Fatherhood changes everything in a man’s life. I can still remember the very first cries of my son and daughter in the delivery room. Remember it like it was yesterday. But I also remember the effect that those cries had on me.
Instantaneously my life changed. I’m not eloquent enough to describe it accurately but those little whimpers managed to both lift me up and come crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. In my first seconds of fatherhood, I had equal and opposite reactions. Life was going to be different. It was going to be harder and it was going to be so much better.
The good outweighs the bad by a large margin. However, on the bad days, I need a little reset. I need a little motivation to help me get my butt in gear. My kids need me every day, no matter how I feel.
Since I know I’m not the only dad who feels this way I’ve compiled a list of the best fatherhood quotes I could find.
He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
Clarence Budington Kelland
It is much easier to become a father than to be one.
You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway.
Be a dad. Don’t be ‘Mom’s Assistant’…. Be a man…. Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can’t dress and feed a four-year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids…. It won’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.
Pope John XXIII
I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.
A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.
Frank A. Clark
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.
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
Noble fathers have noble children.
The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.
Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn’t like to, in order to protect his family.
One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.
I would say my greatest achievement in life right now – my greatest achievement period is – and I’m still trying to achieve it – is to be a wonderful father to my kids.
I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother, and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line.
When you’re a dad, there’s no one above you. If I don’t do something that has to be done, who is going to do it?
Jonathan Safran Foer
Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.
If the past cannot teach the present, and the father cannot teach the son, then history need not have bothered to go on, and the world has wasted a great deal of time.
That is the thankless position of the father in the family—the provider for all, and the enemy of all.
J. August Strindberg
One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Howard W. Hunter
The best way of training the young is to train yourself at the same time; not to admonish them, but to be seen never doing that of which you would admonish them.
A boy needs a father to show him how to be in the world. He needs to be given swagger, taught how to read a map so that he can recognize the roads that lead to life and the paths that lead to death, how to know what love requires, and where to find steel in the heart when life makes demands on us that are greater than we think we can endure.
Ian Morgan Cron
Children are a poor man’s riches.
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.”
Until you have a son of your own . . . you will never know the joy beyond joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son. You will never know the sense of honor that makes a man want to be more than he is and to pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his son. And you will never know the heartbreak of the fathers who are haunted by the personal demons that keep them from being the men they want their sons to be.
When my son looks up at me and breaks into his wonderful toothless smile, my eyes fill up and I know that having him is the best thing I will ever do.
No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has a child and loves it.
Words have an awesome impact. The impression made by a father’s voice can set in motion an entire trend of life.
Children need models rather than critics.
Mostly you just have to keep plugging and keep loving—and hoping that your child forgives you according to how you loved him, judged him, forgave him, and stood watching over him as he slept, year after year.
Life doesn’t come with an instruction book — that’s why we have fathers.
H. Jackson Browne
When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.
By profession, I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am also prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys.
General Douglas MacArthur
The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets not only for himself but for his family.
Children of the new millennium when change is likely to continue and stress will be inevitable, are going to need, more than ever, the mentoring of an available father.
Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.
Someday you will know that a father is much happier in his children’s happiness than in his own. I cannot explain it to you: it is a feeling in your body that spreads gladness through you.
Honore de Balzac
A child enters your home and for the next twenty 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
It’s only when you grow up and step back from him—or leave him for your own home—it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it.