Father and podcast host Jay Acunzo reached viral fame recently when he shared his thoughts on modern parenting. Jay’s honest take on the realities of today’s families hit home with lots of people. This prompted many to jump into the thread and share their struggles and situations. We couldn’t have said much of this better ourselves!
Jay Said He Was Speaking Out After Discovering His Friends Were Struggling Too
A holiday weekend getaway kicked the thread off for Jay, who said he was sharing his truth after spending three days with some friends who all had children under the age of 4.
“What the culture shares and even demands you share about having kids/being a parent is that it’s precious, it’s a gift, it’s a joy, etc,” he wrote. “But this is not what actual parents talk about or how actual parents feel.”
Instead, he says his friends all discuss how hard it can be. “We talked about the fact that our physical + mental health had gotten problematic,” the Twitter thread continued. “Our careers had taken huge hits. Our friendships were drifting. Our relationships with our partners felt strained (one person summed it up as: they’re basically just the other parent I live with).”
He Also Hit on Some of the Biggest Pain Points
Most parents can probably predict what Jay and his friends complained about. “We didn’t sit around writing Hallmark cards to the joys of parenting,” he wrote. “We sat around going HO-LEE FORKING SHIRTBALLS this is impossibly hard and every dimension of our life got worse: health, finances, career, love, etc. EXCEPT a new dimension called Loving Our Kids (10/10 great).”
Jay admitted parenting is all those hard things while also being much more. “To understand, think about dream logic,” he wrote. “In a dream, you go, ‘I’m driving a car on the highway. Also I’m underwater and I can breathe just fine. Also this is the bike shop my dad owns.’ And your brain just goes… Yes.” Jay continued. “It is multiple things, fully. Terrible and great. Crushing and uplifting.”
Whew, talk about hitting the nail on the head. And Jay didn’t stop there; he also called for other people to talk about the realities of parenting.
Jay Wants Parents To Go Easy on Themselves
It’s clear the conversation Jay and his friends had was lengthy and filled with lots of emotion because he had a message and reminder for the rest of us.
“Parents ought to be given more permission to say multiple things are totally true at the same time, because we feel ashamed to feel bad about our experiences otherwise,” he wrote.
“We wouldn’t trade it. We don’t regret it. I routinely drop everything to console or play with them. I would, w/o thinking, take a bullet for them. I’d arm wrestle The Rock — and I promise you, I’d win — for my kids. But ALSO? This highway is underwater.”
Parents Agreed With What Jay Had To Say
Plenty of parents chimed in with their parenting takes. “I miss waking up feeling rested. I miss working without distractions. I miss alone time,” one mom wrote. “I don’t miss yearning for more purposeful days. I don’t miss a quiet house. I don’t miss being scared of having kids. Life is more beautiful & more exhausting. The duality is intense.”
Another dad agreed those first four years are a gauntlet. “0-4 years is a total blur,” he tweeted. “And just when you’ve figured out how to keep them alive, they learn new tricks like walking. Or seeing what does and doesn’t fit up their nose.”
One thing was clear from all the parents who shared their two cents: no matter how hard those early years were, they didn’t regret anything. Still, this is an incredibly trying time for families, and they should be able to talk about that freely and without fear of judgment. We’re all in this together.