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Mental Health

DadMum’s Brad Kearns on the stillbirth of his son, and how it only hit him when he saw the bassinet

Listnr 3 mins read
Brad and Maggie at the LiSTNR studio

 

 

Brad Kearns is one of Australia’s leading parenting sharers, with a huge social media following @DadMum. But sharing his emotions about his stillborn son with Maggie Dent on THE GOOD ENOUGH DAD podcast was pretty raw.

 

Brad is not a preachy kind of dad, but he does do fatherhood with heart and guts.

Brad explains to Maggie how he moved from consciously incompetent to being a more competent dad, and the key values he shares with his family.

 

Listen to this raw and emotional conversation on THE GOOD ENOUGH DAD here The Good Enough Dad with Maggie Dent - LiSTNR Podcasts or here Brad Kearns – Why dads need to put down their phones - The Good Enough Dad with Maggie Dent - Omny.fm

 

Full transcript available.

 

There are 5.4 million dads* in Australia and for LiSTNR’s new original podcast series, The Good Enough Dad, famed parenting educator, author, and champion of boys and men, Maggie Dent talks to some of them about their wins, challenges and stuff-ups, proving along the way that being “good enough” is exactly what our kids need.

 

BRAD - emotional intelligence in men is underestimated by way too many people…

6’05 Brad Kearns: People underestimate the emotional intelligence of of guys, and I don't think it's anything to do with their level of emotional intelligence. It's to do with how something is articulated or even the safety of articulating it. So they'll connect with something, they'll read it ... They won't even look sideways and pretend they've acknowledged it. But something's happened. They've absolutely read it. They've taken it on board, and they just haven't felt safe enough to say so.

Maggie says research shows men don’t connect the same way as women:

7’17 Maggie Dent: And it's one of the things I discovered in my research is the whole friendship drama is incredibly complex and fraught and driven by lots of things as a female, particularly estrogen, which is the bonding neurochemical, whereas guys don't have as much of that. Right. But they're bonding and their friendships are just as significantly important. And so often you'll ask a guy how many really good mates you have, and they'll go two, and you'll say, when did you last see them? And they said, oh, about 20 years ago. When did you last connect? Oh yeah a while back. But that's it. It doesn't change. That and that's why we often have issues with loneliness for men later in life.

How Sarah helped Brad move on from being “consciously incompetent”:

9’39 Brad Kearns: You know, for me, growing up, you know, I won't talk too much about it, but there's a lot of things that I knew weren't right, you know? So it's a case of, how do I use that consciously incompetent for those things and say, well, what do I got to do? And for me, Sarah has probably been the biggest driving force of that.

10’37 Brad Kearns: I was pretty lost as a young adult. And Sarah just had these values that she was not willing to give on.

The five most important DadMum family values:

11’57 - 1. Planning 2. Value individuality (and support different interests within the family) 3. Treat others with respect 4. Celebrate others’ success 5. Unconditional love

Brad only truly appreciated the loss of his son when he saw him in the bassinet:

19’48 - Brad Kearns: No, I don't I don't think I was, you know, I don't know where Sara was at, but I don't think it's until we saw him in the bassinet. I know for me that I really appreciated how far along it was and what it meant, because to that point, it was just a couple of scans, you know. So I think it it hit us that day. And then on that particular day, I had to make an outbound call, and it was to a funeral place because the counsellors had told us after 20 weeks, there's a birth certificate. It's it's a pretty formal process. So I had to make that call. And I think for me it hit me when I, when, when a bloke answered the phone and I said I need to organise a funeral for our son.

Brad actually thought he was inept in the aftermath of the loss:

Brad and Sarah didn’t have enough time with Buddy so they tried to help others spend more time with their babies - 27’53

29’18 - from the experience with Buddy, Brad has learnt to appreciate mortality and embrace what he has now.

Brad wants parents to put down their phones

33’11 Brad Kearns: It's that physical act of as a parent, this is so important, the physical act of because you're going to look at your phone, we're all way too attached to them. You physically put it down and you throw it.


Contact details:

Kath Rose

0416 291 493

kath@kathrose.com

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