Kristen Bell is the proud mom of daughter Lincoln, 2, and 4-month-old baby Delta, but your kids probably know her best as the voice of Anna from Frozen. She opened up in an interview with Good Housekeeping and I’m taking notes.
The actress is so down to earth and I love what she has to say. She tells it like it is as if she were my best girlfriend. Everything she says resonates — from her thoughts on marriage and motherhood to vaccinating her kids.
I’ve always thought Kristen was a doll and a real talent to watch, but I never knew what a wise woman and compatriot she was! I really appreciate her cheery, upbeat outlook on parenting.
Here are eight times Kristen Bell said what we’re all thinking:
1. Having Kids Is Unmissable
“I wasn’t positive I wanted kids. But I can now confirm having them is absolutely unmissable. Before we had the girls, I asked a few people in my life who are annoyingly blunt and honest on every level if we should, knowing that if it wasn’t worth it, they’d have the balls to say, ‘Listen, don’t. Live your life.’ But across the board, everyone said it was unmissable. When Lincoln came out, at first I was like, ‘Eh, what do I do with it? I can take it home?’ But when I started breastfeeding, the oxytocin or my hormones or hundreds of thousands of years of evolution kicked in. I didn’t want to let her go. Having kids feels like that first seventh grade crush that overwhelms every molecule in your body, but it’s permanent.”
I always knew I wanted to have kids, but I totally relate to Kristen’s concern about worrying if it would be worth it. It didn’t take long to get the answer. Like Kristen, when I had my first baby, evolution, hormones, or whatever kicked in before we even left the hospital and I was hooked for life. It’s hard to explain, but it’s so worth it. Kristen describes it perfectly.
2. Being a Mom Is Enough
“I’ve gotten off that treadmill of ‘Let me read the next script; I hope they give me a chance for this part.’ I still want to do really good, creative work, but I’m not nervous about it, because I get my self-esteem from [providing for] my children now. The girls need us, and feeling needed is a good feeling. In our house, we get our self-esteem from performing [kind], estimable acts. When you’re feeling egotistical, our rule is that you have to drop it and help someone else.”
I love Kristen’s outlook on taking care of her family. Being a mom has settled me down and rearranged my priorities, too. Having humans rely on you for everything puts all other work into perspective. As for helping other people, I agree. It’s the best and fastest way to focus outside yourself and reset your ego factor.
3. Therapy Is Nothing to Be Embarrassed About
“I don’t mind advertising a healthy marriage. I’m trying, just like everyone else. You do better in the gym with a trainer; you don’t figure out how to cook without reading a recipe. […] Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about.”
Way to admit that she has to work hard on her marriage! We take for granted that celebrity couples have an easy time in their perfect, romantic relationships, but they have to work on them just like the rest of us. Kristen and her husband Dax Shepard have been in therapy in order to make their marriage better; for them, it’s a tool to get along better and to be happier together, not a sign of a failing marriage. Why not use everything at your disposal?
4. However You Give Birth Is Fine
“Finally, after checking the baby’s position with an ultrasound, the doctor told Dax, ‘I need to take her for the C-section.’ I bawled for 10 minutes. I was so disappointed. I tried really hard! But she came out beautifully. They put her on my chest, and I was so happy that everybody was safe and sound. The gift of the Magi is that when I got home, Lincoln didn’t care that I couldn’t pick her up! She couldn’t have cared less.”
In spite of really hoping for a VBAC when she had her second baby, Kristen ended up having a second C-section and everything turned out just fine. As much as we prepare and want to be in control of how we give birth, when it comes down to it, we are at nature’s mercy. There’s no need to fret or have regrets about how your children come into this world, as long as they eventually end up in your arms. I like Kristen’s perspective when she realizes that the main thing she was worried about — being unable to lift daughter Lincoln because she was healing from a C-section — wasn’t even an issue. So many of our parenting anxieties prove to be unfounded. Let it go!
5. Vaccinating Is the Responsible Thing to Do
“I’m very crunchy, and happily so. But there is a lot of scientific, proven information out there that shows why vaccinations are necessary. Kids with autoimmune diseases, kids who are receiving cancer treatments — they can’t be vaccinated because their immune systems [can’t handle it]. If your kid has leukemia, he can’t get vaccinations; if he then goes to school with my kid and I chose not to give my kid vaccinations, I’m putting your kid at risk. To me, that’s unacceptable. There are the weak among us whom we have to protect. As moms, our responsibility is not just to our kids — it’s to all the other kids, too. People often misplace fear. Your child is 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a severe reaction to a vaccine. That’s a fact.
I have to say, she makes a pretty good argument. I too made the choice to vaccinate my children. It makes sense to me and feels right, not just for my own family, but for our community at large. Kristen doesn’t shy away from this hot-button issue. She has an informed opinion and she’s happy to share it. See? Just like your best girlfriend. I appreciate her candor.
6. Body Image Is What You Make of It
“I still have 17 pounds to get back to my pre-Delta weight. But I’m going to let it come off naturally. I’ll work out and eat healthy, but I’m not desperate to shed the weight. Body image is what you make of it. I refuse to compare myself to anyone anymore. I’ve done it; it didn’t make me feel good. I don’t like comparison hangovers. I’ve actually lost weight more quickly this time around. I think it’s because Lincoln keeps me really active. She’s fast, man. She runs, she walks, she sasses me all the time. She’s a wonderful handful.”
I love her words of wisdom about not comparing yourself to others. I need this reminder often. It’s a loser’s game to compare yourself to others, especially when body image is at play. I also really love her reasonable attitude about being healthy. She does what she can and talks about chasing after her toddler in the best light. Sometimes viewing the more rigorous aspects of parenting in a more positive light is all it takes to lighten your mood. Thanks, Kristen.
7. The Rewards of Parenthood Are Larger Than the Battles
“You don’t get free time as parents; Dax hasn’t gone to the bathroom solo in three months, because Lincoln is obsessed with him! But other than the sleep deprivation in the beginning and trying to figure out how not to screw your kid up, the rewards are mountains larger than the battles.”
Life really does change with kids. There’s no going back once your little one arrives. The sleep deprivation is real. Even though now I’m raising a teenager, I can still attest to it. But I agree with Kristen a thousand times over: the rewards are mountains larger than the battles. She has a lovely way of putting parenting in perspective and reminding me of the joy of parenting.
8. With Motherhood, What Goes Around Comes Around
“I never understood my mom until I had kids. When she would look at me like I was the first drop of water she’d seen at the end of a desert trip and go, ‘You will never understand how much I love you.’ Now I look at my kids that way and think, ‘Wow, this is a cycle.’ Lincoln won’t understand it until she decides to have kids … that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.”
I’m going through this exact life cycle that Kristen describes. I appreciate my mom so much more now that I am a mom myself. And I kind of can’t wait until my kids become parents so they’ll finally appreciate me.More On