the most difficult thing about parenting featured image with three boys tackling dad

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What is the hardest part of being a parent? Well, OBVIOUSLY the hardest thing about being a parent is that, in the grand scheme of things, you have very little control over the most precious part of your life–your children.

That thought is pretty much terrifying.

But there are other hard things about parenting too, and some of those are also a little bit hilarious.

I asked a group of parents to share their honest-but-hilarious thoughts about the most difficult parts of parenthood and their answers were just perfect.

Real parents share the most difficult but hilarious things about parenting text over a family pin image
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If you’ve found yourself in a bit of despair, wondering when does parenting get easier, I suggest you check out some of these quotes and stories for the laugh every parent in the trenches deserves!

To start us off, I’ll share my personal frustration and contribution.

One of the hardest things for me (i.e. most annoying) is trying to change a baby or toddler’s poopy diaper while they claw and fight violently to get away. Like, dude, you are covered in feces!!


I know, in the scheme of things, this is a minor frustration. I have four boys–at least one of whom is a bit of a drama king — and we have so many more significant sources of chaos, fighting, and whining in our day, EVERY day.

Yet, for some reason, that baby bucking like a wild bronco as I try to clean him off and keep poop from going everywhere just reeeeeeeeally drives me nuts.

But enough about me. Here’s what some other hilariously frustrated parents had to say…

This quote from Tara was one of my absolute favorites!

Her gripe with parenting is how, when something is really embarrassing, that’s when a kid is at their absolute loudest. She writes,

“My then 5 year old was with me in Target. He’s looking around the aisle when he comes running up to me yelling, “Here’s the box you always buy, Mommy!” I look down and he’s holding the biggest box of Magnum condoms I’ve ever seen. The super-sized bordello box. People are now staring at me. He saw the word, ‘Magnum’ and thought they were the Magnum ice cream bars I buy.”

Humiliating? Check.

Hilarious? Also check!

Of course, beyond the embarrassing, there’s the everyday frustrating.

When you give birth to a tiny little newborn, you don’t realize how quickly that baby will grow into a master negotiator.

Brandi made it clear that “negotiating” was the hardest thing about parenting for her when she shared a recent conversation with her four-year-old litigator child:

“When you get done with lunch, you are going to alone time.”

4yo: “But I can watch Pokémon first.”
“No. You are going to alone time.”
“Maybe I can watch it for 5 minutes.”
“No. When you finish your lunch you are going to alone time. No Pokémon.”
“But I like Pokémon.”
“That’s fine. You can like Pokémon, but you still can’t watch it after lunch.”
“Maybe I can watch it after alone time.”
“Maybe. Well see. Now eat your food.”
Way to stay strong, Brandi. The sisterhood of motherhood salutes you!

Another frustrating thing about parenting is watching your kids utterly refuse something you would LOVE to do.

For example, is there anything more cruel to a sleep-deprived parent than having to beg your child to go to sleep? When asked what the hardest thing about parenting is for her, fellow mom-blogger at Motherhood Becomes You responded,

Putting wild kids to bed. Who doesn’t want more sleep? Kids, that’s who.”

It reminds me of this meme written by Shannon at We’ll Eat You Up, We Love You So.

a meme about the most difficult thing about parenting that says, "It seems unfair that the people who want to go to bed have to put the people to bed who don't want to go to bed."


And then there’s the frustration of difficult parenting tasks you didn’t see coming — like teaching them to do simple things.

Jenny’s response was, “Teaching them how to drink from a straw.”

It’s been about three years since I had to teach a child to use a straw, but when I read Jenny’s answer, I felt the frustrations wash over me all over again, like an unpleasant, distant memory coming back to haunt me.

To the straw-teaching vault of frustration, you can probably add: using a spoon, tying shoes, and all things related to potty-training, just for starters…

(Speaking of potty-training, these hilariously funny pee stories will give you a hysterical glimpse at another one of the more difficult parts of parenting.)

When you’re parenting, nothing is simple, and that’s DEFINITELY hard!

I failed to anticipate just how much time I would spend doing things I never thought anyone would have to do. Or saying things I never thought anyone would have to say.

Even the most basic tasks as we go about living our days somehow turn into “life lessons” I didn’t realize I’d be teaching.

Or as Rhonda so clearly explained:

“Having to tell them things you never thought you’d ever have to tell another human being. Ever.

‘Don’t lick the mirrors in Target!!’

‘Dog poo is not a toy.’

‘Please wear underwear to school.’ (said to my then 8-year-old boy, not a teenage daughter).

Then there are the conversations you have to have. There was the time that the boy very seriously asked Santa for a hot dog for Christmas and was quite upset because he thought Santa didn’t take him seriously enough and I wouldn’t agree to take him back to plead his case.

Or why telling the teacher, ‘I farted, it tickled, my butt cheeks wiggled’ is not appropriate for school.”

Man, there’s so much to unpack here. As a mom of all boys, I can relate to those underwear and fart struggles in a major way.

Also, I really want to know: did Santa bring him a hot dog for Christmas?!

Even something as simple as cooking dinner for your family is kind of a train wreck.

That’s probably why Beth finds the hardest part of parenting to be the meals.

More specifically, “The slew of insults I go through before everyone finding out they actually do like the meal I prepared.”

meme about dinner being the hardest thing in parenting that reads "What my kids say: what's for dinner? What they mean?: What should we be complaining about?

That’s right — even a meal they LIKE warrants whining. Don’t even get me started on the meals they don’t like.

And then there’s the fact that those likes and dislikes change every 2.5 seconds.

But I digress…

The constant mood changes are definitely one of the harder things about parenting.

A lot of people assume, incorrectly, that the mood swings hit during the teenage years. But no.

The mood swings amplify during the teenage years, that’s for sure. But your kids start warming up and practicing those random mood shifts more or less from Day 1.

As Sarah recounts, with tremendous joy, “[Tell} them it’s time to do something. They throw a giant fit and even assault you — scratch, hit –whatever. You then move into the next room and they say, ‘Wait Mommy, I have to do the thing I just assaulted you about.'”

In case you can’t relate to a story like this (but if you have kids, of course you can), she provided a fresh example from her delightful day with her extremely mood-stable daughter.

Sarah: “Come on Susie, it’s time to brush teeth!”

Susie: “NO I DON’T WANT TO BRUSH MY TEETH!” *scratch, claw*

Sarah: “Ok, fine let’s just go to bed.” *walks into bedroom*

Susie: “But Moooooooom, I need to brush my teeeeeth.”

Don’t worry, it’s fine. Sarah’s fine. Everything is fine.

Maybe the hardest part about parenting is simply trying to keep the kids alive.

After all, parenting means constantly saving the little ones from their near-death experiences. You toddler proof your house, you watch them like a hawk. And do they appreciate it?

No, they most definitely do not.

As Rachael explains, rather than gratitude, you get a tantrum. [You end up] “Dealing with a HUGE fit because you’re stopping them from massively harming/killing themselves. No, you can’t jump off the top step; no, you can’t touch the inside of the hot oven, on and on. Ugh, the monumental explosions!”

Aside from their death-defying feats, one of the hardest things about parenting young kids is that they’re such odd little ducks. You find them doing things no sane adult or older child would do.

Amanda, for example, hates,

“Prying crayon chunks out of their mouths. Do crayons taste that good?”

— A valid question, for sure. In fact, Amanda, I see your crayon chunks and raise you dirt from my potted plants, grass from my yard, and general nastiness from the bottom of my shoes.

a toddler making parenting difficult by eating dirt from potted plants
My second-born, enjoying a mouthful of soil…

Whyyyyyy do kids insist on eating these things?!

(Because, kids. That’s why.)

Parenting is hard, there’s no doubt about that. Some of the hardest things about parenting are the 1000 little frustrations of the day-t0-day grind.

BUT parenting is also awesome, and these hilarious frustrations are probably the things we’ll look back on so fondly one day.

Just not today.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

To the Mom Who Didn’t Lose Her Sh*t Today

Hilariously Helpful Life Hacks for New Parents Baby Books SHOULD Include

5 Reasons A Mom’s Not Responding To Your Texts (On Purpose. Ish.)

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