Russell Brand has made a career out of being outrageous, from his time as an MTV VJ, to being outspoken about his political and religious beliefs, to his books and stand up specials chronicling his years as a drug and sex addict. With his second marriage to blogger Laura Gallacher (Brand was previously married to pop star Katy Perry) and the birth of their daughters, Brand has found himself in a calmer, more centred state. But his latest comments on parenting have Brand once again causing a stir. We’re hoping he’s joking.
Speaking with The Sunday Times, Brand opened up about his new domestic life with Gallacher and their daughters, two-year-old Mabel and six-month-old Peggy. The pair live in what Brand describes as a “Beatrix Potter book,” a home in a rural Oxsfordshire village complete with dogs and chickens. But when it comes to raising the girls, Brand says his wife carries the load.
Admitting that he’s never spent 24 hours alone with his daughters, Brand says that he’s not nearly as diligent about childcare as his wife. “Yes, I’m very, very focused on the mystical connotations of Mabel’s beauty and grace. Not so good on the nappies and making sure that they eat food,” said Brand. “When I looked after Mabel on her own, she dropped two social classes in an hour. In no time at all we’re in a coffee shop, she’s just got a nappy on, she’s covered in stuff because I’m not willing to fight any of the battles. I’m like, f*** it, it doesn’t matter whether she wears trousers, no, I suppose it doesn’t matter if she does that.”
We’ve never thought about the mystical connotations of our child’s beauty and grace. Whether we’re setting them up for a life of failure by letting them look at an iPad while we cook dinner? That we think about.
Brand says that when it comes to running the house and looking after the children, he waits for his wife to tell him what to do. “Laura does all of it,” says Brand. “It turns out that she is extremely well versed in the nuances and complexities of child-rearing. Me, I am dedicated to it, devoted to it, but I am still surprised when it’s like, ‘Oh my God, this is f****** really hard and it’s so exhausting.’ The younger one, I just feel inept so quickly, like with the crying.”
Well, at least he’s honest? Brand ends the interview by clarifying that he is involved with parenting, saying “I would hate for you to leave with the impression that I’m sort of sat watching television, peering over the armchair at what’s going on. I’m not. Yesterday, like, I drove Mabel to the playschool and I drop her at the playschool. But I’m sensitive and awake and aware, so I have to dial a lot of shit down to go through normal life.”
In all fairness to Brand, there are many parents who haven’t been alone with their children for 24 hours, but that’s usually because they can’t afford a vacation or don’t have friends or family who can watch their children. Plus, it does sound like he is involved, but the split isn’t 50/50. We’re hoping 60/40, but it may be more like 80/20.
While the comedian’s lack of hands-on parenting likely sounds familiar to many mothers, that doesn’t stop it from being troublesome. Brand’s wife may be ‘better’ at organizing the household, but the idea that sharing the parental workload isn’t achievable because one parent isn’t as good at things like diaper changes and feeding schedules is what leads to tension and stress in relationships. Also, it’s straight up BS.
Brand’s comments have many on Twitter criticizing the English celebrity and rightly so. Is Brand different from many dads? Nope. Is it still hella frustrating to hear these comments? Yup.
Russell Brand embodies brocialism. Wants credit for being all woke and sensitive while still expecting the women in his life to do the actual work.
— what will grow crooked you can’t make straight (@portraitinflesh) January 20, 2019
Russell Brand’s approach to parenting reminds me of that time Rupert Murdoch tweeted that he was babysitting his own child https://t.co/Ao28N7DsyK
— anyabike (@anyabike) January 20, 2019
Russell Brand pitching himself as some New Age, all new, mature and sensitive dad – and then saying he’s too sensitive to do any actual parenting is the most Russell Brand thing I’ve ever read in my life pic.twitter.com/T0KSObnWXo
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) January 20, 2019
Russell Brand attempting to do basic parenting while also being sensitive. pic.twitter.com/NFjNylT2hG
— Tom Neenan (@TNeenan) January 20, 2019
BABY: “WAH! CRY! WAH!”
RUSSELL BRAND: “That’s enough about you. Let’s talk about me!”
— David Quantick (@quantick) January 20, 2019
Russell Brand in his new hit show But Women Are Just, Like, Better At That Stuff https://t.co/73fXgFpejq
— Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley (@lottelydia) January 20, 2019
Decca Aitkenhead’s Russell Brand piece in the @TheSTMagazine will make your eyes roll clean out of your head. I cannot BEAR men that openly admit to not doing their bit with kids and dressing it up as “oh, you know me, I can’t do that stuff!!” “She’s so much better at it!”
— Jamie East (@jamieeast) January 20, 2019
That bit in that interview, where Russell Brand casually says he’s never been left alone, by his wife, with his kids, for 24 hours… It felt like the twist at the end of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, where the audience finally realise; oh God, HE is the baby! And he doesn’t KNOW!
— Julian Gough (@juliangough) January 23, 2019