Parenting is one of those daunting topics in which you spend 9 months preparing to take on a new role, only to realize you actually had no idea what to expect.
The whole, "I wish they had a rulebook" thing is real, especially for new parents.
And even if you've survived your first kid and feel like you've got a handle on things, there is no guarantee that your next child will be anything like the first.
But while there may not be a rulebook for raising functional human beings, there are definitely some things to be gleaned from those who have (or have had) young children before us.
So when you need a little inspiration or a reminder that you aren’t alone, look no further than these 35 best parenting quotes.
Keep It Lighthearted
Most parents will recommend that you find some humor in the messes. Take it from these well-known parents who have learned to have fun in the midst of chaos.
I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.
-Frank A. Clark
Becoming a mom to me means that you have accepted that for the next 16 years of your life, you will have a sticky purse.
Side effect of Go, Dog, Go, the best book ever: your son will tell total strangers on the bus that he does not like their hat.
-Lin Manuel Miranda
Once you sign on to be a mother, 24/7 is the only shift they offer.
Related: Parenting Stories on ChatterSource
There are only two things a child will share willingly; communicable diseases and its mother’s age.
When I tell my kids I'll do something in a minute, what I'm really saying is "Please forget."
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
-Franklin P. Jones
Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.
Having children is like living in a frat house — nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.
When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early, or acting like you know what you’re doing.
This is one thing they forget to mention in most child-rearing books, that at times you will just lose your mind. Period.
If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you’re making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can’t find a towel or a sponge or your “inside” voice.
Usually the triumph of my day is, you know, everybody making it to the potty.
On Unconditional Love
Parents and unconditional love go hand-in-hand. Or at least, they should. These quotes are for the sentimental moms and dads out there who want to get in touch with their softer side.
And with fatherhood in mind, Elliot Katz, author of Being A Strong Man that a Woman Wants shares his thoughts about the important role of being a dad.
"Sometimes new fathers feel they don't know how to care for a child and will just do whatever their wives tell them to do. It's good to help your wife, but a father also has to be more than a mother's helper. He has to learn to know what is going on with their child and be able to take action when it's needed.”
We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves.
-Henry Ward Beecher
I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.
The nature of impending fatherhood is that you’re doing something that you are unqualified to do, and then you become qualified while doing it.
A parent's love is whole no matter how many times divided.
On Raising ‘Em Right
Why is parenting such a struggle? And who gets to say if we are successful? For all the questions running through your mind after each time you lose your temper or your child has a tantrum, here are some words to help you recenter on what is actually important and help boost your child’s self-esteem along the way.
We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.
-Franklin P. Adams
Your children need your presence more than your presents.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
The question isn’t so much, “Are you parenting the right way?” as it is: “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”
It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
- LR Knost
But kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.
If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.
The thing about parenting rules is there aren't any. That's what makes it so difficult.
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.
Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.
Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they’re already asleep.
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.
-Lady Bird Johnson
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
-Charles R. Swindoll
Some Final Thoughts
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. There are days that will try your patience and you will discover the exact number of minuscule hours of sleep you will need to get through the day.
You will watch your child get hurt, fail and yet somehow continue on their own beautiful path of life.
And somehow, in the middle of it all, we realize there is nowhere else we would rather be than with our kids.
And in honor of unsolicited advice and inspiration, I’ll leave you with one final thought:
“What good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all.” -Benjamin Spock
You might also be interested in: How To Set A Good Example For Your Kids And Make The World A Better Place