Dax Shepard & Kristen Bell Only Wanted One Kid. Here's Why They Had Two
In a new podcast appearance, Dax Shepard talked about how he and his wife, Kristen Bell, decided to have a second kid despite being really happy with just one.
When it comes to parenting, there are no one-size fits all answers to every question. After already having one child, couples often ask whether or not they’re interested in having another kiddo. And the answer is never easy to come to, which is why we appreciate a recent conversation where Dax Shepard talked about how he and his wife, Kristen Bell, decided to have a second kid.
Shepard, who usually hosts his own podcast Armchair Expert and is often brutally honest about the realities of parenting and marriage, was a guest on The Endless Honeymoon Podcast with comedians, and married couple Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher. The 2-hour long conversation covered a range of topics, from their philosophy on kids having access to phones, to a road-rage incident that shifted how Shepard saw the world and making a relationship work when people have opposite “love languages.”
The conversation was full of many fun stories and laughs, but there was a lot of helpful info in there too. In particular, the hosts welcomed a couple who where debating having more than one kid.
The couple — Sarah and John — wanted to know their “thoughts on pros and cons of only child versus multiple children” after sharing they have one kid and weren’t sure where they landed on the idea of another.
“Well, Sarah, you just dropped an atom bomb between the three of us,” Shepard joked, but with reason because this topic is hard for parents to discuss because there is always that feeling of judgment — on both sides of the question.
Leggero and Kasher have one kid together, while Shepard shares two kids with KBell. Leggero shared that, at first, she wasn’t interested in having kids. When she and Kasher decided to have one kiddo, they were thrilled and happy with the decision but knew they would very likely not have a second.
And while Shepard has two kids, he admitted that wasn’t the initial plan for him and Bell.
“We did not want a second child,” he admitted, listing off all the reasons having one child is awesome. So what led to their decision to have another? It wasn’t because they felt the pressure (which is very real and very heavy in the parenting circle that you must have a sibling for your kid), but it was situational to their lifestyle.
“I think for Kristen and I, we had two thoughts: one is, we travel a lot it's not fair to bring this little human everywhere we go and deal with only adults.” So part of their decision was to “give her a playmate that travels with us everywhere. We love her enough to do something we don't really want to do.”
And the second reason for deciding to move forward with having another baby was also child-focused.
“Our kid [is] already so privileged beyond belief it rattles both of us being from very modest backgrounds,” Shepard explained. “So we need to make this spoiled [baby], my firstborn, live in the same room with another person, and you have to share everything. Like, I needed a force of compromise and sharing and discomfort because I wasn't gonna give it to her in the other ways.”
He concluded, “We just thought it would be really helpful to make her a better person to have to deal with someone else.”
Of course, having only one kid doesn’t mean you’re not giving your child the opportunities to learn compromise, nor do they necessarily need a “playmate” if your family travels a lot. Only children aren’t inherently set up to fail, and there are a dozen reasons to not have more than one child, be the financial, practical, emotional, or about the very real medical experience of pregnancy.
But it’s refreshing to hear a parent discuss why they opted to go for another child when they felt happy and complete in having one — beyond the pressure a lot of singleton parents face to give their kid a sibling, and beyond what a parent might want for themselves.
You can watch or listen to the full episode of The Endless Honeymoon Podcast featuring Dax Shepard on YouTube.