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The Ultimate List of Parenthood Quotes

This list of parenthood quotes might help you retain your sense of humor and a cheery outlook while dealing with the challenges of parenting.

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There are a lot of great things about being a parent, but, if grown-ups are honest, they’ll admit that parenthood isn’t always for the faint of heart. While raising kids is undeniably rewarding and fulfilling in many ways, the task often involves the occasional heartbreak and some difficult times.

The key to “surviving” parenthood is to do your best to retain a sense of humor and a cheery outlook even when the path ahead looks bleak due to behavioral issues, potty training challenges, or, simply, the terrible twos or dreaded teenage years. Although it’s not necessarily a quote about parenting, “this too shall pass” is a refrain that’s helped a countless number of parents get through tricky times with their kids and it may help you through some parenting struggles as well just like a list of parenthood quotes might.

Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition is packed full of 50+ challenges that allow you to make the most of quality time with the kids! As you scratch off each unique suggestion, you’ll find an opportunity to work as a team, explore the world around you, complete tasks, and share a few laughs. A key is included to help you pick content that suits your needs, but otherwise, each adventure is a surprise waiting to be uncovered. Grab yourself a copy and discover your next adventure!

Print-Worthy Parenting Quotes

Similar to life quotes in general, parenting quotes run the gamut from the hilarious to the contemplative, grateful, and self-flagellating. Depending on your mood, outlook, and current circumstances, you may find that certain ruminations ring more truly than others at times. And there’s nothing wrong with that because there isn’t a shortage of parenting sayings to match all of parenthood’s ebbs and flows.

“It’s funny when you think back on the parent you thought you’d be before you had kids and how you judge other parents. Then you give in to the reality of it and just wing it.” – Maya Rudolph

Many young people judge parents before they become parents themselves, only to find themselves regretting it down the line. It’s easy to know everything before you’ve taken a dive into the otherworldliness that is parenting, but it’s another thing entirely when you’re actually responsible for a child’s life and you have to figure things out on the fly.

“Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they are born and start using sleep deprivation to torture you.” – Ray Romano

If you’re already raising kids, then it’s likely you know sleep deprivation all too well. Unfortunately, parenthood and sleep don’t usually go hand-in-hand but, hopefully, you can make up for those lost hours of sleep by dropping the kids off at their grandparents’ home for a long weekend.

“I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early, or the acting like you know what you’re doing.” – Jim Gaffigan

This funny parenting quote rings true for a lot of grown-ups, particularly new parents. Let us know which task you think is the most tiring in the comments section below!

“People who say they sleep like babies usually don’t have them.” – Leo J. Burke

This is one of our team’s favorite quotes simply because it’s so true.

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.” – Sue Atkins

While every parent wants to give their kids the best experience growing up, the truth is parents are susceptible to making mistakes, suffering from mood swings, embarrassing their kids, and, even worse, ordering apple slices instead of fries when they get their children Happy Meals. The thing is, your kids will forgive all those things as long as they know you’ve got their backs, you love them unconditionally, and that you’re doing your level best.

“Having a child is like getting a tattoo … on your face. You better be committed.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

We couldn’t have said it any better. Nicely put, Elizabeth Gilbert!

“There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” – Anne Lamott

Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’ve raised a veritable brood of kids, parenting will tap your hearts and your very being in ways you never could have imagined. Parenthood will also open your mind up to new experiences you may not have considered otherwise.

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” – Nora Ephron

Leave it to Nora Ephron to come up with one of the most hilarious parenthood quotes of all time. Given the nature of her career, it should come as no surprise that Ephron is credited with various sharp-witted quips about parenting.

During her lifetime, Ephron was nominated for the Writer’s Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the following three films:

  • Silkwood
  • When Harry Met Sally…
  • Sleepless in Seattle

In addition to films like “Julie & Julia,” and “You’ve Got Mail,” Ephron scripted award-winning plays like “Imaginary Friends” and “Lucky Guy.” With such an enviable pedigree, we can only imagine what other quotes Ephron would have shared had she not passed away in 2012.

If you’re making dinner tonight, we have a bonus quip from Ephron for you, and it’s, “You can never have too much butter – that is my belief. If I have a religion, that’s it.”

“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.” – Marisa de los Santos

The author of “Love Walked In,” Marisa de los Santos is spot on when she says that, of all the balls you might have in the air, raising children is the one you can’t drop.

“Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson

We don’t know about you, but we think the former first lady’s words equate to one of the most inspirational quotes about child-rearing that we’ve come across to date. Set your kids up for success by believing in them from the start.

“Having a baby dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the world of self-absorption.” – Paul Reiser

Typically known for his comedic performances, there’s nothing funny about Paul Reiser’s quote about parenting. You have to look, love, and live beyond yourself to be a good parent. The moment you become a parent, the world stops being about you and starts being all about the tiny human being you’ve brought into the world.

“Parenting is not for sissies. You have to sacrifice and grow up.” — Jillian Michaels

If you’ve ever seen Jillian Michaels trying to motivate someone to work out, then you know she’s the polar opposite of a sissy. Michaels has two kids with ex-fiancée Heidi Rhoades, so we suspect that her parenting quote is based on firsthand experience.

“Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.” – Gary Smalley

This is one of the inspirational quotes that remind us all about the power of the spoken word. Of course, the opposite is true, meaning saying the wrong things can dim or extinguish the light in the room of possibilities. With that in mind, it’s even more important for you to choose your words carefully whenever you have to discipline, correct, or constructively criticize your children.

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” – Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey has made a career out of her way with words for decades, and eager followers continue to lap up her pearls of wisdom to this day. Whether or not you’re a fan of the business mogul, this gem is 100 percent accurate.

If you doubt that, think about all the stepparents out there. Stepmoms and stepdads allow themselves to love children who aren’t theirs, and they often participate in the costs incurred to raise their stepchildren.

“We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher

As Anne Lamott’s quote hinted at earlier, having children opens you up to love like you’ve never known before. While your kids know you love them, it probably won’t be until they have their own children that they’ll truly know how much or the way you care for them.

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The former president certainly spoke the truth when he uttered this parenting quote, didn’t he? Parents can build their children for the future by nurturing, supporting, and encouraging them and doing the hardest part of parenting, disciplining, and constructively criticizing them when necessary.

“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” – Dorothy Parker

Good one, Dorothy Parker! But you forgot to advise people to get an air compressor so they can put the air back in the tires when they need some “me time” away from their kids.

“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do, too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” – Joyce Maynard

Maynard’s quote is as much about the personal growth of both children and parents as it is the need for parents to raise their kids by example. If you want to set the example of spending quality time as a family, we suggest you get yourself a copy of Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition!

“A two-year old is kind of like a blender, but you don’t have any top for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld

This quip is one of the great quotes that are funny and relevant because they’re so undeniably and universally relatable. If you think of a two-year-old having a tantrum in a public place like a grocery store, Seinfeld’s statement rings particularly true. That’s because, at that moment, the kid’s parent wishes more than anything that they had a top for their blender-like child so they could stop being the subject of onlookers’ stares.

“Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” – Bill Ayers

Children need unconditional love to grow into the best versions of their adult selves. Unless your kids are doing something that’s not appropriate, you should try to refrain from correcting them. Children learn through mistakes and they should be able to express themselves how they choose. Just because you might not agree that your children should take up the trumpet and drums respectively, it doesn’t mean you should correct their choices because there’s nothing wrong with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best parenting advice?

Some of the best advice for moms and dads comes in the form of parenting quotes. Whether the source is a world-renowned celebrity or an “average” parent, there are so many words of wisdom!

What is a good parenting quote?

Gary Smalley once said, “Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.” Find more parenting quotes at!

What are some funny parenting quotes?

Check out the parenting quotes at to find funny samples from Jerry Seinfeld, Maya Rudolph, Paul Reiser, and others. While you’re there, pick up a scratch-off family adventure book!

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