Chrissy Teigen Opens Up on Life as a Parent of 3

From skipping the Grammys to snuggle with new baby Esti to running the most fun Girl Scout troop in Beverly Hills, Chrissy Teigen tells Parents she embraces the chaos. Working moms can relate!

Chrissy Teigen at the Vanity Fair Oscars party

Robert Smith / Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen is one of the busiest—and most brutally honest—women in Hollywood. Never one to keep her personal life personal or sugarcoat the realities of "balancing it all," Teigen has provided intimate, usually hilarious, and always unfiltered glimpses into her relationship with her husband of almost 10 years, singer/songwriter (and EGOT winner!) John Legend and their adorable family of five on Instagram. This includes daughter Luna, 6, son Miles, 4, and their newest addition, Esti, born on January 13. Esti's arrival was especially poignant as she was born nearly three years after they tragically lost their son Jack when Teigen was 20 weeks pregnant.

During Parents' chat with the model, host, and cookbook author, no topic was off limits. Teigen opened up about how her priorities have shifted and how Luna and Miles prepared for their new little sister. She proudly shares why John thinks she's a "hero" after having a C-section, and goes into detail about why cord blood banking is an important tool every parent-to-be needs to be educated on. Of course, Teigen is no holds barred on the challenges (and hilarity) of providing all three kids equal attention, why she was born to lead Luna's Girl Scouts troop (the "real life" Troop Beverly Hills), and why it takes a TV in almost every room of her house to achieve self-care.

We heard that you went to your dress fitting for the Grammy awards—but then skipped the show to stay home and snuggle with your kids. That must not have been an easy decision!

I did the fitting, but then was like, "Forget it—I'm not ready yet. I don't know why I'm even trying." I was so excited to go because John was up for some awards and had a performance—but it's really hard for me to feel comfortable in general, not just right after having a baby. Everyone on my team knows that if I'm not comfortable in what I'm wearing, then my attitude changes, I become really closed off and want to go home early. I've never been a fan of feeling things were tight, itchy, and painful. So I was very happy to say no to that.

With your beautiful family of five, how have your priorities and mindset shifted? What's maybe not as important to you now as it was before having three kids?

I've always loved work and loved what I do with [my food website] Cravings. I love cooking. I love getting to create food and having a team—that's so much fun. But for me, family has always, of course, been the priority. Food just came naturally with it, because what's better than being able to feed your family incredible meals and then tell the world about it? That was the easy part. But I really do love balancing a lot of things at once. I grew up in a chaotic household. We moved a lot. It just comes naturally to me to juggle a lot of things, and I flourish in those moments. Even when John's in India for performances for a week, and I know that I'm the one that has to read the kids to sleep or get up with them, I'm invigorated by that feeling. It's fun for me and I like taking it on. Of course, we have help, absolutely—but to me, it's fun to juggle a lot of different things at once.

Is it true what they say—one child is hard, two is crazy, but adding a third is no big deal?

Two was hard. But three is comically difficult because you're so outnumbered and it's so ridiculous. You look around and one's barfing on themselves, the other one's doing ninja kickflips, and then my baby girl is just being perfect in the corner. Everybody's so different; it's so crazy, but I love it. And at least it's funny and at least you're entertained. You're not suffering. It's like, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe we did this—this is so funny!"

"Two was hard. But three is comically difficult because you're so outnumbered and it's so ridiculous. You look around and one's barfing on themselves, the other one's doing ninja kickflips, and then my baby girl is just being perfect in the corner. Everybody's so different, it's so crazy, but I love it."

You had a C-section with Esti after delivering vaginally with your other two children. John said he was in "awe" of your recovery. How did he support you?

Oh my God. Well, I got to say, I love medicine and I love learning about it. It was cool to have had two vaginal deliveries and then have a C-section. I got to learn about both and see them firsthand—to me, that was really cool. I really love doctors and seeing what they can do. I love medical advancements, so laying on that gurney and going through the process of, "Okay, I can't feel my bottom half and a whole baby is being taken out—I feel pressure" and then knowing that I had full use of my arms and I could take pictures of it, that's all so wild. It was insane. And having John in that room...he was playing music and trying not to look. Even during my vaginal births, he stayed up by my head. I preferred it that way, honestly. But John saw an entire baby come out of my abdomen and was pretty amazed by it. And then he was amazed by the healing process, too. He was fascinated by every aspect of it, but he also helped me pull my tights on. Everyone knows C-sections are was difficult. But what's cooler than looking like a hero to your husband?

How did you get involved with the Cord Blood Registry and why was that important to your family?

We banked cord blood and tissue with Luna and Miles, and my trusted OB-GYN wanted to know if I was willing to do it again. I was like, "Absolutely, of course. Who would ever say no to this?" And she was like, "You'd be surprised. People don't know it's an option." I want them to know because it's life-changing and couldn't be simpler. You pack the kit in your baby bag and hand it off to your doctor while you're at the hospital. They take a few inches of your umbilical cord and that umbilical cord contains millions of stem cells and tissue that can help over 80 different conditions now and in the future. It's an incredible thing to be able to do for your children, for their siblings, and for yourself. And it just couldn't be easier. I'd hate knowing that there are people out there that regret not having done it or not having known it was an option.

Chrissy Teigen posing with Cord Blood Registry box

Courtesy: Cord Blood Registry

We know your family went through a devastating loss before Esti that you were so open about. Were Luna and Miles nervous when you were pregnant again? How did you get them through any apprehension?

They weren't nervous. It wasn't an untalked-about thing in our house. I have a tattoo of baby Jackson's name and every time they see it, Miles and Luna talk about him. It wasn't a thing that we kept hushed about in the house. We're very open about so many things in the house. But during my pregnancy, Miles definitely asked a few times if it could happen again. We just said, "We hope and pray for the best. We don't know if it's going to happen again, but one thing we do know is that we can handle it as a family. We've done it once before and we can do it again." I think Miles and Luna didn't feel much else aside from excitement. They were so excited to have a baby sister. Though Miles, of course, wished we had chosen a boy. But they were so thrilled to experience it. Luna was really young when Miles was born, so she doesn't exactly remember me being pregnant with Miles. And Miles hadn't seen me pregnant at all. So it was just so exciting to them.

That's wonderful! How else did they react?

Man, I'll tell you, they pull at everything. They push you to the limit when you're pregnant. I almost think they were trying to see how you'll be afterward. They push you and push you and push you, and it almost just makes you stronger when the baby is born. When you're with a partner for as long as John and I have been together, it's very cool seeing him as a dad now and in the same realm, it's very cool seeing Luna and Miles as siblings.

How are Miles and Luna with baby Esti?

They love on her! Luna and her friends are natural nurturers. I run a troop with 12 Girl Scouts and there's nothing like seeing a bunch of little girls gather around a baby and watching her get a bath—they're just such love bugs. I'm so amazed by it because I wasn't around very many kids growing up, especially little babies. Luna was truly the first baby I ever held. Miles is a bull in a china shop. He's crazy. But when it comes to Esti, he's such a love bug and he loves on her so much. He gives her the biggest kisses. Sometimes we have to be like, "Miles, that's too hard of a kiss." It's so cute and it's really special. You just can see their future bond is going to be so incredible.

Do you and John try to give each kid their individual attention?

Absolutely, because they start to sense when you're trying to combine things. If we're like, "Hey, let's all read one story tonight together," they're like, "Uh-huh, we don't want to do that!" You get your ass handed to you. So you have to really give them their individual time. Right now, Miles has Little Ninjas. He has baseball, he has basketball, and he has different playdates. John and I make sure that we are at that T-ball, whether it's a game or a practice. And if we can't leave Luna behind, we take Luna and she gets to play. But to us, that's the hardest part about it all, is making sure that Luna and Miles are taken care of. The baby's the easy part, it's about making sure Luna and Miles feel special and that they're not forgotten about in any real way—that's really important to us.

We go to all of Luna's recitals and dance practices, we make sure that we volunteer any chance we can in her class. Every kid's like this, but Luna especially really remembers stuff like that. She holds onto it if we were there at a certain moment that she considered pivotal or important. And she'll give it to us if we weren't there because of a work trip or something—oh my gosh, she won't let you forget that you missed it. It's important to them and it's important to us to make them feel important and loved. And it's the hardest part for sure, but we try to make sure we do it.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party

Robert Smith / Getty Images

You said you're Luna's Girl Scout troop leader. What is that like? Is it the most fun troop in California?

It is the real Troop Beverly Hills. It really is. I mean, it's hysterical. It's 12 girls. They're all so different and so much fun. I really love all the parents and it's really fun what we get to do and how we curate a day for them. Last week, we bought a bunch of jars and learned how to compost. Then we made dirt cups with pudding and little gummy worms. Tying it all together with food is such a treat and so much fun for me. I love putting together events for the kids and seeing them all in the backyard on a blanket singing Girl Scout songs.

Any chance I get where I can be around a group of kids, whether it's volunteering in their class or bringing them all to my house, all the parents are always like, "Oh my God, we're so sorry. Let's get them out of here!" And I'm like, "No, I love everyone in my home. I really do!" I embrace being that over-the-top parent that raids Amazon for all the weirdest, dumbest things, seeing them play with it and totally going a little too far. I love being the person that the other parents look at and are like, "Why!?" When I get the look from my fellow troop leaders and they're like, "We can't believe you did this"—that's when I know I did it right.

With so much going on in your life as a wife, a mother, all your work projects, and being a Girl Scout troop leader...what does self-care look like for you these days?

Watching TV has been part of my self-care since before children. I am a girl of television. From my shower, I have a TV that I can see on the other side of the wall. I watch Bravo in my shower. I dry off as quickly as I can so I can make it to my closet where there is also a TV. And then I put on clothes as fast as I can so I can go downstairs to watch the other TV. I need it on at all times. And so self-care to me is really just getting to sit, enjoy a show—and I won't even say mindless entertainment because obviously it's providing so much to us. To me, it's so fun to stay home, cook a good meal, put your kids to bed, read them a couple stories, sit down and watch all your dirty little shows. And honestly, if I do involve some actual real self-care, like a massage, I'm still watching that stuff because at the end of the day, that's what it's all about—creating time to watch those shows.

Does John watch with you or is TV time exclusively time to yourself?

Absolutely yes. He knows everything! He's very involved. One thing that I really love—and they say it's a characteristic of people with anxiety—is I love rewatching things. It just makes me feel comfortable so I'll rewatch the same episode, 10 to 15 times—I'm not kidding—with different people. It's like watching for the first time to me. I really love doing that for people. So when John is gone doing a show or something overseas and I get to show him something I already watched when he comes home—it's one of my happiest moments!

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