Tina Fey seems to know the highs and lows of parenting all too well.
The famous funny mom has two daughters, 11-year-old Alice and 5-year-old Penelope. Throughout her time as a parent, Fey has been very candid about her experience ― from the relatable motherhood passages in her best-selling book Bossypants to her countless hilarious interviews.
In honor of her 47th birthday, we’ve rounded up her funniest and most spot-on quotes about parenting. Enjoy!
1. “Kids are definitely the boss of you. Anyone who will barge into the room while you are on the commode is the boss of you. And when you explain to them that you’re on the commode and that they should leave but they don’t? That’s a high-level boss.”
2. “I never get to go to movies, because I’m a mom.”
3. “You’re just like a human napkin for kids, like, they just wipe their face on you and stuff.”
4. “It’s so funny because they’re not strong enough to kill you. And they want to kill you so bad! They can’t kill you. Not yet. Try again in a couple years.”
5. “Ah, babies! They’re more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts.”
6. “It is less dangerous to draw a cartoon of Allah French-kissing Uncle Sam — which, let me make it very clear, I have not done — than it is to speak honestly about [working moms].”
7. “I had to get back to work. NBC has me under contract. The baby and I only have a verbal agreement.”
8. “Whatever you do breastfeeding-wise — great. Great. Whatever.”
9. “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”
10. “And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that shit. I will not have it.”
11. “My older one is sweet and really easy going and my little one is rough. She is smart. That’s the problem, too. When she is mad at you, she will just take you apart.”
12. “I struggle because I worry she will be on the naughty list. There are times where I feel she should be on the naughty list, but then if that happens then there will sort of be hell to pay for mommy. I don’t want to be the one there on Christmas morning, be like, ‘Guess what happened? Coal. You got nothing.’”
13. “I was putting makeup on the other day, and [my daughter] was like ‘I want some makeup,’ and I said ‘OK, you can have a little.’ So I’m giving her a little makeup … and she goes … ‘Mommy, I look prettier than you.’ I’m like, ‘All right, you’re 3, I’m 44, I get it.’”
14. “’My mother did this for me once,’ she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. ‘My mother did this for me.’ And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know.”
15. “[Liz Lemon] is used to sacrificing her dignity for others, which is parenting in a nutshell.”
16. “‘How do you juggle it all?’ people constantly ask me, with an accusatory look in their eyes. ‘You’re screwing it all up, aren’t you?’ their eyes say. My standard answer is that I have the same struggle as any working parent but with the good fortune to be working at my dream job. Or sometimes I just hand them a juicy red apple I’ve poisoned in my working-mother witch cauldron and fly away.”
17. “I think this is ingenious marketing, but that princess thing sets off an alarm bell for me. [I’m afraid] all that might creep back into our culture. That a girl would aspire to be the Little Mermaid, a beautiful redhead with no legs who waits for her prince! Who literally gives up her voice! What are we doing? What is going on?”
18. “My daughter was playing the other day and almost knocked an Emmy … on her head. I was like, ‘Oh, that would have been terrible.’ Can you imagine having to fill out an accident report at the hospital? ‘An Emmy fell on my kid’s head.’”
19. “All over Manhattan, large families have become a status symbol. Four beautiful children named after kings and pieces of fruit are a way of saying, ‘I can afford a four-bedroom apartment and a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in elementary-school tuition fees each year. How you livin’?”
20. “When my daughter says, ‘I wish I had a baby sister,’ I am stricken with guilt and panic. When she says, ‘Mommy, I need Aqua Sand’ or ‘I only want to eat gum!’ or ‘Wipe my butt!,’ I am less affected.
21. “[Alice] has a pretend hair-and-nail shop, and I was doing her hair and make-up. I said, ‘Hello ma’am. What’s your name? What do you do?’ And she said, ‘I get paid to dance at parties.’ And I said, ‘Oh, no. That’s a terrible, terrible answer.’”
22. “When I read fairy tales to my daughter, I always change the word ‘blond’ to ‘yellow,’ because I don’t want her to think that blond hair is somehow better.”
23. “Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.”
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