So what is it really like to be a parent?
When Ryan Hafey of Henderson, Nev., got home from work Feb. 2, all he wanted to do was relax in front of the TV. But his three children – daughters Aniya, 8, and Kaelyn, 4, and son Bryce, 2 – had their own ideas about the evening’s entertainment.
They started running inside the house. And they kept at it.
“They just progressively got louder and louder, eventually to the point where that’s pretty much what it came down to, them just sort of screaming and running around, and I just thought it might be a good opportunity to pull out the camera and show the world what it can be like being a parent of three young children,” Hafey, 28, told ABCNews.com yesterday.
Hafey’s expression during the resulting 19-second video — which he titled “What it’s really like to have kids” — is priceless: he basically stands still, staring blankly into the camera while behind him the three children run circles around a dining table, screaming and laughing the entire time. Their high-pitched revelry even brings the dog running to join in.
The look on Hafey’s face seems to have struck a chord with viewers.
“The face of a broken man,” wrote a poster, while another added: “The thousand yard stare, (seen) it on so many parents.”
Another poster suggested the children lacked discipline, while yet another urged him participate: “Come on Ryan, just join in with the fun and won’t be so bad. That’s how I keep from murdering myself anyway … Good luck!”
Another had some words of encouragement for Hafey: “Stay strong! It gets easier when they become teenagers.”
Hafey — who was alone with the children because his wife, Charlene, was at work–said he understood the mixed reactions.
“Well, you know, a lot of people are commenting and saying ‘Oh, you know, you’re a bad father. Look at you, just ignoring your children,’ but when it comes down to it, you know, most of those people probably aren’t parents,” he said, “and as much as I love my kids, and you know, love to play with them and have fun with them, at a certain point their energy level exceeds mine.”
Hafey, who works as a digital content manager for a Las Vegas marketing agency, recalled feeling differently before he became a father. Back then, he visited a friend and her husband, and remembers seeing her husband just sitting on the couch, watching their children play.
“And I remember thinking, ‘I’m never going to be like that. I’m always going to play with my kids and have fun with them and wrestle with them and whatever,’ and then I had kids and I realized that, well, it’s not always like that. You just don’t always have the energy for it as an adult,” he added.