In an Instagram video that has more than 430,000 views, parenting vlogger Kier Gaines is keeping it real for all the young men out there who might see one of his vlogs and think that being a father and creating a happy family is easy.
"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 as he carries his toddler daughter through a neighborhood.
Gaines, who creates what he describes as "millennial family content" with his wife Noémie on the website Kier & Them, says he feels that he owes it to the young men who follow his videos "to tell them — like, 'Bro, this is hard!'" Gaines says.
"Because it exposes things about you that you don't know about yourself. It exposes all of your insecurities. And it's ... MAN! It's a huge emotional undertaking if you do it the right way."
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In the video, Gaines acknowledges that his family's online portrayal of parenthood can look pretty ideal, but it isn't the whole story.
"We put in an immense amount of work to make this thing happen," he says. "Man, we do it every day!"
So to young men who long to have similar sweet moments with their families, Gaines has a message: "Just know that's the upside. It comes with a down side, and that can be incredibly painful if you allow it to be."
To prepare for fatherhood and a family, Gaines suggests that young men first "go see somebody about your 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 vigorously. "You'll have all this and you'll never be happy."
At the end, Gaines reminds his audience that you can't just "pour water over a lady and a baby" and have a happy family overnight. "This ain't oatmeal, man!" he says.
And though we might never have been able to come up with that analogy on our own, we have to admit — he nailed it.