While the global health crisis feels like it’s lasted an eternity for people of all ages, Jason Aldean’s two toddlers, Memphis and Navy, have now spent a big chunk of their total lives in lockdown. “Especially Navy — she’s only one,” the singer’s wife, Brittany Aldean, points out to Country Now. “She’s about to be two, but a whole year of her life has been a pandemic, which is kinda crazy, when you put it like that.”
As the Aldeans navigate time off the road and look ahead to a year that will hopefully bring a return to touring, Brittany says that like a lot of parents, they’ve been playing things by ear. “It’s definitely a different year than it would have been, for sure. There’s not really any way to prepare a one-year-old and a newly three-year-old. I just hope that the normal we used to know can come back around and it goes back to that sometime soon,” she adds.
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Before the world turned upside down, Brittany and Jason put Memphis in school when he was a year and a half, mostly for social reasons. Though he wasn’t in school during 2020, Brittany says that the family did keep a routine that provided some semblance of structure, both for the kids and for their parents.
“Our days are so scheduled, typically. It’s like, they wake up, we have breakfast, we play, we have lunch. Everything is on such a schedule,” she rattles off. “Around 6:30, we put the babies in bed and Jason and I have our me-time, we do our thing. We watch shows, have a glass of wine and just hang out.
“Sometimes it is to where you get in such a routine that you need to take a step back, say, ‘I need a date night.’ Or, ‘We need to take a trip for the weekend,’” Brittany acknowledges. “It’s easy to get on that schedule and realize, ‘Ok, we’ve gotta have us-time for a second.’”
Case in point: For New Year’s, the couple hit the beach for a quick, child-free getaway with their country star pals, Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline. “I wish we could have just transported the kiddos to the beach and just stayed there,” Brittany jokes, in response to the dreary Nashville weather that greeted them when they returned home.
“It was cool to connect [with friends] and have fun on an island for a couple days,” she adds. The experience gave Brittany a chance to reset her perspective after a chaotic 2020 and look ahead to 2021, even drawing up some New Year’s resolutions.
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For one thing, she’s hoping to be a little more grounded in the moment this year. “I work from my phone, so it’s easy to get lost in it and then all of the sudden, so much time has passed,” she explains. “And then [my goal is to] get back to being healthy and kind of erase [the bad health habits] that I did in 2020.”
Focusing on fitness is a perennial goal of Brittany’s. She has been long been open about her partnership with South Beach Diet, specifically after her pregnancies. Now, Brittany says that she — and her country star husband — are prioritizing getting back into fighting shape by the time has changed as she’s gotten older.
“What I wanted at 20 is completely different [than what I want] at 33. Whether that’s age or having two children back to back, I don’t know,” she says. “My body has completely changed, so I find that giving myself a little bit more grace is really beneficial for my mental state, because I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to look a certain way.”
Brittany adds that she’s found comfort in bonding with people in similar situations. “It’s been really nice to talk to other people who have had children,” she points out. “It’s ok to say, ‘I’ve gained weight and my body’s completely different than it used to be.’ I think the big thing for me is just being comfortable in who you are.”
For Brittany, that means knowing herself and what fitness strategies will work for her. It means knowing that any lifestyle change is easier to attain when Jason does it with her, for example. “We’re such teammates. It’s like, if he doesn’t wanna drink for two weeks, then alright, here we go! This is what we’re doing,” she says.
She also keeps coming back to South Beach because it’s easy to make and focuses on the nutritional basics, something that’s important since the Aldeans’ taste and cooking habits are pretty simple.
“We’re not big cooks,” she admits. “And we’re not huge foodies, either. We’re not over here cooking up chicken alfredo. We don’t really know how to do it, so this just works better for us.”
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As difficult as 2020 has been, Brittany says, it’s still had its bright spots. The couple have been able to spend more time focusing on their family and enjoying their newly-built Nashville home. They have also gotten a chance to enjoy some memorable times with their kids. The celebrated family Memphis’ third birthday in December with a “Winter Wonderland”-themed party complete with Anna and Elsa, characters from the Disney film Frozen, in appearance.
“Oh, this baby talks about it every day and how he wants them to come back. It’s precious,” Brittany laughs. “Memphis’ thing is Frozen, and has been for a long time. He particularly loves the princesses. It’s a nurturing thing, like he wants to take care of these girls. He carries Anna and Elsa around all the time, and if one of them falls off the couch, he’s like, ‘Oh no, are you okay?!’”
Though the family has tried to make quarantine as fun for their kids as possible, they’re looking forward to Memphis and Navy being able to socialize more with other children their age.
“Just Memphis going back to school, and maybe even Navy. Being around other kids,” Brittany replies when asked what she’s looking forward to doing with her children when the world returns to normal. “Going to the mall and walking around. Just doing fun things, being around other kiddos, traveling more and doing stuff. I think just doing things that were normal in 2019.”