31 Famous Proverbs, revised for Parents

Proverb — a concise saying that states a general truth or piece of advice.

Famous proverbs are thrown around quite often, and I must admit, I usually nod in agreement or toss out a knowing laugh, while I mull over the proverb for a few minutes to figure out how it was meant. Some are a bit cryptic. I’m a parent, I don’t need cryptic, I need straight forward no-need-to-mull witty one liners.

Furthermore, common sayings lack the essence of parenthood, the je ne sais quoi of the underbelly off parenting, and the true spirit of life with a small unpredictable human — until now.

1. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Or have children.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a picture of a newborn with a puppy is worth a thousand Likes.

3. Ignorance is bliss. Unless your child is secretly stashed in the bathroom making slasher-like art on the mirror with your makeup.

4. Don’t cry over spilled milk. Unless you’ve just spent an hour eking 3 ounces of milk out of your sore boobs.

5. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and a glass of wine a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

6. You can’t always get what you want. (Famous last words.)

7. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and one child’s leftover food scraps are one mother’s lunch.)

8. Honesty is the best policy. Unless your child is asking you how her brother was made, if Santa exists, how the tooth fairy gets under the pillow, if there’s any ice cream left, what “the F word” means…

9. A dog coffee is a man’s mom’s best friend.

10. Better late than never, and really, you’re just lucky I showed up.

11. Don’t bite the hand (or boob) that feeds you.

12. Fortune favors the bold, but it has truly favored parents who have children who sleep through the night.

13. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. And you can strap a bib-laden child in a booster seat, stick fifteen different food options in front of him, but can’t make him eat a freakin’ thing.

14. Good things come to those who wait — said no child ever.

15. It is better to be smarter than you appear than to appear smarter than you are. And it is better to appear more tired than you are so your partner will take pity on you and do the dishes, and maybe even bathe the wild ones, while you enjoy a bilp of free time.

16. A poor workman blames his tools, and a guilty sibling blames his younger brother.

17. The pen is mightier than the sword, but the permanent marker is mightier than the pen.

18. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, in the form of an industrial size box of baby wipes.

19. Birds of a feather flock together. (We have the cry-it-out flock, helicopter flock, flock of flying tigers and crouching dragons, baby-wearing flock, and of course the vaccinated and un-vaccinated flock who adamantly avoid the flight path of the other.)

20. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, said the mother of the hyped-up tired child on a thrashing spree.

21. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, unless you’re a freeloading toddler.

22. The early bird catches the worm, but unfortunately is not willing to play with the kids while we sleep in.

23. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then we need as many prayers as we can get.

24. Beggars can’t be choosers, said not the mother of a picky-eater.

25. Actions speak louder than words … unless a pissed-off preschooler is speaking the words.

26. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or touch it, or look at it.

27. All good things must come to an end, said the mother whose baby monitor started squawking.

28. If you can’t beat em’, join em’. (Amen.)

29. Familiarity breeds contempt. (Hmm…)

30. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a diaper by its odor.

31. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Unless you have a toddler, in which case, the phrase “Me do it!” rules all.

And if someone tells you, “Behind every good man is a good woman,” I encourage you to give them a swift kick in the shin.

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