Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard on what it's like to parent while sober

Despite the endless wine mom memes, many parents don't drink to de-stress. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard spilled on how they parent while staying sober.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard on what it's like to parent while sober

Photo: Cindy Ord / Getty Images

Raising kids is stressful business, and some parents turn to a glass of wine or bottle of beer to de-stress at the end of the day (hence the endless wine mom memes peppering our Insta feeds). However, that's not really an option when you're a parent who's recovering from addiction—something Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, one of our favourite parenting duos, know all too well.

Dax has been sober since he overcame his struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction back in 2004, which means that post-bedtime tipple isn't an option. So when it comes to raising two daughters, six-year-old Lincoln and four-year-old Delta, Dax explained that keeping his cool just takes a lot of focus.

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Dax said that when he, Kristen and the girls go on vacation with friends or family, he gets a bit envious when the drinks start to flow. "At night, I’m super jealous of them because I’m like, f*ck yeah I would love to drink something that turned down the volume of everyone in this house.”

But once the next morning comes around, the tables turn and not having a hangover becomes something that probably makes the others jealous. "At 6:45 when we’re all up, I’m like, Oh I’m crushing right now. I feel great," he said. "And they’re miserable. And those voices are three times as loud with a hangover. So I just have to focus on when the win is, which is always the morning."

For Kristen, parenting their two daughters while staying sober is a bit different since she hasn't had the same struggle with alcoholism as her husband. While she hasn't sworn off alcohol, drinking just isn't her go-to at the end of a hard day in the way that plenty of parents on the internet use memes to joke about.

"The wine meme is a very funny thing," she told HuffPo. "I suppose I take it as generalized ‘kids are stressful.’ So, the wine memes, for me, they’re all-encompassing in the fact that they represent, ‘Remember that you’re an adult. It’s OK if your kids are stressful and annoying. It’s OK to take time for yourself.’"

"But to me, that doesn’t necessarily ever mean alcohol," she continued. "I personally don’t have wine every day, but my wine is Netflix and cuddling with my husband or our date night."

The couple has always been pretty open about their struggles and the work they put in each day to be good partners to each other and good parents to their kids, so it's no surprise that they figured out a good system of sobriety that works for them. Bravo, you two!


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Kevin is an associate editor for Canadian Business in Toronto, Ontario. More of their work can be found in MSN Canada, Chatelaine and This Magazine