Chrissy Teigan is currently being shamed for stepping out to dinner with her husband John Legend.
Her alleged crime? She gave birth nine days beforehand.
After the photos emerged, it didn’t take long for the social media jury to post disapproving comments about Teigan’s decision to leave her baby daughter at home to enjoy a meal (gasp). The sad part was that most of the comments were actually made by fellow moms (presumably the same ones who shamed the model for choosing the sex of her baby).
The reality is, celebrity or not, the behavior of Teigan and Legend post-baby should actually be an example for all young couples: you shouldn’t lose yourself or your “cool” the moment you become parents. We see it happen all the time.
Inevitably, your life will change drastically the second you have a child. But it doesn’t mean you have to stop being your cool, vibrant self (to retreat into the monotonous world of mini vans, ‘mom jeans’ and ‘dad bods.’) You don’t want to lose your sense of identity once you have a child – and that goes for everything from your personal style to your love for karaoke.
Of course, parents are quick to say that you can’t really comment about parenting until or unless you are a parent yourself. Fair enough. But we can comment as outsiders who have watched the personalities of some of our friends become as exciting as a dirty diaper once they have kids. Once you wrap yourself up so much in your kids that you neglect your own needs or those of your relationship, it’s difficult to gracefully recover.
Do Date Night
Aside from the need to eat independently of the baby, Teigan and Legend demonstrate the fact that – newborn or not – a couple can’t neglect one another once a child enters the equation. It’s best not to wait too long to make the first post-baby date night happen either; it’s easier not to slip into a rut that way.
Don’t Ditch the Guys or Girls
Hanging out with the guys or the girls – complete with all your stupid inside jokes and decade-old nicknames – is always a refreshing way to break up the whole “grown-up” routine you’ve fallen into. Baby-free trips with friends should also continue – even if they’re just a few days long. If you maintain them, your friendships will last long after the kids have left home and you’re bored again.
Keep Up Appearances
Sure, you’re “getting ready” routine may not be as long or leisurely as it once was once little ones enter the equation. But nothing is going to make you feel older and less sexy than you may already from the sleepless nights than if you let yourself go or neglect your appearance. You need to or do things to make you feel like yourself – even if that means taking your baby with you to the hair salon.
Have a Handful of Reliable Babysitters
You’re going to get totally stir crazy and regret missing out on things like a concert by your favourite artist, a birthday party, or a baseball game if you don’t have a network of babysitters. We know plenty of parents who still live fulfilling social lives – it just requires a little planning in advance. Odds are, parents aren’t going to be as able and eager to hit a concert last minute on a Tuesday night or for dinner to turn into a night on the town without advanced warning – so make sure your friends know to offer plenty of notice.
Cut the Baby Talk
Of course, your kids are your world, and everybody gets that. But that doesn’t mean that your friends – fellow parents or not – want to hear about them all dinner long. If you find yourself with nothing else to talk about, that’s a sure sign that you’ve put your own interests, passions, and hobbies (even if that just means reading the news) on the back burner.
Bring the Baby
If you can’t find a sitter, don’t miss out on things like art shows, music festivals, or brunches – when it’s appropriate (and after others have been advised), bring the baby. You can never be too young to experience your first taste of live music or hipster brunch spot.