Honest Quotes About Parenthood From Max Greenfield

Max Greenfield knows the chaos and joy of fatherhood quite well.

The “New Girl” actor and his wife, Tess Sanchez, have a daughter, Lilly, and son, Ozzie. Since becoming a dad in 2009, he’s opened up about his experience as a dad, particularly his pandemic parenting life in 2020.

In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 13 quotes about parenthood from Greenfield.

On Parenting Advice

“One funny question I keep getting asked is, ‘What type of advice do you have for other dads?’ But I don’t have any advice. I find that people who are like, ‘I know what parenting is about’ are often wrong. Each child is different. Every situation is different. As long as we’re all coming from the same place ― which I hope we all are, which is pure love for our children ― we’re all just trying to get through this together.”

On The Hardest Part About Parenthood

“It’s such a hard thing to articulate. It just takes the focus off of you and puts it onto your children, who you love more than you would ever think you were capable of loving. 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.”

On Homeschooling His Daughter In 2020

“Everything happened so quickly, and all of a sudden, I was thrown into a homeschool situation with my child. If you know anything about me or my kid, this was a worst-case scenario for us. There could be no worse teacher. I’m just not cut out to be a teacher. When we sat down on that first day to do schoolwork, she knew it was bad too, and we were just laughing together.”

On Talking To His Kids About Racism

“With everything that’s happened in the world ― from the death of George Floyd and … with the woman in Central Park (who falsely accused a Black man of threatening her) ― it’s really highlighted the racial injustice that’s been happening in this country forever. It’s so prevalent and it’s such a part of everyone’s lives and because of the moment we’re in, there’s no escape from it, no distraction. So obviously it’s a discussion that needs to happen with your child ― these conversations with your children about right and wrong and empathy. And they’re history lessons.”

On His Favorite Children’s Books

“I really like ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and that whole series. I feel really good about my performance when I read it. Plus I get to play different characters and be the different colors in the crayon box. It’s well-written and the pictures are great. That one I found to be the most fun of all the books. Any books you can perform are great.”

On How His Daughter Keeps Him Grounded

“She’s the best, man. She keeps a lot of it grounded. You come home, you’re like ‘Whatever, let’s go hang out!’ I don’t know that she fully gets it. She knows that I’m on a TV show, she’ll be like ‘Daddy you play Schmidt.’ There’s a big part of me that’s very proud of it and goes ‘Daddy’s really happy.’ But another part, that’s like ‘Just stay away from that as long as you can.’ But she seems unfazed by it.”

On Feeling Lost

“I think you definitely encounter moments where you think to yourself, ‘How do I do this?’ Then you kind of figure out what is the right way.”

On Having A Second Kid

“We have kids now — plural! Now it’s like, ‘I got to go pick up the kids. I got to get the kids home.’ That ‘s,’ the pluralized kid, is a big deal.”

On Talking To His Kids About The Pandemic

“Well with Lily, who’s 10, we were very open and really trying to have a full conversation about COVID. I feel like adults are learning at the same rate as a 10-year-old about this. I’m like, ‘I’ll tell you everything that I know, but it’s not that much.’ Like, that one’s not that complicated. With my son, who’s almost five, it’s just a constant sort of, ‘We can’t do that because there’s germs outside.’ He has a list of things he wants to do when the germs go away and we’ve said yes to all of that. That’s still been a relatively easy conversation. And much to my children’s credit, they’ve been really resilient during this time.”

On Parenting Mistakes

“The mistakes, of which there are many, are the things you learn from, and the things that go right, you’re shocked by. And you can’t really point to why these moments were successful. They just were. You just roll through it.”

On His Newborn Son

“He totally looks like me when I was a baby. That’s fun. I think I’m going to have a little doppelgänger!”

On The Emotions Fatherhood Evokes

“All the moments of joy. And all the moments of exhaustion and despair.”

On What He’d Tell His Pre-Kid Self

“Get some sleep. It’s going to be tiring.”

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