Wanda Sykes is a proud mother to twins Lucas and Olivia with her wife.
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Wanda Sykes’ 12-Year-Old Twins Mostly “Speak TikTok” These Days

And she fully admits she has “no idea” what they’re talking about.

Wanda Sykes is one of three funny women set to host the 94th Annual Academy Awards on March 27. The Emmy award-winning comedian will join Regina Hall and Amy Schumer on the stage in a move that is guaranteed to keep us laughing all night. Parents will especially enjoy watching Sykes host the show, as The Upshaws star is known for making her family a central part of her comedy and has tons of relatable quotes on parenting — like when she said, “I’m going to be tired for the rest of my life.” So true! Before tuning into the Oscars, you may want a quick refresher on Sykes’ wife, Alex Niedbalski, whom she married in 2008, and their 12-year-old twins, Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude. Here’s what you need to know about this cool family.

Wanda likes to surprise her wife Alex.

Sykes loves to keep it real, and part of that is teasing her wife for her love of all things glam. In fact, she gets so excited about upcoming trips and exciting events, that Sykes has taken to keeping them a surprise. In a recent interview with People, Sykes revealed she keeps things a secret until the last minute because Niedbalski “would drive me nuts.”

“I can't tell her stuff because she would drive me nuts asking about it every day,” Sykes told the magazine. “Like I'll tell her, 'Oh guess what? I'm shooting a movie in Hawaii,' as I'm heading the airport.” When Sykes found out she was going to host the Oscars, she revealed her wife responded by saying, “What am I going to wear?”

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To be fair, sometimes Niedbalski keeps things from Sykes, too. Niedbalski is French and taught their two kids to speak the language, which they sometimes do to make secret plans in front of Sykes. In a 2017 interview with Seth Meyers, Sykes joked that she doesn’t quite understand what they’re talking about all the time, revealing “I’m like ‘OK, we’re going to brunch!’ and they’re like ‘well, yeah,’ and next thing you know, I’m sitting in the middle of the lake on a canoe.” At least it’s all in good fun!

Her kids are not given choices about everything.

Sykes opened up about how it can backfire to give your kids choices about things — especially in front of other people. Per Huffpost, Sykes once said, “Parenting really is a job. It’s on-the-job training...You cannot give your kids options, choices. I learned that the hard way, big mistake. I’m on the phone with my mother, really sweet woman. And my daughter walks by, and I say, ‘Olivia, you wanna talk to Grandma?’ And she goes, ‘No thank you.’”

Sykes is in a constant state of tired as a parent.

In 2016, Sykes told Vulture that sleep was super important to her — and so hard to come by as a parent. “Yeah, no one sleeps for at least the first year with a newborn,” she said. “And it does get better. They eventually do fall asleep. But to me that was the biggest shock and also the hardest thing to get through was just how tired I was, just the lack of sleep.”

The lack of sleep returned during the pandemic, when Sykes shared how many roles she took on with her kids in a 2020 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She said, “The majority of my time now is the cafeteria lady, the janitor and the hall monitor. It’s crazy. By the time they go to bed, Alex and I sit down to watch something, and we barely make it through an episode of anything. We both fall asleep.”

Above all, Sykes says parenting is all about teamwork.

Sykes didn’t know if she would be a mom, until she met Niedbalski. In a 2021 essay for InStyle, she wrote, “Motherhood wasn't something I always knew I wanted though. When I was younger, for some reason I sort of always thought I would be a single mother, and then I didn't know if I would have kids at all. But after I met Alex, it was like, ‘Of course. Why not?’”

Now, they do everything together. “As parents, we're a team,” she added. “Whenever there is an area where I might be lacking, she covers me, and vice versa. We always have each other's backs, and I think that's been really huge in our relationship. Our kids are 12 now, and I am so proud when they're being kind, polite, and respectful. But mostly they speak TikTok, so I have no idea what they're saying.”