I’m no “Dad-Basher”—I am blessed to have an amazing husband who is an awesome and capable dad to our kids. As a matter of fact, when I was on a recent work trip, gone for the better part of four days, my answer to my co-workers’ inquiries of “How will your husband do on his own with the kids?” was a confident: “He’ll be great. He’s a better mom than I am.”
And I MEANT IT! He’s amazing.
But, there still are SOME differences between dads and moms in general, and no two parenting relationships are the same. This disparity became super-apparent to one dad of two, Brad Kearns, when his wife Sarah had to be hospitalized earlier this week and he was on full-time dad duty caring for a 2-year-old and 6-week-old. His Facebook post detailing just how hard it is for “dad to be mum” has been shared over 16,000 times (!!!) and there are some hilarious reasons why!
(have to give you a bit of a language warning before you read on! Ok, now you know.)
Photo: DadMumLife on Facebook
Kearns hilariously and relatably describes 24 hours of exhaustion before his mother-in-law was able to come and assist him with his boys:
Today I had to be the mum…
You know when your wife always says “I wish I could be the dad” and you’re like … It’s the same thing…
Well sit back, relax, grab a drink, some popcorn, clear your schedule and hold onto your bootlaces because I’m about to take you on a ride that could only be likened to a backwards 100mph roller coaster that takes you through waterfalls of vomit, sh*t and lots of tears. And once you’re finished with yours you will move onto the children’s.
It all started yesterday when I had to rush out of work. Because I’m a dad… And dads get respite for 40+ hours per week under the socially acceptable provisor ‘supporting the family’ while mum continues doing what women seem to so effortlessly do. “My liver has failed” read the text message from Sarah. And that’s when I became the mum. It’s now been 24 hours…
He then really gets into the nitty-gritty:
As the night rolls on and my patience wears thin; I reduce myself to keeping Knox quiet by allowing him to place stickers on my (very hairy) legs. He was being quiet… “It’s okay, I can shave them off in the morning” was the thought. “Just don’t wake Finn”
It’s amazing how babies sleep the way they do. You know what I mean hey… When you change and finish feeding them, and you gently pick him up to burp him, and he burps, and you rub his back to make him comfortable. And his eyelids become heavy, and he breathes heavily through his nose as the comforting warmth becomes too much for him to be able to keep his eyes open. It’s really beautiful… And then you wrap him ever so gently, bring him up to your face and kiss him on his forehead, and sway as you walk into the room, as if you’re doing the slowest no partnered waltz you can do, and you’re wiggling your hips that bit extra because you’re the f***ing man because the kid’s asleep, and you gently lay him in his bed, and cover him, and tuck him in, and tap the dummy for whatever the f***reason we seem to do that sh*t for. It’s beautiful. It’s such a nice and serene moment you get to share with them…
Right up until the part where he F***ING SCREAMS FROM THE HIGH HEAVENS… As if I’ve thrown him at a wall by his legs!
At least it’s only once a night right??? I mean, why wouldn’t I want to do it all again at 10:30….12:00….1:45….3:30….
I was so excited to know the trend would continue at 5:00 except it was actually the beginning of the new day. Did you know sleep deprivation is a form of torture???
So there I was… At 5:30am sitting on the lounge with Finn alert as an 18yr old Mt Druitt chick at Stereosonic… Just sittin… When Knox enters the room and says “Hi”. That’s the moment I realised I would rather be the dad.
After what was surely the LONGEST night of his life, Brad describes opening the door to his mother-in-law, who had arrived as backup:
Then there was a Knock at the door… Have you ever been in a situation where someone walked in on you doing something you shouldn’t be? That’s the feeling I got when I opened the door to my mother in law. So there I was;
Unshaven, hair a mess, wearing the pants and socks from the day before and a hoodie covering up the fact I had no shirt on. Hadn’t showered, not yet brushed my teeth, Knox comes running out in his sleeping bag asking for a new Yoghurt muesli bar to be opened. I open the door to her to reveal the fact that knox’s noodles were still in a bowl on the table, stickers stuck to the g*ddamn lounge, the house an absolute mess.
It was in that moment I knew I was defeated. It was also in that moment I knew she knew I knew I was defeated. A vulnerability we try our best to keep from our in laws. That was only 16 hours of being a mum. And I failed.
I have not even mastered the ability to keep my own personal hygiene as a mum let alone the ability to keep a house, educate children, prepare meals and even venture outside for activities.
Let me be the first to say, Brad, YOU DID NOT FAIL! It’s rough out there with two under two, man! You will make it! And your lovely wife is in my prayers…I pray she gets all the rest she needs to heal so you two can be back to tag-team parenting in no time. After all, man-on-man defense is much easier than two-on-one! But seriously…moms (and mums) everywhere thank you for keeping it real! Being the parent who stays home with the kids is HARD work, and a little appreciation for how hard it is goes a LONG way.
Kearns’ post was so popular that he started a Facebook page to further chronicle his adventures while his wife recuperates. You can check it out here at DadMumLife.