'Coming home. That's your whole life': Father's wise words go viral

Photo: Ben Holmgren
Photo: Ben Holmgren 

"Coming home? That's your whole life. Fix it."

That's the powerful message father of four Benjamin Holgrem has watched go viral since he shared it on Facebook, a lesson he learnt from author and speaker Brené Brown.

"When you get home to your spouse/kids/dog etc," he writes, "before you open the door, put a smile on your face!"

The 25-year-old whose children are aged five, four, two and one, adds, "It doesn't matter how your day went. Or what you're doing next. Or if you're starving. For 30 seconds, at least pretend that you're elated to see them. Make them feel like you were looking forward to getting back home. After all, they're your favourite people in the whole world. I hope."

While the North Carolina dad notes that it might seem "cheesy" and " hardly an earth-shattering revelation," he goes on to explain that your attitude sets the tone for the rest of the evening "So really, it's not tiny at all. It's a huge deal. Because you come home every day. And the things you do every day grind on you."

The post has since been shared over 245,000 times as of Wednesday, with many calling his message "wise".
"Can fully confirm!" wrote one woman. "I remember fun things we did as kids but also remember the mood immediately recognised when said parent came home for the day...27 years later."
"I love this so much, this is my childhood," said another. "I love my father with my whole heart but depending on what kind of day at work he had it was what kind of night we had. I always remembered this and never wanted this for my children. This is not a small thing this is HUGE and your children will forever remember."

A post shared by Leiah Holmgren (@leiahholmgren) on

But while Brené Brown inspired the father-of-four, Brown, herself, was inspired by the late author Toni Morrison.
In a blog post, Brown writes of an interview she watched between Oprah and Morrison from 2000.  During the interview, the pair discussed Morrison's book  The Bluest Eye.
 "Toni says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about who we are when a child first walks into a room," Oprah says, asking Morrison to elaborate. 
"When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up," Morrison says. "You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you're caring for them. It's not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What's wrong now?"
And her advice changed Brown's approach to parenting her own children.
"Let your face speak what's in your heart," Morrison says. "When they walk in the room my face says I'm glad to see them. It's just as small as that, you see?"