, and we do go for walks around the block and around our little neighborhood," she said, adding how they do manage to break up the day so that things don't seem as repetitive, or they don't keep from feeling like there's not enough to do.
The gymnast and Dancing With the Stars alum gave birth to her first child, Drew, in late October 2019 and is enjoying every minute of being a new mom. She admits being a mom "is the greatest, most amazing job" she's ever had "in [her] entire life," revealing she never thought she would love being a mom as much as she does. But with the coronavirus outbreak, it's a little hard not to be concerned for her daughter's health in the midst of the unknown.
"You already worry about so much about the decisions you're making on your baby's behalf on a daily basis. Now trying to protect them from illness is terrifying as well, so it just kind of adds to the stress," she said, further explaining how she and her husband are "doing everything" they can to keep both of them healthy, so that they can keep their daughter as healthy as possible.
Johnson East touched on the point of being a new mom in quarantine, isn't much different from what she was already doing. She acknowledged the thousands of other moms and dads who are having to homeschool their kids and balance work if they were able to keep their job, and talked about how much of a challenge that must be, but for her, since her daughter is so little, not a lot has changed. "There's all these people out there who are trying to homeschool and life has changed for them a ton ... I was already king of quarantined in my house with my daughter, we already had our groove going with that," she said.
Johnson East is unsure at the moment on whether she'll be able to celebrate her first Mother's Day outside of her home, but one thing is concrete — how much she would love to receive a sweet card on the special day because of a long-running tradition in her household. Her mother use to give her lots of cards as a child for her birthday, and in return, she did the same for her mom on Mother's Day, which is why she's joined forces with Hallmark. Showcasing some of her favorite ideas for Mother's Day gifts with the iconic company, Johnson East explains how anyone can order online and have them shipped to their mom's house. She said her partnership with Hallmark just made "perfect sense" because sentimental greeting "cards have been such a huge part of my life."