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38 Fatherhood Quotes That Capture What It's Like To Be A Dad

The feeling of being a father may be hard to explain, but these quotes do a pretty great job.

Taking care of kids is no small responsibility, and the love a father feels for his kids can be so overwhelming. Of course, it’s normal to feel a jumble of emotions about fatherhood: fear of not being a great parent, happy to have your kids in your life, the stress of being in a provider role, confusion about what you’re supposed to do next — the list could go on and on. It’s nice to read fatherhood quotes that really just seem to understand and explain the heartwarming and complicated feeling that is fatherhood.

Whether you want to express all of the sentimental feelings that come with being a dad, spark inspiration in a new dad — or maybe even in yourself when you’re feeling the struggle — there are so many quotes that beautifully explain the complexity of being a parent. And then there are the funny quotes too, which make light of the most difficult emotions and situations and end up leaving you feeling less alone.

Below is a list of some of the best fatherhood quotes that really nail what it’s like to be a dad. Share them with others or keep them to yourself, or show them to the dad in your life who deserves to hear something nice.

Sentimental fatherhood quotes

Only other dads could understand this perfectly how very much you love your kids.

  • “He adopted a role called being a father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a protector.” — Tom Wolfe
  • “Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.” — Mike Myers
  • "Fatherhood is the greatest thing that could ever happen. You can't explain it until it happens — it's like telling someone what water feels like before they've ever swam in it." — Michael Bublé
  • "A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely.” — Emile Gaboriau
  • "It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons." — Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
  • “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” — Billy Graham
  • "Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song." — Pam Brown
  • “They didn't do anything, they just exist and you love them completely, but it’s not built on anything other than their existence.” — John Legend
  • “Every son’s first superhero is his father.” — Tiger Shroff
  • “Of all the titles I’ve been privileged to have, ‘Dad’ has always been the best.” — Ken Norton
  • “When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that's happened that day just melts away." — Hugh Jackman
  • “A child enters your home and for the next 20 years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad.” — John Andrew Holmes
  • “Dads teach us lots of things, but the real lesson is always love.” — Keely Chace

Funny fatherhood quotes

When it’s hard, you’ve just got to laugh about it. Or, better yet, crack a dad joke.

  • “Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.” — Reed Markham
  • "A father carries pictures where his money used to be." — Steve Martin
  • "When you're young, you think your dad is Superman. Then you grow up, and you realize he's just a regular guy who wears a cape." — Dave Attell
  • "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong." — Charles Wadsworth
  • “I don't have to prepare to be wrapped around my daughter's finger. I have been wrapped around her little finger since the day she plopped out into this world.” — Ryan Reynolds
  • “Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories.” — John Wilmot
  • “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they’re always watching you.” — Robert Fulghum
  • “I would say that the hardest thing about being a parent is these goddamned kids.” — Andy Richter
  • “I feel like you don’t realize what it means to be a parent until you become a parent of your own. Then you feel this tremendous guilt and have this urge to apologize to your father. You just don’t realize what you’re doing to your parents in every aspect of life.” — Max Greenfield
  • “I would define the new aspects of fatherhood like this: It is 75% amazing and 25% demoralizing. I think any new parent can understand exactly what I’m talking about.” — Daniel Bryan
  • “If you’re not yelling at your kids, you aren’t spending enough time with them.” — Mark Ruffalo
  • “You don’t need drugs when you have a [baby]. You’re awake, you’re paranoid, you smell bad… it’s the same thing.” — Robin Williams
  • “Good dads forgive your mistakes. Great dads help you hide them from mom.” — Bill Gray
  • “It is so embarrassing how I went from a person who did not care about anyone’s children. Then you have them, and you brag about the same stuff that you never cared about. And you tell people, ‘He’s got four teeth,’ like they care.” — Seth Meyers

Inspirational fatherhood quotes

To help keep you going when the days are long, or help you keep your cool when the kids are tough.

  • “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets not only for himself but for his family.” — Reed Markham
  • “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.” — John Green
  • “Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.” — Frank Pittman
  • “Life doesn’t come with an instruction book — that’s why we have fathers.” — H. Jackson Browne
  • “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass
  • “A father is the perfect blend of superhero, coach, and friend.” — Jeannie Hund
  • “Being a father isn’t always clear skies and smooth sailing. But every bit of the journey, the ups and downs and in-betweens, makes it an even more meaningful adventure.” — Courtney Taylor
  • “There is no greater name for a leader than mother or father. There is no leadership more important than parenthood.” — Sheri L. Drew
  • “Dad hugs are strong hugs that can say so many things, like ‘I’ve got you. I’m always right here. And I’ll always love you.’ — Melvina Young
  • “It takes a man of gentleness and patience, strength and compassion to be the fine example of fatherhood that you’ve been.” — Diana Manning
  • “Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.” — David Gottesman

Bottom line: It can be hard to find the perfect words that capture exactly what it’s like to be a dad. But these quotes about fatherhood somehow manage to do exactly that, and because of that, they’re worth sharing.