Parenthood, in 6 Words

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc


It exhilarates, exhausts, disgusts, and lifts us like nothing else possibly could.

How would you sum up the journey in six words? Inspired by Hemingway’s assertion that a story can be told in six words, I asked that to parents around me – at soccer practice, in the blog world, even at the grocery store.

Here are 55 responses … from the anxious to the delirious to the simply joyous, all honest, all from the heart.

1. “Having my heart outside my body.”

Hannah H.

2. “Fulfilling, enduring, exhausting, challenging, thrilling, proud.”

Andrea P.

3. “The most humbling experience in life.”

Matt C.

photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc
photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

4. “The craziest ride of your life.”

Brittany R.

5. “Heart, bigger. Brain, hurts. Arms, full.”

Alison, author of Writing, Wishing blog

6. “Best job you’ll do for free.”

Amanda P.

7. “My greatest love, joy and anxiety!”

Tara G.

8. “Love, care, teach, manners and values.”

Lamar H., author of Inspirational Basketball blog

9. “One crazy rollercoaster of a bootcamp.”

Erica W.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc
photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

10. “Parenthood is elation, exhaustion, heartbreak; repeat.”

Lesley M.

11. “A life turned upside down instantly.”

Christine Carter, author of Mom Cafeblog

12. “Life with kids is beautiful chaos.”

Erica G.

13. “Exhausting sacrifice which brings innumerable blessings.”

Kris B.

14. “Joyful, painful, most rewarding hard work.”

Jennifer H., author of Living in Graceland blog

15. “Days go slow, years go fast.”

Rebecca C., author of The Unsteady Path blog

16. “What the heck was I thinking?”

Kelly S.

17. Never ending, mostly joy-filled adventure.”

Lori C.

18. “Best thing ever happened to me.”

Janet C.

19. “How blessed I am by God!”

Donna H.

cocktail20. “Hand me a very large cocktail.”

Megan M.

21. Selfless, frustrating and rewarding learning experience.”

Beth. H.

22. Love, frustration, anger, humiliation, ache, angst.”

Leslie P.

23. Leaving a legacy by changing diapers.”

Laura O., author of Mommy-Miracles blog

24. “Parents are very loving leaders.”

Rebecca Scarberry, Author of YA novella, “Messages From Henry”
(pigeon hero)

25. “Love, with a side of chaos.”

Ashley T.

26. “Sometimes you just have to laugh.”

Jillian L.

27. “Hurt him and I’ll cut you.”

Renee J., author of “Renée Schuls-Jacobson” blog

28. “What could possibly happen again today?”

Holly Homer, author of June Cleaver Nirvana blog

29. “Extraordinarily humbling, challenging, rewarding lifetime commitment.”

Debbie H.

30. “It’s the most wonderful experience ever!”

Jamie J., author of Kreyv blog.

31. “Instantaneous love combined with eternal worry.”

Lacey E.

32. “Tangible selfless love, an unexpected gift.”

Mandrile Y., author of the Polished Before Shined blog

33. “Most precious gift I could receive.”

Kimberly S.

34. “Learning and growing every single day.”

Tricia, author of Raising Humans blog

35. “The hardest but most fulfilling job.”

Deanna M.

36. “One of the hardest jobs ever.”

Chelsea W., author of MS Mummy of Two blog

37. “Always Be there for your kids.”

Kevin D., author of Sports Dad Hub blog

38. “Rewarding, ever changing, maddening yet satisfying.”

Rhonda S.

39. “The craziest rollercoaster you’ll ever ride.”

Renae Christine, author of Rich Mom Daily blog

40. “Buckle up, and enjoy the ride.”

Kimbra, author of Mommy’s Rambles blog

photo credit: rAmmoRRison via photopin cc
photo credit: rAmmoRRison via photopin cc

41. “Motherhood called me. Leave a message.”

Jen, author of Life on the Sonny Side blog

42. “Re-evaluating what is important in life.”

Tina S., author of One Mom’s Battle blog

43. “Chaos reigns in some sane insanity.”

Teri B., author of Snarkfest blog

44. “The hardest job you’ll ever love.”

Leslie B., author of Time Out For Mom blog

45. “Parenthood is a fantastic rollercoaster ride.”

Brigitte M., writer for Fragrant Man blog

46. “Hardest and best job in life.”

Danielle D.

47. “Keep an eye out; don’t hover.”

Michelle N., author of A Dish of Daily Life blog

48. “Colorful, crazy world of unconditional love.”

Rosey A., author of Mail 4 Rosey blog

50. “Watching your heart walk outside yourself.”

Mehgan B.

photo credit: thejbird via photopin cc
photo credit: thejbird via photopin cc

51. “My life is better with kids.”

Frugie, author of Frugalista Blog

52. “Relentless pressure released by random hugs.”

Cindy R., author of The Reedster Speaks blog

53. “Parenthood is what gives me perspective.”

Jen B., author of Another Jennifer blog

54. “The most beautiful and terrifying adventure!”

Grace, author of Arms Wide Open blog

55. “The biggest, hardest, greatest job ever.”

Sheri Lynch, co-host of “The Bob and Sheri Show

56. “Your reward is becoming a grandparent!”

Pamela K., author of “A Renaissance Woman” blog

57. “First 20 years are the hardest.”

Laurie, author of “The Trophy Mom” blog

58. “Teaches unconditional love and abundant patience.”

Stacy J., author of Stacy Uncorked blog

59. “Teach them compassion and financial survival.”*

Jesse W., author of Do Your Job blog

60. “Gives me plenty to blog about!”

Eli P., author of Coach Daddy blog

What would your six-word sentence read? And which of these do you most associate with?

*-Jesse later added, “I ran out of words, but I would have added: “and then kick them the f*** out of your house.” 🙂 🙂



  1. brie says:

    So amusing to read other responses! and I see that I am not the only one to compare it to a rollercoaster ride :D!!

    1. Roller coasters were a common theme! Thanks for playing. And I plan to use the prize I won on your site this weekend!

  2. So many funny ones! Love it! I love “Watching your heart walk outside yourself.” *weep*

    1. That was a good one, wasn’t it? I got some great responses, and am already thinking of ideas for my next 6 Words project. Thanks for tossing yours in too, Renee.

  3. Thanks for having me! Did I really say that?

    1. Thanks for playing along! You most definitely did say that. Or, typed it. It’s sickeningly sweet, you know.

  4. These are all great. Why is it that I can see and hear Renee saying “Hurt him and I’ll cut you.” The malice just reeks. I love it. 🙂

    1. Aren’t they? She’d say it through gritted teeth, with a ginsu knife pointed at you, too. You don’t mess with a Buffalo girl! Or, Rochester. Albany? Whatever.

  5. Loved reading the other responses! Giggled when I read “hand me a large cocktail!”

    1. It’s a pretty great collection, isn’t it? I think everyone on the list should get a cocktail …

  6. I love #10: “Parenthood is elation, exhaustion, heartbreak; repeat.”

    1. Isn’t it though? We get all the highs and lows, and if you miss one, it all starts up again.

      1. Unlike a roller coaster ride, it never ends. 🙂

      2. But sometimes you have to stand in line, and sometimes, it’ll make you queasy.

  7. Teri says:

    16, 20 and 41 are fantastic. Thanks for asking me to be a part of this.

    1. Those are good, for sure, but so is #43. Glad you could make it!

  8. Oh my gosh. #27. Love it! So fun to see everyone’s perspective. This is such a great idea for a blog post!

    1. Renee’s everyone’s favorite! It’s good for mom to be feisty. I was amazed at the response to this. I am going to do it again, with another question. #53 is pretty solid, too.

  9. Chris Carter says:

    I think I want to change mine… now I want to say something better, and much more witty and sophisticated like the others!!! 🙂 I just LOVE this!!!

    my mind is toast. Hmm… “Motherhood fries you like burnt toast”? No. That’s stupid. How about “Being a mom is unexpectedly life-changing”. Oh wait- did I copy someone else’s? I’m too tired to scroll back up… Heck, I can’t even remember mine at this point.

    1. Did I cobble it together well?

      No. 11’s pretty good too, you know. The burnt toast would have given me a must-have image search!

      1. Chris Carter says:

        I simply HAD to come back and see what you did with my mess!!! I knew you would save me Eli!!! Cobbled perfectly. 😉 I promise to not comment when distracted EVER again! lol

      2. It was a surgical procedure, but I predict a full recovery for your message! I can work with you. If you’d like me to work with comments you’ve left on other blogs, you can upgrade to the Eli’s Comment Aid Plus, for just $3.99. I wonder if it was a plate of garlic Parmesan wings distracting you, or just some meddling kids.

  10. Love these! Thank you so much for including me!

    1. Not too shabby, eh? Thanks for your addition too … #30 summed it up perfectly.

  11. Rorybore says:

    This is just So So fantastic. I am thrilled that you did this, and to be included on such a great list. No matter our chosen 6 words; we are all awesome at this parent thing!
    And yes, I’ll take that cocktail now! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Such a great group of contributors. You’re right: I think we all are doing something right. I could really use a rum and Coke (zero) too!

  12. sonnysidejen says:

    I adore the way that this turned out! What a brilliant idea! So flattered to be included!

    1. It’s kind of awesome, I won’t lie. I was glad to finally post it, because I got to see its awesomeness grow by the day. So glad you contributed – and there’ll be another question to be answered soon, so be ready.

  13. Laura says:

    This was honestly one of the hardest thing I had to do. I spent hours thinking mine up. Who knew that it is harder to craft six words than five hundred? This is awesome! Thanks for putting it together!

    1. It’s absolutely tougher to get six words than 500. Talk about an economy of words. So glad you contributed, too, Laura. Thank you.

  14. Alison says:

    I love them all! Thank you for including me.
    Gotta steal Renee’s line. Awesome.
    Oh, gotta go, brain’s hurting, someone hand me chocolate (since I don’t drink).

    1. There’s a ton of favorites in here for sure, and only one used the F word! So glad you played along, Alison. Renee went all thug on us with hers, but I know the feeling! I think she wins the extra plate of wings in the end.

      I’d settle for a pop-tart and chocolate milk now myself (now that I’ve moved past the rum and Coke!)

  15. grace says:

    great compilation; thanks for including me!

    1. Glad I found you and your blog in time to get you in!

  16. Lanaya says:

    I loved reading all the responses. Some are funny, some are serious, but all very true!

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. Thanks Lanaya! I expected a good array of responses … and only one had a bad word, as I said! Yes, definitely – lots of truth in these words.

  17. Rosey says:

    There’s tons of good ones here and this was a fun project you did!

    1. It was a blast, and I just need to come up with a good question for next time around.

      Thank you so much for promoting this through your awesome blog, Rosey!

  18. Alissa Apel says:

    A very fun read! It’s cool you had so many participate.

    1. Thanks Alissa! You should get involved next time around.

  19. laurie27wsmith says:

    It can get better, or worse.

    1. Good one Laurie – and so true. It often gets both, doesn’t it?

      1. laurie27wsmith says:


      2. And then they enlist, right mate?

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        That’s the one, it’s sad when the army makes a better family than the one you left.

  20. Pat Hatt says:

    Must have been hard indeed to sum it up in six words from each feed, but they sure did each time, each one sublime.

    1. It could not have been easy, it had to be tough
      To come up with just six words – off the cuff
      But these parents, all 60, gave it some thought
      And I’m grateful that each chose to give it a shot
      The wisdom and honesty and all this insight
      Seem to sum up with clarity this parenting plight.

  21. rea says:

    “love, forgive, understand, patient and LOVE”


    1. Patient … that should be in red letters! Or maybe better in a soothing, cool blue. Thanks Rea!

  22. doyourjob says:

    OMG – Hilarious – and I feel quite honored to be the ONLY “PS” on the article. Clearly I don’t do well with boundaries. LOL – thanks for the opportunity to pop like a zit.

    1. If anyone was going to require an extra set of words to get in an F-bomb, wouldn’t it be you? Boundaries = suggestions, right? Thanks for the contribution, footnote, and zit reference!

  23. artmusedog says:

    children come through you not for you ~ sorry 7 words ~ (words from The Prophet, Gibran)

    1. well, we’ll give a pass to you and to the Prophet! Thanks for stopping by!

  24. XmasDolly says:

    I feel the same about each response. There is one more response though. Once a parent, and your children grow up how do you handle the empty feeling you feel when your missing your babies, your little ones when they’re standing right in front of you as adults. I love them no less, but I do miss their mini me so many years ago & all the hugs & smooches & fun we had. ~sigh~ I miss holding MY babies!

    1. It’s a nice collection from some incredible parents. It’s true, as they get older, their hugs and smooches aren’t as plentiful, but when they come, they’re pure gold. I feel like you’ll always hold a part of them like you did when they were babies – and you’ll hope to get a glimpse of them holding theirs someday, too.

  25. Mail 4 Rosey brought me here and I see a lot of my friends on this list, what a great way to describe parenthood!

    1. Glad to have you here, Julie – you should get in on the next round of this game. Hint: It won’t be limited to six words, and it’ll have to do with things our kids say that blow us away.

  26. Mail 4 Rosey sent me!!! MY DREAM COME TRUE AND MORE!

    1. At first, I thought you meant visiting my blog was your dream come true and more, and I’d prepared this awesome speech …

      But yeah, I don’t think you could ever predict, when you start out on this journey, the incredible things that lie ahead. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer.

  27. I really loved reading these! I don’t have any children yet, but I hope to someday. The sentiments echoed what I’ve heard from all my friends who are parents and I can’t wait to experience it myself someday.

    Found this post via Rosey’s blog, Mail4Rosey 🙂

    1. Glad you liked it Tammy – this is what happens when all these brilliant (or disturbed?) minds come together!

      You just wait … it’ll change you forever. Mostly, for good.

      Rosey’s awesome for her post about this. Hope to see you again, Tammy.

  28. These are all so beautiful–I could relate to every one of them. I would sum it up in 6 words as: “My heart, my breath, my life.” Thanks for sharing this–what an awesome idea!

    1. I think we covered it all, didn’t we? I love your contribution, too. Glad you stopped by!

  29. I love reading all these and totaly can relate to all of them! I am visiting from Mail 4 Rosey.

    1. I guess that’s why ‘rollercoaster’ kept coming up! I have to tell you, I don’t exactly look like the coach Rosey posted on her blog. I’m pretty sure that dude doesn’t have any pants on!

  30. momto8blog says:

    love the responses!

    1. I love your blog name – I need to go check it out because of it!

  31. Joyce says:

    My six words: Thrilled to have one off payroll. 🙂

    If you only knew what was coming ahead. LOL! ROFL! HA! We’ll see if your lines are still this sweet in fifteen years. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but having them all be adults isn’t too bad either.

    1. I’m like the Kansas City Royals – my payroll is a fraction of the big-market families, so the money I’d save for not having one on payroll would equate to, like two Big Macs.

      I want them to get good jobs so they can take me out for crab legs. Isn’t that how it works?

  32. Just beautiful responses, I agree with them all. Thanks for making me contemplate the question myself.

    1. The one about cutting someone is popular, as is the one that includes the F word in the extended version. You love those too?

      So what’s your sentence? I need to get your contribution for this one, and also the next 6 words project coming up. Thanks for the visit!

      1. My thoughts would be Exhausting, Exhilarating, Love at first sight!

        Let me know when your next six word challenge is, such a fun idea 🙂

      2. That’s a good one! Love at first sight … I can remember seeing each of them face to face the first time, and falling in love every single time.

        I’ll send you an email with the next 6 Words prompt – I’m starting now, because it takes a while to get 50!

  33. What a great idea for a post! I love this. 🙂 People’s responses covered so much about parenting, when you look at them all together.

    1. I might have stolen the idea from Hemingway, but gave it a parenthood twist. Glad you liked it! I peeked at your blog and found 17 things I probably need to read, so I’ll be back to stick around a little longer.

      I think the responses covered so much ground because that’s kind of what we do as parents, isn’t it? We cover a lot of ground. Most of it is beautiful, but there’s some thorns and snakes and broken glass to maneuver, too.

      Thanks Jessica!

  34. Heather says:

    I loved the cocktail comment. I feel like that often. But no matter how trying of a day I’ve had, I always go to bed thanking God for the little gifts/tyrants he gave me! 🙂

    1. I’d settle for a rum and Coke. You know, to calm my nerves. I like the idea of the gift/tyrant hybrid – I imagine if the sea monkeys we wanted when we were little were actually real, and they kept growing, they’d look and act a lot like our kids really do.

  35. What great comments!! A definite feel good factor after reading them, thanks Eli!! 😀

    1. Didn’t it turn out great? Thanks for your contribution, Rhonda!

  36. Elyse says:

    “Proceed with caution, love, and no instructions.”

    1. That one’s hard to top, Elyse – especially the ‘no instructions’ part.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.