When Brad Kearns’ wife, Sarah, was admitted to the hospital with liver failure, he had to rush home from work to take care of their two young children. Little did he know how stressful acting as a “mum” would be.
Kearns, of Sydney, Australia, typically works outside of the home 40 hours a week, while Sarah stays home with sons Knox, age 2, and newborn Finn, only six-weeks-old.
In two honest Facebook posts, Kearns, 27, shared his experience of stepping in as the primary caregiver for the children — and his admiration for everything Sarah and other full-time parents do. The posts have since gone viral, with more than 18,000 shares between them.
“It is hard, It’s really hard. I don’t know how single parents do it,” Kearns wrote. “I don’t understand why we as a society have these expectations of people.”
On his first day as “mum,” Kearns arrived home at 5:00pm to find his home “trashed” by the two boys. He spent the night letting the children watch DVDs and making them dinner, with his patience wearing thin as the young boys were being loud and rambunctious.
But eventually, the boys drifted off to sleep for the night — or so the father thought.
The baby kept Kearns up for most of the night — “Did you know sleep deprivation is a form of torture?” he wrote — and eventually woke two-year-old Knox up at 5:30 a.m. as well. Awake at the crack of dawn with his two children, Kearns wrote, “That’s the moment I realised I would rather be the dad.”
The following day, Kearns resumed “mum” duties — but with help from his mother-in-law. He was given a reprieve to visit his wife in the hospital. He returned home with a car full of groceries, only to find that Knox would rather hang out with his grandmother, sticking Kearns alone with the baby, who was in dire need of a diaper change.
“The fact that I’m a man means nothing, the fact that my wife chose to sacrifice time from her very good job and take leave means nothing,” Kearns wrote, reflecting on his experience. “Because no matter how much the world changes, it’s still quite traditional for one parent to stay home while the other parent works. It’s not gender specific, it’s not pigeon holing roles in the family, it’s not anything.”
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