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We could all benefit from approaching 2021 with the energy the famous mom is adopting: no more unnecessary explanations for how we parent.

By Zara Hanawalt
December 30, 2020
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An image of Chrissy Teigen.
Credit: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

Forget "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to learn a new language." This year, I'm taking on a resolution that feels less about holding myself to some standard and more about investing in my own happiness—and it's all thanks to Chrissy Teigen.

The actress, cookbook author, and mom shared a tweet detailing her own resolution for 2021, writing: "excited about the new year's resolution I started early: not explaining SHIT to you people."

"For years I have been CONSUMED by the overwhelming need to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing, why I did why I did," Teigen continues. "NO MORE. I'm gonna doooooo the shit I doooooo and youuuuuu can go bonkers about it."

Because this is Chrissy Teigen we're talking about, reactions to the tweet are pretty polarizing. But I'm here to applaud Teigen—and maybe join her. Her tweet made me think about all the times I've felt pressure to explain myself, and how much more suffocating that pressure feels when it comes to matters of parenthood.

Years ago, I constantly felt forced to explain my situation when people asked me when I was going to have kids (which, for the record, is a terrible question). I always wanted to tell people that their questions were invasive and flat-out rude. But instead, I explained myself over and over again, which just led to the entirely unpleasant experience of attempting to explain unexplained infertility.

And when I did get pregnant, I was asked repeatedly to explain why I was having twins even though they don't run in my family (come on, we all know the answer to this one). Then there were the questions about why I was choosing to have a C-section. (Because my doctor warned me of the possibility of my cervix literally clamping down on my second baby's head, which could be fatal. Too graphic?)

There are so many pressures we face as parents, both internally and externally, to explain ourselves. When I decided to quit my full-time office job at the end of my pregnancy in favor of becoming a freelancer, the questions came hard and fast. But, if we're being honest, I felt that need to explain myself even when the questions didn't come—whether it was because of a certain look in someone's eyes or because I had simply internalized that pressure to explain, I constantly felt the need to follow up with more information about why I made that choice.

One day I complained to my own mom about this. "I just want to tell people to stop demanding that mothers explain every choice they make," I told her. She just gave me a weary look. She's been in the parenting game much longer than I have; I guess she's just made peace with it.

But this year, I've decided I won't make peace with the demands we place on parents— particularly female parents—to explain every choice they make, every approach they take, every situation they face. I don't owe anyone an explanation as to why I still breastfeed my toddlers before bed or why I chose to room-share for well over a year.

This feels like the perfect year for a resolution like this: I'm sure many of you are feeling like you have to explain why you've made a certain choice regarding your child's schooling through the pandemic or why you've chosen to keep them away from the playground at the park or why you've decided to allow a grandparent or nanny into your bubble. We may not feel it on the same scale as the celebrities we follow do, but I think we all face this to some degree.

And yes, I realize I just explained why I'm making a resolution to stop explaining myself, as did Teigen. It's not a perfect system, okay? But I want to head into this new year with the attitude that my decisions are my business, and that no one is entitled to an explanation. And it's about damn time.

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