17 Awesome Parenting Quotes From Zooey Deschanel

The actress has a daughter, Elsie Otter, and a son, Charlie Wolf.
Zooey Deschanel has two children, Elsie Otter and Charlie Wolf. 
Zooey Deschanel has two children, Elsie Otter and Charlie Wolf. 

Zooey Deschanel is very open about navigating the parenthood experience.

The actress and her husband, Jacob Pechenik, have a daughter named Elsie Otter and a son named Charlie Wolf. Since becoming a mom in 2015, Deschanel has spoken about her adventures in motherhood in many interviews.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 17 parenting quotes from Deschanel.

On The Pressure To Bounce Back

“To expect someone to look like her pre-baby self immediately is odd. Because you just grew a human and then birthed that human ― there’s a lot that needs to go back to where it was. All your organs move around, for chrissakes!”

On How Parenthood Changes Everything

“Nothing can really prepare you for it because you never again have a day where you don’t think of your kids first. At least for me, that’s what I think of first thing. Like, ‘How are the kids doing? What do they need?’ That’s my first thought when I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. I’m always thinking of them. I’ve changed completely. You don’t realize what a sort of selfish existence you live in until you have kids.”

On Flying With A Baby

“Traveling I think is really hard. She’s great on the plane, but they stopped letting people go first with babies. And there’s so much stuff! And I was really excited about this privilege that you get to get on first if you have a baby. But the first time we went on a plane with her, we were like, ‘OK we’re ready!’ And they were like, no.”

On Choosing Her Daughter’s Name

“Well, we just really like the name Elsie, and then we both love otters. They’re really sweet, they’re also smart, they use tools to keep their favorite tools, they hold hands while they sleep. There’s so many amazing things about otters. They’re wonderful animals.”

On The Best Parenting Advice She Has Received

“Get the kids on a schedule. If they have regular naps and they don’t get too overtired they sleep so much better at night. And when you’re able to get sleep as a parent, you’re a better parent and a better human.”

On Raising Feminist Kids

“I think that the main thing is just not standing in their way. My daughter is only 2, but she’s so strong and confident. I think it’s not letting those societal kind of pressures and those stereotypes affect them. Mainly I think it’s protecting her confidence, because she was born with it. I come from a family of pretty strong-willed women, and all the women in my husband’s family are amazing. I think we have a pretty good network for strong women, so that’s a start. I think it’s mainly encouraging kids to express themselves and speak out and be confident.”

On Parenting Fails

“I made her a little heart-shaped cake that didn’t have sugar. I put just mashed banana in it. She’s so little. You know, there’s a lot of sugar in cake. And then I whipped up some coconut cream and I put it on top. It looked like a cupcake. So we’re like, ‘All right, here’s your cake! Happy birthday!’ And she goes [mimes dipping one finger in, tasting it and shaking her head].”

On Being A Working Parent

“When you’re holding your baby, you’re like, ’I don’t wanna go to work — this is like the best thing ever.’ But it’s nice, you know, I think, having a little girl, she knows her mommy works and I think that’s a good thing.”

On Getting Kids Excited About Vegetables

“At our house we grow leafy greens and lettuces, different herbs, tomatoes, squash, zucchini. When you grow your own food, it’s exciting and your kids get excited. ... Our daughter might not eat a piece of broccoli if you bring it to her on a plate, but if she gets to pick it herself she gets so excited and wants it! And then she wants to try everything ― the arugula, the herbs. She can eat romaine, so I’ve just started making more romaine lettuces, and the arugula just has to be chopped up really small.”

Deschanel is married to producer Jacob Pechenik.
Deschanel is married to producer Jacob Pechenik.

On Her Daughter’s First Words

“My husband taught her how to say ‘cheese’ just cause she likes cheese so much. This morning, I went in and it’s still dark in her room and she’s wearing her little jammies and still in her sleep sack and she goes, ‘more ... cheese!’ I’m like, ‘You didn’t even have any cheese and you want more?’”

On Going From One Child To Two

“You’re always adjusting, because kids go through phases and the phases kind of turnover so quickly that when you introduce a new baby into the mix, it’s even better. Because what’s better than more kids? They are so cute.”

On Teaching Kids To Give Back

“It’s really important to teach your kids at a young age to volunteer and how to help raise money and raise awareness. I think raising awareness about issues is the most important thing, because not everyone has the time to volunteer or the funds to donate money, but if you are able to spread the word then the awareness really sparks a lot of the ability of these causes to attract attention and to fix some of the problems that are out there.”

On Feeling Like An Adult

“I’ve never really felt like an adult. But I think it’s a huge accomplishment to have a child, so maybe I feel like an adult for that reason.”

On Her Daughter’s Obsession

“She’s really obsessed with hats right now. My mom wears hats a lot and we had dinner with her and as soon as my mom came up, Elsie said ‘Hat! Hat!’ She wasn’t wearing one, and my mom’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, I wear hats!’ And then someone came into the restaurant wearing a hat and she was like, ‘Hat! Haaat!’ Like, pointing across the restaurant. ... I think she’s just really proud of herself that she recognizes that. If she walks in my closet, the hats are up on the top shelf, [and she points and exclaims] ‘Haaat!’”

On Keeping Her Family Healthy

“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I really wanted to give her the best chance possible to be healthy. Their brains are developing, and you want to eat all the right things. I realized that even though I was healthy and well-informed, how little even I know about my food. I didn’t see the farmers that were growing the food, and I didn’t know exactly where everything that I was eating came from. And I consider myself to be a healthy, well-informed person, so I realized if I was that way then probably a lot of people didn’t know where their food came from. We’re trying to help everybody get back in touch with their food. We’ve been growing a lot of stuff at our house in a vertical garden. We have an organic farm in Austin, Texas. We have been trying to eat more fish and cut back on meat, and when we do eat meat, we know where it comes from. Just being as aware as possible really helps.”

On Getting Older

“I’ve slowed things down a bit. I think it’s good for your whole self ― your creative self, your professional self, and just your soul ― to take a little time for yourself and your family. You can spend your whole life going after things, but I think you risk missing out on some really powerful self-reflection.”

On Helping Parents In Need

“Since having kids, it’s really opened my eyes to how important it is to have all of these basic things. You don’t think about it. We all need to wear clothes to function in society. Our babies need to be warm, and our babies need to be dry and safe. If that isn’t happening, then everything else is out of whack. You can’t get daycare for your kids. You can’t send them to preschool if they don’t have diapers.”