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Shawn Johnson Admits She Isn't Interested in Doing a Reality Show With Her Family: 'We Like Being in Control of What the World Sees'

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Source: @shawnjohnson/instagram

Jun. 17 2024, Published 3:26 p.m. ET

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Shawn Johnson loves showing her family — she shares daughter Drew and sons Jett and Barrett with husband Andrew East — on social media, but it doesn't mean she would want cameras following her around anytime soon!

"We have gotten pitched probably ever year since we started dating, and I just don't think it will happen. We like being in control of what the world sees," the Olympic gymnast, 32, who is partnering with Barilla, the world's leading pasta maker, to celebrate everyday athletes with Barilla Protein+® pasta, exclusively told OK! on Wednesday, June 12, at a pasta party in Nashville, Tenn. "We're not hiding anything, but it's just because we value our marriage and family so much. We would never want anything to compromise that, so knowing that we get to edit our videos is great. We don't need anything more invasive."

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shawnjohnson
Source: @shawnjohnson/instagram

Shawn Johnson shares three kids with husband Andrew East.

In the meantime, the blonde beauty, who gave birth to her third son in December 2023, is busier than ever, especially after welcoming son Barrett, a.k.a. "Bear," into the world. "I am tired!" she quipped. "But it's amazing. My babies are amazing. They're the greatest gifts I have ever been given. Three babies is a lot, though. It went from like, 'We can handle two,' to 'This is a lot of children!' It's perfect. I feel like our family is complete, but it's a whole new world we're living in now where I feel like I'm never going to have enough time with each individual kid, so it's shifted priorities completely."

Johnson knows all too well what mom guilt is like — and she doesn't see it going away anytime soon. "There's no like, 'I can go do a little work and then still feel like I've spent enough time with my daughter.' There will never be enough time with each of them, so family is literally everything right now and it's great. It's just a new phase of life," she shared. "I try to give myself grace and understand that I'm in a phase of life where I'm not going to be the fittest, I'm not going to be the most rested, I'm not going to have a lot of time to spend with my friends, but it's the most amazing phase of life because I'm seeing my kids grow up. I just have to give myself grace and remind myself these things daily. That's what is getting me through."

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Fortunately, the athlete's eldest children make it easy on her, as they are "in love" with baby Bear. "We were just watching them all play with him. He just learned how to sit up — and he sits up on his own now! Our kids just want to play with him. They fight over who gets to get him out of his crib," she noted. "They fight over who gets to feed him his bottle. They love him so much and they are like this little unit of three, which is the greatest gift. I was a little nervous about the dynamic, especially because Drew and Jett are really close, but the baby has made them even closer somehow. They each have a little ownership over the baby and over each other. It's been really cool to see."

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shawnjohnson
Source: @shawnjohnson/instagram

Shawn Johnson said she wouldn't want to do a reality show with her family.

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Drew, 4, takes "ownership" of Bear. "She is the necessity in his life," Johnson said. "Which is really cute! My 2-year-old son just think he's his best friend. She is the helper and he's the best friend. Our life was perfect even before Bear, and it just became more perfect with Bear."

Despite having their hands full, Johnson and East, 32, make sure to spend time with one another sans kids. "We are doing really well. We openly communicated that we wanted to go into counseling just as a precautionary measure before we had our third. We always said kids put a lot of stress on marriages, and we wanted to protect ourselves," she admitted. "We've been doing counseling, and we're great! We love our life right now."

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"When we got pregnant with Drew, we made a rule to make every single Thursday a date night. When we were pregnant with her, we hired a babysitter for every Thursday," she continued. "In the past six months, our date nights have lasted an hour and a half or two hours because we're so tired or want to go home, but it's always time for us to reconnect and make sure we're doing the husband and wife thing on top of being mom and dad."

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shawnjohnson
Source: @shawnjohnson/instagram

The gymnast said her youngest son fits right into her family.

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The duo, who got married in 2016, are heading to Europe for a month this summer with their three kiddos, which they're very excited about, as they'll get to be in Paris during the 2024 Olympics. "We're doing London, Paris and Italy. We want to do everything! My kids have begged us to go Disneyland Paris and they want to go to the beach. We don't really have anything planned, but having kids, especially in Paris, we want to be outside as much as possible," she said, adding the two eldest traveled to Greece last year. "We have tried to go on a big trip each year, and we take everyone and do a big family thing."

But most of all, she's looking forward to watching the Olympics, especially since she has "a lot" of old friends who are also going back and taking their kids. "It feels like a big family affair. It's going to be really special," she stated.

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shaun barilla proteinshawn johnson
Source: Barilla Protein+®

Shawn Johnson teamed up with Barilla Protein+®.

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Since Johnson is constantly on the go, it was perfect for her to partner with Barilla Protein+®, as the brand recognizes that there are "everyday athletes" among us – active people like parents, caregivers, student-athletes, entrepreneurs and more – who need that same energy to fuel their lives and pursue their passions.

"It was the most genius partnership. When they called and told me me they were coming out with this product, I almost started crying as a mom. The amount of pasta my kids eat is insane, so when they said they had the Barilla Protein+®, I was like, 'This is genius.' I usually have to pair their pasta with a protein shake of some kind — and now I don't!" she gushed. "They adore it. They went through an entire box last night."

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shaun barilla proteinshawn johnson
Source: Barilla Protein+®

Shawn Johnson's kids love pasta.

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"We have a rule at our house, and they're very used to it," Johnson, who curated a seventeen-minute workout in a nod to to Protein+® pasta's 17 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving at the event, followed by a brunch featuring Barilla, continued. "I make them whatever we're making, and then if we need to have a back-up, I'll make butter noodles, which is their favorite. The rule is that you have to take one bite of everything. You don't have to eat it, but you have to take just one bite. Through that, we found some stuff they love."

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