He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying that Louis C.K. has some pretty insightful things to say about parenting—regardless of his (sometimes shocking!) brutal honesty. From waxing poetic about how being a parent is sometimes, well, boring to discussing how marriage changes after kids enter the picture, here are 13 of the comedian's best quotes about having children (he's a dad of two girls). And, yes, they're hilarious.
1. On the difference between raising boys and girls: "Boys are hard to raise, man. All my sisters have boys and I just feel for them because it's really hard. Girls are just as hard to raise but on a whole other level. They just—they're different. Here's the difference, to me, between boys and girls: Boys f**k things up. Girls are f**ked up."
While not every parent may share this exact sentiment, most of us would agree that there's a big difference between raising boys vs. girls
2. On not caving to societal cell phone pressure: "Some parents really struggle with, 'All the other kids have the terrible thing so my kid has to.' No. Let your kid go and be a better example to the s**tty kids. Just because the other stupid kids have phones doesn't mean, 'Okay, well my kid has to be stupid otherwise she'll feel weird.'"
Well, when you put it that way, it kinda sounds like a no-brainer.
3. On watching your kiddo's play, performance, or dance: "There's no more joyful feeling in the human experience than when a child's play is over.... Nothing feels that good, when you can say, 'I'm not watching that any longer.' Every second my daughter is on stage, I can't breathe because I'm so proud of her, but this is a bad show."
We all love seeing our kids up on stage, but let's be honest, it's not exactly Shakespeare.
4. On children's love of conversation: "I enjoy the things [my daughter] says. They're beautiful and poetic, I love hearing them—but I don't have to f**king hear any of it. And that's an important distinction [to make]. If you're a parent you just start making it, because you can't listen to them all the time that they're talking, because they're talking all the time. And they just talk whenever. They don't give a s**t what you're doing or if it's a good time. I'm in a shootout with the cops and she's telling me all kinds of s**t. She doesn't care because she's 5. They're self-absorbed people."
Hear that? So, cut yourself a little slack, OK?
5. On being bored: "'I'm bored' is a useless thing to say. You live in a great big vast world that you've seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, infinitely. You understand? The fact that you're alive is amazing. So you don't get to be bored."
A good theory, but maybe don't put it to kids quite like that.
6. On being the best dad possible: "Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can't dress and feed a 4-year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids and have your own ideas about what they need. Get into it. It won't take away your manhood—it'll give it to you. I did that. I spent more time with my kids. I took it on. I found out that I'm a pretty bad father. I make a lot of mistakes. I don't know what I'm doing. But my kids love me, go figure."
The lesson? There's no such thing as a perfect parent. Just show up. That's all your kids really want.
7. On how parenting isn't always fun, fun, fun!: "It's hard having kids because it's boring... It's just being with them on the floor while they be children. They read Clifford the Big Red Dog to you at a rate of 50 minutes a page, and you have to sit there and be horribly proud and bored at the same time."
Parenting is nothing if not a constant mix of emotions!
8. On kids' icky germs: "Kids are like buckets of disease. Last week I got a flu that I caught because my daughter coughed...into my mouth."
Yep. Once you have kids, any and all things civilized go out the window.
9. On parents being pushed too far: "You know when you see a mother someplace just melting down on her kid? She's like, 'Shut up, I hate you, you're ugly!'...Any parents there are thinking, 'What did that s**tty kid do to that poor woman? That poor woman. I wish I could help."
See? It happens to the best of us. Every once in a while, moms and dads just need to have a tantrum of their own.
10. On baby names: "There are no laws on naming your children. None. You can name them anything you want. I'd like to name my kid a whole phrase. You know, something like 'Ladies and Gentlemen.' That'll be a cool name for a kid. 'This is my son, Ladies and Gentlemen!' Then, when he gets out of hand, I get to go, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, please!'"
Possible new baby-naming trend?
11. On kids becoming the center of your world: "When you first get married, you have a relationship that's so important to you, and you're working on it together. But then you have a kid. And you look at your kid and you go, 'Holy s**t, this is my child. She has my DNA. She has my name. I would die for her.' And you look at your spouse and go, 'Who the f**k are you? You're a stranger.'"
In other words, once your child is born, he or she becomes your everything. Plain and simple.
12. On parent friends: "I used to like people more, but now I have children and that changes your life in a lot of ways. Like you spend time with people you never would have chosen to spend time with, not in a million years. I spend whole days with people, I'm like, 'I never would have hung out with you. I didn't choose you. Our children chose each other based on no criteria by the way. They're the same size. They don't care who they make me hang out with.'"
It's true. Sadly, you won't like the parent of every child your kid makes friends with.
13. On equipping kids with necessary life tools: "I'm not raising children. I'm raising the grown-ups they're going to be. I have to raise them with the tools to get through a terrible life. That's the way I look at it."
Well, hopefully our kids' lives won't be terrible, but it's a great reminder that the things we do today affect our kids in the future.