Kristen Bell Worried She Wouldn’t Like Her Baby As Much As Her Dogs

11/05/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

Kristen Bell Flare Magazine Jason Kempin/Getty

Kristen Bell wasn’t exactly filled with motherly instincts while she was expecting daughter Lincoln.

“I love people the more I know them, and I didn’t know her. It could have been a water bottle in my belly, that’s how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy,” she tells Flare in their December cover story.

The actress, 33, admits that she worried about her lack of feelings and told her now-husband, Parenthood star Dax Shepherd, of her fears.

“I kept saying to him in all sincerity during my pregnancy, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs.'”

The couple have two pups, Lola and Mr. Shakes.

“I was being serious because I f—ing love my dogs; they are my children,” the House of Lies star says. “But within about 24 hours after she came out, my hormones reset and they reprogrammed my feelings about her.”

Now there’s no one she’d rather spend time with than her 7-month-old baby girl, and Bell admits that it’s kicked her protective instincts into high gear.

“I would really not like to see the aftermath of the first person who tries to take a picture of Lincoln,” she says. “There are going to be a lot of stitches.”

— K.C. Blumm

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Showing 88 comments

Miss Jill on

Wow! How refreshing to hear someone who isn’t afraid to be honest about her feelings. I was the same way and thought I’d be a horrible mother because it wasn’t all ‘rainbows & butterflies’ during pregnancy. And after I gave birth it did take about 24 hours to really feel the motherly love connection to my son. We need more honest celebrity moms!

Allison on

Good to see someone finally admit the truth and not what everyone wants to hear! You don’t always feel connected while pregnant and fears like that are common.

Pam on

I’ve been in love with my baby since the day I got pregnant but I think it’s because I was told that I might not be able to have children, because I was really sick for awhile. I know not feeling connected to your child while your pregnant happens to a lot of mothers. It’s nice she’s honest about it. I’m glad that she loves her baby now because it would be pretty horrible if she didn’t.

Aussie Girl on

I love her raw honesty. It’s very refreshing.

Ms. Parton on


steph on

WOW!!! feel terrible for the baby to have her for a mother. Who in the world loves their pet more than somone they carried for 9 months???? she is plain horrible.

Morgan on

You may need to re-read the article

Guest on

I would feel the same way. I’ve not been around children a lot, but I adore my dogs. So I I can connect with what she is saying and I love her honesty.

Tracy on

She is an idiot I would never say something like that stars are very dumb we gave them too much airplay she is a dumb blond

Ginger on

Not impressed.

Fe on

I felt the same way.. Very refreshing to hear. I love my dog and my babies!!

LuvLeeRita on

Okay maybe I get the “whole honesty thing” but come on, she ‘might not like her as much as she likes her dogs’… oh please! Now that’s wrong!!!!!!!!

BRod on

Why the choice to get pregnant then? It seems like women are under way too much pressure to add more humans to an overpopulated planet. I feel like if your heart is not in it at the idea of children, then prevent pregnancy!

Anonymous on

I am glad to hear this too. I am currently 10 weeks pregnant and feel no connection whatsoever. I am worried too that I will not have that motherly bond. It’s nice to hear a refreshing perspective.

Jennifer on

It will come. I think it felt more real and I had more of a connection when I had ultrasounds after the first trimester. They look less alien like and more like a baby. If you weren’t concerned about your lack of connection there’d be a problem but I’m sure it will come soon enough and you’ll be a great mother. 🙂

Nic on

Love her and Dax, and now love her even more because she’s so completely honest. Motherhood is an amazing thing, and the best part of life, but it’s also not the fairy tale so many try to pass it off as. Good for her for being real.

Carolyn on

Dopey name for a girl.

Mary on

I was young when I had my first, I was scared I wouldn’t bond with my son, that feeling went away within hours of having him.

Bellasmommy on

You cannot compare the love for a baby to a dog. That’s just ridiculous! And to think there’s so many women out there who cannot bear children that would love that opportunity.

ImALadyToo on

I am a dog lover to the nth degree, but this woman is basically an i d i o t. Some of the poor kids of these “celebrities” will be lucky if they have an IQ of a walnut.

Lisa on

Stupid idiot.

Norpa on

Kind of strange to hear that a woman worried she would love her dogs more – priorities in life are sure different for everyone!!

Merlinman on

She should be worried, because deep down, she doesn’t like her kid, her hubby or her dogs as much as she loves SLOTHS!!!

Cheryl on

While some people may appreciate her honesty, I find it most disturbing that she would admit something that should be a deep source of shame. To say you must know someone to care for them and you don’t know her?! I felt my baby grow and move inside me, saw ultrasound pics and heard her heartbeat, and feel madly in love with this little life that grew under my heart.

What a disconnected, selfish little snit! I hope her daughter doesn’t grow up knowing that she almost didn’t matter more than something that lives on average 10 years, is covered with fur, and is not the product of your “supposed love” with her father! SMH!!!

heather on

Not every woman is wired the same emotionally, Cheryl. Not sure why you feel you should set the standard and tell everyone how they should feel. Not bonding with an unborn child is not a source of shame.

Norpaw on

Who could equate pets to children. I have had my two wonderful pets for over 10 years but would still not compare them with my child ever. Sad that priorities in life have changed, reflects what kind of world we live in now.

heather on

She didn’t say that’s how she feels now, Norpaw, relax.

KEB on

Oy vey. Some of you bitches are the reason websites like “STFU, Parents” exist and why women with PPD have to hide in shame.

arijana on

I cannot believe how many of you women are offended by her comment!! She’s allowed to express how she’s not like she abandoned her child…

Kely on

I cant fathom how anyone can not feel an instant connection to their child, especially the first time you feel him or her move inside of you. I can understand being scared you may not be a good mother, especially with your first, but thinking you will not love it as much as your pets just seems kind of odd to me. Nothing more magical than the feeling of your unborn child moving inside you.

Marky on

Amazing, once again people didn’t read the article, but couldn’t wait to comment on the title! Wow…then some of you comment on how stupid Kirsten is?? So pathetic; she isn’t saying anything we haven’t all heard from time to time, or said ourselves. Life isn’t always like a movie, Merlinman, and she clearly says how much she loves her child and how protective she she feels. Negative Nellies, you need to calm down!!

steph on

@M you are probably a child killer or psycho yourself.

san707 on

She is stupid. That is one opinion she should have kept to herself. Celebrities should just stop talking. Learn your lines, hit your mark and do your job. That’s it.

Windy on

I didn’t think I was gonna be a good mom, before my daughter was born. I panic when i get spit up on. But now my daughter is 4, and I can’t picture my life w/o her!

Abba on

Wow, it’s a shame we are all so shameful for not living up to poster Cheryl’s standards.

She should feel shame? Really woman? How dare you try to shame another mother for feeling differently. You’re rather repulsive.

Cady on

You don’t wonder before conception how you’re going to feel about your child while you’re carrying her/him. You assume that you’ll feel this spark of connection, but a lot of women don’t. It’s common and it doesn’t make we a terrible person- it’s disgusting to hear anyone say any differently. That is honesty- you don’t always feel a connection.

I’m fortunate enough to have snagged that total “in love and awe” feeling as soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test- and then I fell head over heels as soon as the sonogram revealed it was twins. But I have known some women who have said that they were afraid that something was wrong with them because their maternal instincts hadn’t kicked in like they do in all the Lifetime movies. But after the birth, they instantly found their maternal place.

Barbara on

Lighten up people! This is also her sense of humor coming through. I think this would have been better in a live interview, and not in print. She is hilarious and honest! Watch her interview with Ellen about sloths and you will see her personality/sense of humor. I am sure she is a wonderful mother who adores her child.

Anonymous on

steph- Apparently you didn’t read the article very carefully. She said she was AFRAID she wouldn’t love her child as much as her dogs…but those fears turned out to be unfounded.

A on

I LOVE children, but I don’t have any right now. I can understand Kristen Bell’s fear…I, too, have that fear of wondering if I have enough love that my future children deserve (this is how I interpreted KB’s comment)….having children (just like marriage) is a HUGE commitment and I think it is quite normal to be afraid of failing at those commitments.

Hearing others speak about those fears makes me realize that I am not the only person who is afraid.

Reading some of these comments from others criticizing KB makes me afraid of what other parents will say about me and how I raise my child (even if I do everything “perfectly”)….BUT, those comments from those parents on here who say it is OK to be afraid DOES give me hope that I CAN be a GOOD parent.

malit on

Gosh, I’m trying to get pregnant and I obviously don’t know yet how my feelings will evolve BUT I do know that I love my dog with all my heart. I rescued him and he has been my friend for the past ten years. We’ve gone through a lot… means that I totally can relate to statements like Kristens.

dudley doright on

her honesty is rare, someone else might not admit this stuff. But if that’s how she felt, then that’s how she felt.

But I don’t think paparazzi will be overly trying to take their baby’s photo, the parents are not that famous. Kristen is not Kim K or Drew Barrymore.

Think Twice on

Hey Kristen, save that Flare magazine for Lincoln and when she gets old enough to read, let us know how she reacted when she read it. Let’s see if honesty is the best policy when it comes to protecting our children.

Ayisha on

I really dislike when women say things like this about their children. Tamar Braxton said something much worse and it pissed me off. If you aren’t maternal you should not be having kids.

Sam on

What a moron. Self absorbed, pontificating, liberal idiot. Her comment isn’t “refreshing”… it’s stupid.

rubblebubblecake on

Haha. What a psychopath! “It could have been a water bottle in my belly.” How do you not love a human being (YOUR child) that’s growing in your own body? Oh, that’s right. She’s a liberal and it’s not a baby until it’s born. What a freak!

N on

Yes it’s good to be open about your feelings but it’s also sad that you didn’t realize the miracle that was happening within you. If you read What to Expect When You’re Expecting it truly makes you appreciate what a gift that little one is. Your upcoming months maybe very trying so you must recognize you created this life and you must parent with tenderness and love even if you’re exhausted.

Agape on

I loved my babies instantly upon finding out I was pregnant, but the clincher always was at the doctor’s office and hearing those heart beats for the first time. The love started blossoming even more from there!

Jac on

OOOOOH God. Some of you are too high and mighty. I didn’t fall in love with my child until the first time she smiled – THREE WEEKS AFTER SHE WAS BORN. I loved her and cared for her, but I didn’t feel ‘motherly’ until I saw her smile. At that smile it was instantaneous. Not every pregnant person has those warm tingly feelings. Not every new mother feels like, “Wow!!! I’m in love!”… It’s called HORMONES.

We all react differently. I’m not less of a mother and neither is she. I love my daughter more than anything in this world times a gazillion. I’m her mommy, her biggest defender, her advocate, I’d do anything for her, I’d give my life for hers, etc, etc. Feeling like a mother doesn’t always kick in because you’re pregnant or just saw your newborn baby.

iantoad on

I’ve always like her, but I’m not impressed with her on this. Water bottle? I hope their child never knows that.

Mommy of 2 on

I LOVE kids….I have 4 younger siblings, babysat tons, worked with special needs kids, and now work in education. I was VERY surprised that I did not feel strongly connected to my first baby right from conception (a much planned and wanted pregnancy). It took the birth of my first before I really fell in love with her. There is no shame in admitting what she said. If she still felt that way, then I’d be worried.

Abby on

I’m going to guess that many of these posters aren’t mothers themselves.

Nancy on

I love this girl. She speaks her mind without apology. True to her convictions. You tell ’em Kristen!! YOUR life is YOUR life. Enjoy your man and your beautiful creation with him.

Ceecee on

I respect her honesty because frankly, not every Mom bonds with their child immediately. Everyone’s different and I don’t think it’s right for people to make her feel bad about her true feelings. She’s a first time Mom, let her experience this journey for herself. No need for some of you to be judgmental about her.

Nancy on

Didn’t your mothers’ teach you that if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all? Geesh.

Leigh on

For those of you criticizing her, get a life. She is being honest and her feelings are shared by many during pregnancy, both women and men.

Jessi on

It seems like we have a lot of perfect parents according to these comments! The thing is, it is very common not to have a connection with your child during birth or even after if you have ppd. It’s not something you can control whether you do or not. If they could, don’t you think they would?? And when someone says something about it, you say she could keep it to herself?? Do you not think that someone else who is having the same feelings would be comforted to know it’s not just them?? Stop being so judgmental! Just because things didn’t happen to you this way doesn’t make it not normal or weird!

Lynette on

Why are people so hateful for people being honest and why is it a crime not to completely bond with your baby while pregnant or the day they were born? I really thought I would but didn’t. It was disappointing but everyday since I love my children more and more. It came later but it came and now I am completely infatuated with love for my kids. And I don’t feel guilty for it even if others try to make it a crime.

Cucs on

I’m currently pregnant nearing the third trimester and feel the same way, I have two dogs that I got when I first married and they have been our babies, I worry about how they will receive the baby and take the fact that they won’t be getting the same attention as the newborn. I feel no connection with the baby so far that is why I can empathize with her, we are not all cut from the same cloth, I know I will once I see her but so far it is just weird, exciting but weird.

Don’t listen to these people Kristen we get you, you have a wonderful family of humans and furries, keep on loving animals with the sane passion that you have, an inspiration of kindness!

ava on

OMG, I’m ROFL. I had the same fears. Thank you, Kristen, for your honesty.

Karolina on

I think this is very normal for a lot of women. I have some friends that felt this way during pregnancy, and fell instantly and completely in love with their babies at birth. I love her honesty!

MB1962 on

OK clearly some of you did not read the article. She never said she loved her dogs more than her child. She SAID she didn’t know how she was going to like her more than her dogs, but after 24 hours her hormones reset. Your hormones go crazy on you when you are pregnant.

It took me 2 weeks after my second child was born to bond with her because I was so depressed the whole time I was pregnant. But that does not make me a bad mom. I am close to all three of my children but I do believe there is a special bond between she and I because of the late connection. So people stop being so judgemental of someone you do not even know. I’m quite sure you are not a perfect mom either because they simply do not make a perfect person.

jessicad on

KEB, I was totally thinking some of these comments would go perfectly on STFU parents! I knew there would be a few of the judgmental jerks who wouldn’t even take the time to read the article before commenting about how she shouldn’t have children and how they bonded with their baby and everything is kittens and rainbows in their world, so predictable lol. They are only trying to make themselves feel superior. People need to understand that not everyone thinks the same or has the same experience, look outside your little box, good lord.

Love Kristen’s honesty, and I love the name Lincoln!

Claire on

There is something seriously wrong with her

Jane on

Wow that was refreshing! some real and honest feelings!

Chicky dee on

Strange how she names her dog ‘Lola’ yet her daughter is named “Lincoln” . What’s up with that?!

Paula on

Some people should not be parents. This poor girl has a mother who loves her dogs more. She compares her to a water bottle and says after 24 hours her hormones “reset”. The first moment you see your child is when bonding occurs. Another famous person having a baby as an accessory. So sad. I guess dog lovers can relate. It’s not like she said oh honey, idk if I’ll love the baby as much as my new Prada bag.

Anonymous on

I LOVE that she admitted this. I felt the same way. I didn’t feel a connection to my baby at all during pregnancy and I worried I would love my cat more. Then a few hours after she was born it was like a switch was flipped and I fell harder for that baby than I ever could have imagined. A lot of people feel this way…it’s difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that you’re having a real baby that is all yours. That doesn’t diminish the love you feel for your child when it’s born.

lily on

I felt the same way with my first daughter. I loved and felt connected as soon as I saw her. I’m pregnant with my second and its different, I feel more connected and more in love with this one. Maybe is lack of experience for FTM. I like her, and she was honest and trying to be funny. But I bet now, she loves her baby more than anybody in this world!!

deb on

I love my doggie. I love my child, but there’s, nor has there ever been, a conflict between the two with me. Sorry, I don’t get the point of this article? Sure my comment will attract some haters, but just saying.

Pink on

How can u not love ur pregnant is so powerful it move u and grow inside part of u but he dog don’t do anything with u inside (shaking my head) I don’t get u. Ur kid will banned you in the future if u don’t be too late no connection with ur daugther will grew up feeling unloved she will angry and or possible not want share with u. U will be regret if she ask I one day how do u like being pregnant how are u going to answer that. I love both my pregnant and I’m so closed knot both my kids. We both good bonding and crazy in love with both my babies. It possible u have no connect honset it hard to believe u love dog than ur own daughter grow inside u. It was very hurtful.

Anonymous on

What an idiot! Once you become a mother you could kill your dog if he hurts your child. Your dog will be dead in 15 max, your child is forever. Some people really shouldn’t have kids SMH

Ubee on

Could she be more of an idiot? Can’t stand her. First she didn’t want to marry the man she “loves” because gays couldn’t do the same. Why doesn’t she stop eating and drinking water until other people of the world can do the same. She is on crack!

rlb237 on

@Norpaw, lots of people equate pets with children. I don’t particularly want human children of my own and I have plenty of friends who feel the same way. Yet our pets are treated like our kids and we’re all perfectly happy that way.

Not every woman wants or feels a need to become a mother to a human baby.

Kelli on

I’m all about honesty, but honestly…I can’t believe it took that long to feel a connection to her baby! I’ve never been a crazy pet person, so maybe that’s why I don’t understand how someone could compare an animal to a human being that you actually created. You can’t help how you feel, so I’m not bashing her…just find it a little surprising!

Linda on

I didn’t feel a connection to my baby when I was pregnant either. He was still in my belly so there wasn’t anyone to know or take care of yet. It was only after my baby was born and I held him in my arms that I realized my life has changed forever. But once he was born, maternal instinct kicked in and I took care of my baby. He’s 6 years old now.

Practical on

I’m so tired of hearing how special animals are and that they supersede people in terms of love and care. We wonder why this country is crap an it’s partly because F’d up priorities like pets over children are applauded. This country is so happy to dress up pets in stupid outfits and buy our purse dogs steaks for lunch, yet we still have a foster system that barely scrapes by. This animal-worship has gotten so far out of hand… I can’t wait until China invades and eats all of our cats, our impotent society will be in chaos!

Natalie Bowman on

There is such a thing as being to honest. I guess Kristin Bell doesn’t have much compassion for humanity,as a whole, since she doesn’t care about anybody she doesn’t know personally. I just feel bad for Lincoln. She will no doubt read about her mother’s feeling one day. Also, Lincoln would have been a better name for a dog, not a child.

Rhonda on

I hope she never tells her kids this or that Lincoln ever reads this one day

Magnolia on

Motherhood is SO deified with movies and celebs, I can completely understand her comments. You think it’s going to be how it is on TV and it’s not. I don’t have kids but I have a dog. You have to understand, KB had no prior frame of reference for having a baby and her only touchpoint for maternal feelings are her dogs. I think this was a great comment. It’s a real comment that everyone is different and motherhood isn’t unicorns and roses. I like her even more. MICHIGAN!!!

P on

I would rather spend time with my dog than any of the babies or little kids I know! He is 1000% better than all of them, and 10,000% smarter than most of them.

Morgan on

Wow…as always, some hyper critical folks. Worrying about not bonding properly with your child seems like a fairly understandable anxiety for a first time mom. And I AIN’T a dog person. I am the first person to roll their eyes at people and their “fur babies,” but I still understand their mindset, no matter how ridiculous I find it. Good gravy people, glass houses!

Lauren on

I’ll try to say this in the nicest way as possible, but for all those people who are commenting on how she is idiot, just stop! I like to see all you put yourself in her shoes, it’s a bigger step for certain women to have a child. You guys are no where near perfect, so unless you have had a child I suggest you just keep your mouth shut. She is a role model for a lot of young girls out there because she hasn’t made an idiot out of herself like a lot of celebrities and knowing who she is. I suggest you think before you speak because I doubt you personally know her.

J abrams on

She is just so funny. No idea why people are offended. She’s a riot.

emily on

I felt the same way- you truly have NO IDEA how much you will love your baby until its born. You just have nothing to compare it to- except the love you feel for your pets!

It’s normal. She’s not a monster. You guys need to get real.

Isabel on

Most of these responses prove how necessary it is for more women to admit similar feelings. Not every parent falls instantly in love with their child the second they get a positive pregnancy test or the child is placed in their arms. There’s nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t make them bad parents.

Jack's Mum on

I won’t comment on what a woman should or should not feel when pregnant, but to admit a thought like this so publicly, where her child can eventually read it? Dumb dumb dumb. I definitely don’t respect that decision.

Tyler’s Mom on

Love her honesty and her sense of humor. Wish everyone could enjoy those attributes as well.

Michaela on

I feel TERRIBLE for the women who are pregnant right now, reading these comments, who have been informed that they are inhuman, non-maternal, selfish, frivolous twits for having normal, human reactions to a life-changing event like having a child, just because those reactions are NOT the same as some of the women who have commented here.

So much for compassion and decency. I’d much rather have the compassionate women who recognize that each woman’s experience is DIFFERENT raising my child or my DOG than some of you heartless, judgmental people.