Parents

John Krasinski Talking About Fatherhood Is So Sweet

The actor and his wife, Emily Blunt, have two daughters.
10/20/2017 10:15am ET | Updated October 19, 2018
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The actor is father to Hazel and Violet.

John Krasinski is learning the ropes of fatherhood.

The actor and his wife, Emily Blunt, have two daughters, Hazel and Violet. Since becoming a dad, Krasinski has opened up about how having children changed his outlook on work, family and more.

In honor of his birthday, we rounded up some of his sweetest and funniest quotes about parenthood.

“I think the biggest question I have is, what did I do with my life before this? What did I do with all the time that I had on my hands? I think it’s certainly a full-on job, and something that I enjoy so much, but I really do look back and think, was I just the dude who ate potato chips and movies all day?”

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Krasinski and Blunt were married in 2010. 

“I think having kids totally changes your perception of family and where you’re from. I think you realize first and foremost how it’s really hard to be a great parent and you’re just trying. There’s no perfection. There’s no school. There’s no defined way to go about it; you’re just learning. And I think that there’s such a long period of time when you’re a kid that you see your parents as superheroes; they can do no wrong. But you realize they figured everything out by trial and error too, and there’s something very humbling about that. I really connected to my parents even more, thinking of them as young parents, as I am now. I think you look back and realize what an incredible job they did and how dedicated they’ve been to you.”

“I didn’t consider any crazy baby names. We were pretty set on the two names we chose. We’re big fans of old lady names, so when we looked up both, I think the last time their names were popular was 1890. That was perfect for us; that’s what we were going for.”

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Krasinski joked that he and his wife like "old lady names."

On wishing people were honest about parenthood:

“I’m a big fan of being open about the truth and how you really feel, and not putting on a pretty face for everybody. No one really tells you that it’s hard and there are sleepless nights. Kids get sick, kids fall down and get hurt, and all these things are really intense and really emotionally difficult and you hurt for them more than you hurt for yourself. And one of the best things I ever heard from one of my friends who just had a kid was, ‘It’s so amazing, it’s the best thing that could happen’ and I said ‘That’s so great.’ And he said ‘And it’s really, really hard,’ and I said ‘Thank you so much for being honest.’ I think there’s a sense of relief hearing that it’s hard for other people, because you’re all in this fight together.”

On taking care of babies as a team:

“When they’re really young, my job is just being my wife’s personal assistant. I change diapers, get bottles, get breast pumps. I know how to do it all.”

“I mean when a 2-and-a-half-year-old hugs a newborn baby it’s one of the cutest things you will ever see.”

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The couple welcomed Hazel in 2014. 

“When I became a dad, I think that I was unprepared for all of it. I think the great misconception is that you think you’re prepared. You can read all the books you want, and I certainly thought I was prepared because I had such amazing parents growing up. I just figured, I’ll just do exactly what they did. And then you realize that moment to moment, you don’t know what they did because there is no manual; there’s no exact way to go about things.”

On the existential crisis of fatherhood:

“I was never scared to have a kid; I was actually always looking forward to it. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was be a dad. But in this existential way, there’s a giant mirror held up to you, whether you like it or not, and you start questioning yourself: ‘Are you ready to be a dad? Are you a good enough man to be a dad?’”

On going from one kid to two:

“I think the biggest difference is when you have one and you want to take a break or are tired, you get to pass the baby off. And now when you have two, if you pass one off, you get another one right back.”

Ilya S. Savenok via Getty Images
Their second daughter, Violet, was born in 2016.

“I find myself feeling more and more confident as days go on and you actually start, you just start feeling really proud of yourself in a way that you haven’t before, because you’re actually being responsible for someone and getting through the day and you definitely feel like a more fully formed person — at least I did.”

On an unexpected benefit of having kids:

“It’s a great inspiration to stay in shape. Hazel is the perfect example — [even] in the last two years, it’s harder and harder to pick her up ... I don’t want to pick up my kids and throw my back out. It’s nice to stay in shape because it allows me to keep up with them.”

On how kids change your perception of family:

“All the clichés of parenting are true and you feel all sort of new things. It was really this new existential magnet that you feel drawn to your family ... and you understand your parents more, you understand your brothers’ relationships more, you understand even your family’s name. That you are from somewhere.”

“I truly ― every single night ― say, ‘I can’t believe these two amazing girls are mine.’”

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Krasinski directed his wife in "A Quiet Place."

“Family for me, it’s a non-negotiable thing. So if I’m honest, I was shooting 6,000 miles away from them, and I flew back every single weekend.”

“Even when [we] drop our 4-year-old daughter off at school, you don’t know what she’s gonna do that day. You don’t know if other kids are gonna be nice to her or if she [will get] in trouble for something. You just want to protect them at all costs.”

On the way he feels about his kids:

“My character [in ‘A Quiet Place’] believed that if he could keep his kids physically close to him, he can protect them forever. That’s what I feel about my kids ― the longer I have with them right next to me, I could do it, I can protect them. And you realize that is not only not possible, but it’s also not fair. If you want them to be the greatest human beings that they can be, they must take in the world on their own.”