A viral photo of a dad sleeping on a hospital floor is reminding the world of what equal parenting looks like, today.
Sara Duncan, a mother of two and teacher from Fredericktown, Missouri, shared the image to Facebook after she and her husband, Joe Duncan, took their youngest child to the ER.
“I posted that from the bottom of my heart to my husband, because I know that I don’t give him enough recognition for how phenomenal he is as a husband and a father,” Sara told “Good Morning America.”
“I could tell him, but it’s not enough. I really did want to tell people, ‘It’s not always going to be perfect, but it will always be worth it.'”
Joe works as a cement technician and had just finished a 12-hour shift that evening on March 23.
Sara said she told him she wanted to bring their daughter to the hospital to be evaluated after noticing she was wheezing.
“He’s a ‘I have to be with you’ type of guy,” Sara Duncan said. “I knew that he was exhausted. I said, ‘Stay home. I know my way at [the hospital], and he was like, ‘No. You’re not going up there by yourself.'”
Sara said her child received minor treatment and was cleared to go home after two hours. And when Sara looked down on the ground, she noticed Joe using the car seat as a pillow to get a few minutes of shut-eye.
“I was looking at him thinking how thankful I am for him and how I wouldn’t want to do this life without him,” Sara Duncan said as to why she wanted to capture the moment.
“Parenting is really hard,” she added. “I can’t imagine doing it without him. Kudos to single moms. I have a husband who cooks, cleans, does diapers and baths, and I’m still exhausted.”
Sara’s post was shared over 31,000 times. She wrote: “Let’s talk about this because it doesn’t get enough attention… What some may see: Dad sleeping while Mom stays awake holding their sleeping baby in the ER at 2 a.m. What I see: Dad sleeping on the hard floor of an ER after working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week for the last month, despite the fact his wife asked him to stay home and rest, all because he didn’t want his babies in STL alone. Because he didn’t want his wife to have to do it on her own, no matter how exhausted he is.”
“Marriage and parenting isn’t 50/50. Some days it is. Other days it’s 60/40, 70/30, or even 80/20. And you have to be willing to pull your weight, no matter what your partner needs that day. This is what love is. This is what being a husband is. This is what being a daddy is. And I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else! Thank you for all you do for us Daddy! We love you!”
“Look for that in your partner and appreciate that 60/40, 70/30,” Sara told GMA.
“Everyone deserves that.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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