With five little ones at home, it's safe to call Jim Gaffigan a parenting expert. And, being that he's a stand-up comic and author, it's safe to assume that anything he has to say on the subject will be hysterical. From waxing poetic about sleep training to keeping it real about traveling with kids, here are Jim Gaffigan's 15 best quotes on parenthood.
1. On kids making life more fun, not less: "People treat having a kid as somehow retiring from success. Quitting. Have you seen a baby? They're pretty cute. Loving them is pretty easy. Smiling babies should actually be categorized by the pharmaceutical industry as a powerful antidepressant. Being happy is really the definition of success, isn't it?"
Parents may not be able to head out to a 9 p.m. movie for date night anymore, but there is a bright side: They have a baby.
2. On sleep training: "There are two philosophies when it comes to getting young children to sleep. There is 'sleep training,' which basically involves putting your kids to bed and listening to them scream all night; or there is 'attachment parenting,' which essentially involves lying down with your kids, cuddling them, and then listening to them scream all night."
Parents: Pick your poison.
3. On living with a baby: "Babies are the worst roommates. They're unemployed. They don't pay rent. They keep insane hours. Their hygiene is horrible. If you had a roommate that did any of the things babies do, you'd ask them to move out."
Hey, at least they have the adorable thing going for them.
4. On questioning whether you're doing a good job: "Every night before I get my one hour of sleep, I have the same thought: 'Well, that's a wrap on another day of acting like I know what I'm doing.' I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not. Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake."
Moral of the story? Everyone feels like they're faking it sometimes.
5. On kids' universal disdain for bedtime: "Bedtime makes you realize how completely incapable you are of being in charge of another human being. My children act like they've never been to sleep before. 'Bed? What's that? No, I'm not doing that.' They never want to go to bed. This is another thing that I will never have in common with my children. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, 'When can I come back here?' It's the carrot that keeps me motivated."
There isn't a parent alive who can't relate to this. Also: Why do kids hate going to bed so much when it's the greatest thing ever?!
6. On toddlers: "Toddler judgment is horrible. They don't have any. Put a 12-month-old on a bed, and they will immediately try and crawl off head-first like a lemming on a mindless migration mission. But the toddler mission is never mindless. They have two goals: Find poison and find something to destroy."
They're adorable as all get-out, but few parents have the endurance to keep up with a toddler all day. Hence, #wine.
7. On having a large brood: "You know what it's like having a fourth kid? Imagine you're drowning, then someone hands you a baby."
You know what they say: One kid feels like one, two kids feel like 20. What the heck does five feel like?!
8. On the awesomeness of moms: "Women are amazing. Think about it this way: A woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to the male's contribution to life, it's kind of embarrassing, really."
Well, when you put it like that, Jim...
9. On how parents feel sometimes: "Raising kids may be a thankless job with ridiculous hours, but at least the pay sucks."
Gaffigan is obviously kidding here, but man, parenting can be rough sometimes.
10. On knowing when your kids are lying: "Whenever one of my children says, 'Goodnight, Daddy,' I always think to myself, 'You don't mean that.'"
Every mom and dad knows that, despite going through the motions of bedtime, it doesn't necessarily mean it's sleepytime when you'e a kid.
11. On harnessing your sense of humor: "Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent."
If you can't laugh and shrug off the insanity of parenting sometimes, you might go a little crazy.
12. On potty training: "I've become one of those parents who demand their children go to the bathroom. 'But I don't have to.' 'Well, go anyway.'"
Because if you don't, you hear this five minutes into the car ride: "Daaaad, I have to go potty."
13. On puppies preparing people for parenthood: "Occasionally, a dog will be presented as some training method for having a baby. 'My girlfriend and I got a dog. We are going to see if we can handle that before we have kids.' This is a little like testing the waters of being a vegetarian by having lettuce on your burger. Okay, maybe that metaphor doesn't make sense, but neither does using a dog as a training method for having a baby."
Remember folks: You can leave a dog home alone.
14. On traveling with kids: "Whenever I travel with my young children, I'm always reminded of an important travel lesson: Never travel with my young children."
Vacations may be fun, but getting there with kids definitely is not.
15. On the sleep deprivation that comes with parenting: "You are not only waking up sleep deprived, but now you are also sleep deprived and in charge of another human being."
And by some miracle, you manage to get through it.