The father of two bravely admitted he’s struggling
Screenwriter, director, and father-of-two, Duncan Jones, caused quite the buzz on social media over the weekend because he admitted something most parents have thought at one time or another — parenting is really freaking hard and not always enjoyable.
“I have 2 kids. 2 1/2 years & 9 months old respectively,” Jones, son of the late David Bowie, wrote on Twitter. “I’ll tell you something I never see anyone admit… they are exhausting, frustrating & life-destabilizing. They are rarely fun. Sure, smiles are great, hugs are lovely, but it’s HARD & not obviously a good choice in life.”
Jones followed his original tweet up with more insight into not only how he feels, but how others will likely perceive his words — defensively. “This is where people feel compelled to say ‘i wouldn’t change it for the world!'” he wrote. “But you know… Of course I’d reconsider! It’s exhausting! Its banal! It’s like looking after a dog you can’t housetrain. What it is, is that it is. & they are mine. Hopefully they turn out ok.”
Naturally, people stepped in to immediately tell Jones he’s wrong for feeling his feelings and (gasp) actually admitting them out loud. There’s an entire article that slams Jones because “parenting isn’t actually all about him and how he feels.” Except, it is. Parents are humans, too, just like their children. We deserve to have our feelings acknowledged and to be understood.
There’s been a number of responses also meant to shame him for confessing parenting isn’t 24/7 rainbows and butterflies:
Comments like these are not only self-serving, they tend to directly negate the advice these people are trying to give: It’s not about you, either. Jones was simply stating how he, as a father of two young children, is coping in that moment.
But here’s the thing. Kids are exhausting and frustrating and rarely fun, especially when they require your care for every single thing. They are life-destabilizing — anyone who says their lives are the same as before they had kids and are breezing through this parenting gig are lying. And that lie is more damaging, more devastating than any other single thing a person can tell you. It’s ok if you don’t always enjoy it.
Parenting is all-consuming. It takes all of you, every single day, with little recognition. It’s a sacrifice, for many it pays out in spades, but for some, it doesn’t. And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean their children will be cast aside or neglected or unloved. It just means parenting isn’t what they thought it would be. And that sucks.
Luckily, most of the comments on Jones’ post were supportive and encouraging. Many told him it would get better as his kids get older and thanked him for his honestly, because they felt like that, too.
That’s really all we need as parents is support of others, no matter how we’re feeling.
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