Australian father of two Brad Kearns is perfectly happy being the dad of the house, thx very much.
When Kearns' wife, Sarah, experienced liver failure and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend, it was his turn to play the mom and try his hand at serious parenting.
Kearns decided to document his experience on Facebook, and it has essentially become a montage of unexpected bodily fluids and sleeplessness.
Personally, I find myself rooting for Brad Kearns. My own father shares his name (see also: Brad the Dad, Brad Dadley, Brad “he's a Brad influence” Ortega, etc...) and spent years mastering traditionally maternal tasks like cooking for the family, chaperoning school trips and spending summer breaks keeping two small, insane children occupied and alive.
While looking after his two sons, 2-year-old Knox and 6-week-old Finn, Kearns discovered precisely how much work his wife tackles each day in seemingly effortless fashion.
He cooked, he cleaned and, eventually, he surrendered his leg hair.
I reduce myself to keeping Knox quiet by allowing him to place stickers on my (very hairy) legs. He was being quiet... 'It's OK, I can shave them off in the morning' was the thought. 'Just don't wake Finn.'
With two legs full of stickers and a broken will, Kearns put his boys to bed.
He marveled at the serenity of watching Finn doze off, sharing,
It's really beautiful... 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 gently lay him in his bed, and cover him, and tuck him in, and tap the dummy for whatever the f*ck 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*CKING SCREAMS FROM THE HIGH HEAVENS... As if I've thrown him at a wall by his legs!
So close. The baby's screams woke Kearns hourly until sunrise. Eventually, Kearns' mother-in-law arrived to check his status, which was… not great.
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… 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 goddamn lounge, the house an absolute mess. It was in that moment 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.
Kearns lamented his lack of proper personal hygiene along with his inability to keep the house tidy and the kids fed.
Commenters were sympathetic to his first-timer status.
I hope Sarah gets better very soon. I think its great opportunity for you to see how much the stay at home parent does. Its such a selfless act to put your needs last. Its good for your children to see you step up when needed, its all about love & support. Keep going & never give up. You only fail if you give up.
With his wife still stuck in the hospital, Kearns continues to chronicle his parenting experiences with #dadmumlife on Facebook. Visit his page to lend support or read up on what exactly caring for two small children entails.
It's borderline impossible.