John Legend talks wife Chrissy Teigen’s PPD: “It was my job to do the best I could to support her”
Chrissy Teigen may look like a gorgeous goddess from another plane of existence, but when it comes to talking about her role as mom to eleven-month-old Luna, she’s completely honest and down to earth. Her observations on mommy shamers are as funny as they are spot-on. And her recent essay on Dealing with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter is one that many moms can relate to. “I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy,” she wrote for Glamour. “I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role: ‘Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom.’”
Now her husband, John Legend, is speaking openly about what it’s like to have a partner that’s dealing with postpartum depression, and what he did to help his wife. “For me as a husband, it was my job to do the best I could to support her and understand what she was going through and do whatever I could do to help her,” he told People. “I feel like that’s the least I could do.”
Just when we thought we couldn’t love him more.
Legend doesn’t pretend to understand exactly what his wife is experiencing. “[As a man] you don’t know internally what it feels like,” he says. But he didn’t use that as an excuse to not step up, and he encourages other men to follow his lead.”You should read about it and understand what it is and really just be there to help,” he encourages. His words are a great reminder that you don’t have to have personal experience with something in order to be supportive of someone else.
Having a baby can causes a giant shift in your life, regardless of how prepared you thought you were beforehand. You’re not just navigating your new role as a parent, you’re also dealing with the impact a new baby has on relationship. But these changes aren’t necessarily bad, just different. Dealing with challenges together can help your relationship become stronger. “It’s a difficult thing to be a new father and for my wife to be a new mother,” reflected Legend, “[Parenting] advances the level of partnership you share. It’s exciting to see how we as a couple grow together and learn how to react to the challenges and the joys.”
Legend’s never been shy about how much he loves Teigen. But he’s also proud of her for being so transparent about her struggle with PPD, because he knows her words may help other new moms experiencing those same feelings. “I’m glad she wrote about it,” he said. “I think it was powerful for her to let a lot of women know they’re not alone, and no matter how much money you have or fame, anybody can feel that. And it’s hard for anybody no matter how successful you are and how many resources you have.”
Legend’s take-away for partners trying to support someone with PPD is simply to love her, be patient with her and remind her that you’re a team. “You need to be present and you need to be compassionate,” he explains. “And we’re all learning and trying to figure it out as we go. At least do that and try to figure it out together.”