Chrissy Teigen’s been getting a lot of criticism in the news lately for going out on the town with her husband, John Legend just nine days after the birth of her baby girl. Her fans were quick to take to social media expressing their distaste that she chose to leave her newborn daughter so soon.
But the reality is, Chrissy was doing her daughter, Luna a favor. Research has consistently shown that parents who periodically take time away from their children and parenting responsibilities to foster the relationship have better success at co-parenting and remaining closely connected when a new baby arrives. In fact, Chrissy Teigen was beating the 67% majority of couples that report a dramatic decline in relationship satisfaction for up to three years after the birth of a baby.
Likewise, there needs to be a shift in the outdated assumption that all parenting responsibilities fall on the mother alone and that women should be slaves to their children. In the recent decade, significant findings have shown just how important dads are in the equation. Fathers have a remarkable impact on their child’s emotional, social and academic development and should be held just as much responsible for raising healthy and grounded kids as women do.
Mothers often report “losing themselves” after having children. They become devoted to the child to such an extent that they forget who they are or what they stood for before becoming a parent. And while attachment and peaceful parenting styles are well regarded and a positive contribution to the traditional authoritarian model, there is still a need for balance. Balance in one’s personal, work and romantic life.
Kids fair better when their parents are happy. They become more social, curious and independent little adults. They develop more emotional regulation and self-control. Overall, children are well adjusted when they have parents who love each other and make their relationship a priority.
It is our job as parents, and Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s job as well, to model positive relationships and individual happiness for our children’s sake. When we do, we teach them that intimate connections and individual autonomy can be satisfying and rewarding. The best gift you can give your child is a healthy relationship with yourself and between the parents.
So for all those who call Chrissy Teigen selfish and “unfit” for going out on a date shortly after having a child, I would argue that it was the most selfless thing she could do. She was giving herself the opportunity to be the best mother and wife she could be by finding time for rest, romance and a much-needed social outlet.