Dad Explains the Realities of Fatherhood in Moving Viral Video for Men Eager to Have Kids

In a touching viral video, parenting vlogger Kier Gaines shares what he wishes he knew before fatherhood.

Millennial dads are changing the fatherhood game. As the Pew Research Center points out, fathers reported spending an average of eight hours a week on child care in 2016—which is about triple the time they provided in 1965. But there's so much more to it than putting more time into caring for their children, as dad of one Kier Gaines, who runs the Youtube channel “Kier And Them,” shares in a moving viral video captioned, "What I wish I knew before fatherhood."

In the clip, originally posted in 2019 as part of a birthday vlog, Gaines shares that he is often approached by other men who are eager to follow in his footsteps and become dads. "A lot of young men, particularly young Black men, hit me up being like, 'Yoooooo! I can't wait to be a dad, I can't wait to be a father,'" Gaines says in the video, which was filmed as he took a walk with his toddler daughter Emery.

He observes, "I think the men that were a generation before us got raised by the men that were a generation before them, and those men didn't really know warm love. Because 'a man' didn't express those things, that way, back then."

But Millennial dads are more open to expressing their emotions, and therein lies the power and challenge of fatherhood. Gaines says he feels the need to tell the men who approach him, "Bro, this is hard!" He elaborates, "Because it exposes things about you that you don't know about yourself. It exposes all of your insecurities ... It's a huge emotional undertaking if you do it the right way."

Toddler stepping on dad's feet
Getty Images/LaylaBird

He also encourages anyone who wants to become a dad to deal with their past. "Go see somebody about the trauma that you've endured throughout the course of your life, and start healing. Because if you don't heal from that?" Gaines shakes his head. "You'll have all this, and you'll never be happy."

After all, as Gaines reminds his viewers, you can't just "pour water over a lady and a baby" and have a happy family overnight. "This ain't oatmeal, man!" he concludes.

It's no surprise the video has racked up more than half a million views since it was posted on August 1 and earned praise from celebs like Viola Davis.

Commenters praised Gaines for his candor and advice. "Thanks for sharing and letting everyone know the real of life," one viewer wrote. "Relationships and parenting takes a lot of work. Healing from trauma takes work and so does learning that warm love." Another described the clip as "powerful," applauding Gaines for his message by writing, "Healing our own trauma before we raise these babies is THE TRUTH."

Here's hoping the virality of the clip spreads Gaines' wisdom to as many fathers—really, all parents—as possible, and they take it to heart.

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