5 Parenting Lessons from Jim Gaffigan

I have a confession to make.

I love Jim Gaffigan.

Trust me, you will never look at a Hot Pocket the same way after you have seen Jim’s stand-up bit about them. Those of you who know what I’m talking about are singing the jingle in your head right now, aren’t you? If you’ve never seen Jim’s stand-up routines, I give you permission to take a few moments hours to head on over to YouTube and watch a few dozen. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Welcome back! Oh, and great news! All that laughter totally counts as your ab workout for the day. You’re welcome.

So anyway, Jim Gaffigan has five kids. FIVE. As in, all the fingers on one hand. That’s a lot of kids for anybody to keep alive, so Jim has really gained some significant wisdom in his years as a parent. So when Father’s Day rolled around this year, I figured that tickets to see him live would make the PERFECT gift for my husband. Plus, he was kind enough to bring me as his date! (See what I did there?)

We had to stop at a CVS on the way to the show so I could buy a Poise pad. This is real life.

Forget reading the fancy books or attending workshops. Real-life parenting lessons were in abundant supply during the two hours I spent crossing my legs tightly and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. So if you are in a season where you feel like you are struggling as a parent, I hope you will find this list helpful.

5 Lessons on Parenting from Jim Gaffigan:

1. “Being a dad is the most important thing I will ever fail at.”

Let’s face it. We are all just making this up as we go along and there is absolutely ZERO way to know if we are doing this right until our kids are fully grown adults and we find out whether or not they grew up to be serial killers, pediatricians, missionaries or stand-up comedians. It’s a total crap shoot. There are days when we collapse on the couch at the end of the night and give our hubby a fist bump because we totally killed it that day and yet there are others when we find ourselves crying on the floor of our closet eating an entire bag of Dove chocolates and wondering whose bright idea it was to have all these kids. Do the best you can, love ’em like crazy, and try again tomorrow when you screw up.

2. “If you have little girls, you stress about saving up for med school. With boys, you’re more concerned about paying for a couple rounds of rehab.”

Boys act like they were raised by wolves half the time. They are loud, they smell, and they do things that make our Mommy brains go crazy. I’m the mom of 3 boys and it is pure chaos from the second they wake up until they finally pass out at night. It was like Jim knew my sons when he said, “Boys are savages. They love punching you in the face for no reason.” It doesn’t matter how many times I have drilled the NO HITTING rule into their heads; there’s just nothing more fun than clocking Daddy with an unsuspecting right hook. Someday my bathroom won’t smell like pee all the time, right?

My cherubs showing their affection

My cherubs showing their affection

3. “Losing your child is the worst because you realize you suck at parenting, but you still have your iPhone.”

I lost my kid at the Children’s Museum for about 30 minutes once and I thought for sure I was going to get my parenting privileges revoked at the door. But I’ll be damned if I let that iPhone get more than 3 feet away from me….EVER.

4. “Travelling with a 4-year-old is like travelling with a serial killer.”

You’re constantly looking for the nearest gas station, looking over your shoulder, negotiating for your life, and plotting your escape. And half the time, you’re wondering if you’ll actually survive.

Maniacal laughter is normal, right?

Maniacal laughter is normal, right?

5. “Parenting is exhausting, expensive, thankless….and then you die.”

But if we are the lucky ones, those kids we worried we were failing will remain and they will make a difference in this world. And all the hard work, sleepless nights, empty bank accounts and tears will have been worth it. And then we get our sweet revenge when our kids have kids of their own and we get to die happy, knowing we got them back for all the crap they put us through. So keep on fighting, Mama, and try not to stress about it too much. You’ll get your revenge on them someday.


I don’t know about you, but I feel a whole lot better.

Thank you, Jim Gaffigan.

Author was not compensated in any way for the content of this post. Tickets to Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up show were purchased with her own money with no perks thrown it at all. In fact, she even had to pay service charges on the tickets. And for drinks at the bar before the show. All quotes were pulled directly from Jim Gaffigan’s routine and scrawled somewhat illegibly in the author’s planner in the dark. Because of the drinks. Don’t judge.

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5 Responses to 5 Parenting Lessons from Jim Gaffigan

  1. Maggie
    Maggie October 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Haha!! OMG, these are all so true. Thanks for sharing the laughs. Have you watched the Jim Gaffigan show? I happened to catch the end of the last episode. It’s really cute and funny!

    • Sarah
      Sarah October 15, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      I’ve seen episodes here and there, but it is really his stand-up that kills me. Seeing him live was almost more than I could handle. He really is that pale in person!! 🙂

  2. Megan O
    Megan O October 14, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    This. Is. Perfect.


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