Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are #relationshipgoals, not just for their long-lasting marriage or their two adorable kids, but also for the way they keep it real, on their social media and when talking with traditional news outlets.
This week Dax Shepard, host of the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and best known for his role as Crosby Braverman on Parenthood, said that his wife gets much more parenting criticism than he does, and he wants that to stop.
Talking with US Weekly, Shepard pulled no punches about the ways that the patriarchy targets moms non-stop, while giving dads endless breaks.
“Shaming traps in general are pretty misogynistic and aimed largely at women,” Shepard said. “Kristen will get attacked long before I will even though we’re both equally in the mix. I am against any version of shaming, whether it starts with ‘How long did you breast-feed?’ ‘Did you give birth in the woods?’ ‘Did you do this?’ ‘Are you doing that?’”
Shepard said that most parent shaming is well-intentioned, but said it’s just too much.
“Under that is something that’s quite relatable and loving, which is most people want their kids to thrive in all the ways. They want them to be healthy, they want them to have opportunities, they want all that. That’s what we all have in common,” he said.
It becomes a problems when the so-called mommy wars and polarization of parenting choices divides people and makes them feel like they have little in common, Shepard said.
“Your identity becomes so interconnected with your children. You feel like they represent you and you represent them. When you’re in those conversations with people, you’re in very dangerous territory of challenging identities, and that’s when people get really emotional and upset.”
The couple, who have been married since 2013, are parents to two girls, Lincoln, 7, and Delta, 5. Although the couple are frequently in the headlines, they tend to keep thier girls out of the limelight.
Still, some people find ways to criticize their parenting. In May, Bell touched on the parenting hot-topic of potty training, and her critics exploded. Speaking on an episode of Momsplaining with Kristen Bell, the YouTube show that she created with Ellen DeGeneres, Bell mentioned that she had two very different experiences potty training her daughters.
“My oldest daughter at 21 months, we merely suggested that she us the toilet in the other room and [she] never wore another diaper beyond that,” Bell said. “We were lying in bed giggling about this, my husband and I, like, ‘Why does everyone make a big deal out of this potty training? It’s so easy. Just tell the kid to use the toilet.’”
Then, she added, “Currently, my youngest is 5 and a half, still in diapers.”
She later clarified that she meant Delta still wears diapers at night — not that it should matter at all what’s working for her kiddo.
Shepard weighed into the controversy too. Sometimes, he said, it’s just easier not to push the issues — something that any parent who has had a reluctant potty trainer can relate to.
“We can’t really tell her, ‘No diapers,’ because that’s just an invitation for her to wear them until she’s 26, and she will,” Shepard said. “I know she’s got the willpower to do it. … My second daughter is like me and just loves to control adults. That’s her favorite activity.”
So, Shepard and Bell are just giving Delta her space, knowing she’ll be completely potty trained and night trained in time. Earlier this month, Bell said that Delta had finally ditched night diapers, with a little help from mom and dad, who wake her up at 11 p.m. to use the bathroom.
Bell didn’t feel bad about sharing Delta’s potty progress with the world, she wrote on Twitter.
“My 5yr old wouldn’t be embarrassed even if she was in diapers during the day! She’s confident & goofy & doesn’t see anything about her beautiful unique self something to apologize for.”