Parenting

Earnest Quotes About Parenthood From Molly Shannon

The "Saturday Night Live" alum has a daughter, Stella, and son, Nolan, with her husband, Fritz Chesnut.
Shannon and her children attend the Q&A and screening of "Superstar" at the Egyptian Theatre on May 20, 2016, in Hollywood.
Shannon and her children attend the Q&A and screening of "Superstar" at the Egyptian Theatre on May 20, 2016, in Hollywood.

Given her comedy background, it’s no surprise that Molly Shannon likes to be a “silly” mom.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum and her husband, Fritz Chesnut, have a daughter, Stella, and son, Nolan. Since becoming a mom in 2003, she’s opened up about breastfeeding challenges, morning chaos and the role humor plays in her family.

In honor of her birthday, here are 23 quotes about parenthood from Shannon.

On Feeling Destined For Motherhood

“I was destined to be a mom. In elementary school, all the kids loved to play house during recess ― and I was always picked to be the mom. In fact, my classmates would fight over who got to be my children. When I was a teen, all of our neighbors trusted me to babysit their kids.”

On Humor’s Role In Her Family

“I definitely have a silly sense of humor. I’m easygoing with my kids. My husband is funny ― he texts me funny things all day. I feel like so much creativity comes from silliness and being free, so I definitely encourage that through play.”

On Parenting Chaos

“I just try to laugh at the little things. Like, I’m always amazed by how long it takes two kids to get dressed and out the door. Every morning I say, ‘Come on! Let’s go! Five minutes!’ And they’re still in their underwear. Or they say they’re ready, but they’re not wearing shoes. I feel like a drill sergeant in a military operation: ‘Get your bag! Get your lunch! Get in the car!’”

On The Pressure To Be Perfect

“Supporting and helping other moms is important to me. We’re so hard on ourselves. We need to remember it’s not magic ― for any of us. Hey, we all get stressed. A while ago, I was flying into LAX with my kids. At the baggage claim, I was trying to balance the stroller with both of them in it and carry the bags, and there was just a lot going on. The stroller tipped over, and the kids screamed because they were scared. No one was hurt. This kind of thing happens to all moms, but talk about pressure. I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect. I have lists of things I need to get done each week, and a lot of stuff might not get done. You know what? That’s okay. My family is healthy and happy.”

On Going Into Labor

“I called my doctor and said ‘I think my labor is starting,’ and she said I should go about my day. So I went to Starbucks. I went to a street fair. I got a super-straight blow dry so I could look nice while pushing. Finally, my husband was like ‘Will you come home?’

On Breastfeeding

″[N]ursing kills in the beginning! It felt like a little piranha until it settled down...when your milk comes in.”

On Becoming A Mom After Losing Her Mother

“Having children of my own someday was so important to me. I lost my own mom at such a young age. When I was just 4 years old, I was in a car accident that killed my mother and younger sister, Katie. The accident changed our family in an instant. My dad survived, and he raised me and my older sister, Mary. ... After going through a life altering loss as a child, I understand that family is what matters most. Sometimes I say to myself, ‘I wonder what my mom would think about this.’ Having children has been very healing I feel so fulfilled right now ― I’m a happy mom.”

On The Lessons She’s Learned From Her Kids

“They’ve taught me to be really patient because sometimes it’s hard and all I say is, ‘Hurry, let’s go.’ Also trying to be present, that’s hard, too. I feel like moms do so much ― they work, they’re organizing play dates, returning emails. I have compassion for working moms and how much they do. Just being in the moment is also something my kids have taught me. I enjoy life and enjoy the moment ― I’m really happy where I am. I’m embracing my life because I have everything I’ve ever wanted.”

On Balance

“It’s such a personal thing to figure out. I feel so happy that I built a career before I had kids. There was a period when I was so work-oriented, but I’m so glad it all worked out. I try not to work too much because I really love being with my kids. It’s hard balancing it all. Luckily I’m able to do a TV show and take a few weeks off. I can sort of pick and choose acting stuff, and this way I can take a little time off to be with the kids. So that works out for us.”

On Her Favorite Family Moments

“We like to go bike riding. My daughter and I walk to the farmers’ market on weekends. We go to the toy store. My son and I like to go outside and I watch him use his skateboard. We play Monopoly and watch movies. We go shoe shopping. My daughter and I get our nails done. In the morning we go to Pete’s Coffee and I let them finish their homework. I drive them to school so we have time to talk. I like a lot of kids in the house, so we always have people over.”

On Priorities

“The minute I became a mom, my priorities instantly shifted ― now family, not career, comes first. That doesn’t mean work isn’t important to me I like to work. But I don’t want to be away from my family, so I make sure I can bring them to work with me. Because my kids are young ― Stella is 5 and Nolan is 3 ― it’s easy to take them along on location. My husband has a flexible work schedule, so he comes along, too. It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we’re together. I know that as my kids get older, it will be more difficult to travel with them because I won’t be able to pull them out of school.”

On Her Decision To Start A Family

“My desire to have a family came back full force when my 3-year-old niece came to stay with me in New York City. We were together in my little studio apartment for four days, and I had the time of my life. I would take her out to dinner and dress her up in princess outfits. It was such a joyful time. That really sealed the deal for me. I knew I had to have kids ― soon!”

On The Sign That You’re A Parent

“You get thrown up on and don’t care at all!”

On Taking Care Of Herself

“I squeeze in work wherever and whenever I can. I’m a very involved mom. I think you just need to figure out what’s right for you. Women do so much these days, but it’s also so important to still take care of yourself too. That way, you have the energy to give your all to your kids.”

On Mother’s Day

“I always forget about Mother’s Day because my mom died when I was little, so that was a day that was never, ever a big deal. It was like we never celebrated Mother’s Day, obviously. But now that I’m a mother, I’m always like, ‘That’s right, I’m a mother’! So, it’s really weird. Usually I will go get a massage or do something nice for myself and then spend the rest of the day or go out to dinner with my family.”

On Playing A Mother With Cancer In ’Other People

“I really related to the material as a mother, what a mother would do for her children, how she would go to the end of the earth for her kids and it’s all she worries about. She’s fighting for her life, but also coming to terms with that her life is going to be cut short.”

On Her Parenting Advice

“It’s really important to listen and empathize. I read this great book, ‘How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk’ by Faber and Mazlish. You have to acknowledge and mirror your kids. Make them feel safe to express themselves. And, adults also want the same thing.”

On Being A Working Mom

“I’m happy that my kids see their mom work and love her job, and I know that I’m a better mother because I have a career Stella and Nolan come to the set, and my trailer is their playroom. Not that they necessarily understand what I do: I recently asked my son, and he said, ‘You put on nails, and you color.’ He sees me on the set of ‘Kath & Kim’ and my character wears these colorful press on nails Then I’m in a trailer coloring with him.”

On Her Kids’ Take On Their Famous Mother

“The kids don’t think I’m a celebrity. They don’t care about any of that stuff. We passed a bus with Will Ferrell’s face on it, and they said, ‘Look, it’s Magnus and Mattias’ dad!’”

On Tedious Parts Of Parenting

“Without a doubt, the worst part of being a mom is having to floss my kids’ teeth every night. It’s so tedious. I’m glad I don’t have six kids’ teeth to floss.”

On Different Household Structures

“Different things work for different people. I think it’s really judgmental to be that self-centered to say, ‘This is what people should do.’ Different strokes for different folks. I did hear about a study on NPR that said that having two working parents in a household tends to be better in the long run for the children, but I think different styles work for everyone. Personally, for me, I’m not the kind of person who prefers [to be a stay-at-home mom]. But not everyone comes from the same situation that I do, so I say, ‘Live and let live.’ There’s no magic formula to this.”

On Raising A Child With A Peanut Allergy

“Nolan is allergic to peanuts. Once we were at an Easter party and ― even though I was watching him like a hawk ― he bit into a chocolate-covered peanut butter egg and started wheezing and foaming at the mouth. It was really scary.”

On The Most Surprising Thing About Parenthood

“How the simplest things can make you so deeply happy. I get happy to see my kids happy at school, making new friends. It’s amazing how the simple things make me feel so grateful and peaceful.”