The 15 Best Quotes About Fatherhood You Will Ever Hear

When a man becomes a father, his world changes more than a man without offspring can quite understand. Having children colors every aspect of a person’s life, enriching it here, complicating it there, bringing joy and frustration, pride and fatigue, and, often enough, plenty of abject confusion. While there are many guides, websites, and advice columns dedicated to the topic of parenting, that book they tell you about before you have kids? The one with all the answers that you get when you become a dad? Yeah, that’s not real. It turns out you have to figure most of it out on your own.

Fully appreciating how it feels to have kids may be nigh on impossible for the childless, and that proverbial Dad Book might not exist, but by reading through some famous quotes on fatherhood, you can get a decent sense of the heady madness of the experience.

Here are 15 great quotes about fatherhood by fathers that will help dads feel like maybe they’re not such big screw-ups after all. However, they might make other guys consider enhanced birth control options for a few more years.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
Commons/Wikimedia

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”

Mike Myers

Mike Myers
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

“Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it”

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

best fatherhood quotes walter m  schirra wikimedia nasa
Pictured is Walter M. Schirra Jr. NASA/Wikipedia

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”

Umberto Eco

best fatherhood quotes umberto eco wikimedia
Commons/Wikimedia

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe
Deborah Feingold/Getty Images

“[Man adopts] a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”

John Green

best fatherhood quotes john green getty images
Jim Spellman/Getty Images

“The nature of impending fatherhood is that you are doing something that you’re unqualified to do, and then you become qualified while doing it.”

J. August Strindberg

best fatherhood quotes j  august strindberg wikimedia
Commons/Wikimedia

“That is the thankless position of the father in the family — the provider for all, and the enemy of all.”

Ray Romano

best fatherhood quotes ray romano getty images
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“Having children is like living in a frat house. Nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.”

David Beckham

best fatherhood quotes david beckham getty images
David M. Benett/Getty Images

“I was selfish before. Everyone is. But when you have kids, they become your main priority.”

Barack Obama

obama beer
AFP/Getty Images

“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

Harry S. Truman

best fatherhood quotes president harry s  truman getty images
Bettmann/Getty Images

“I have found the very best way to advise your children is to find out what they want to do and advise them to do it.”

Frederick Douglas

best fatherhood quotes frederick douglas getty images
Wikipedia

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Charles Kettering

best fatherhood quotes charles kettering getty images
Denver Post/Getty Images

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”

For more inspiration, here are the best quotes about manhood.

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