Local father of three writes 'real and frank' account of raising kids in South Africa

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
David Eastment with his family
David Eastment with his family

South African dad David Eastment is on the verge of publishing his first book. Married for over 30 years, he has three grown children for whom he was always writing little stories, rhymes, poems and ditties for. 

"For my sins, the task always fell on me to write clever things in birthday cards and the like," he tells me. 

Must read: Two life-saving tricks parents can teach their kids to help them if they ever get lost 

It is this "off-the-cuff ability to just invent a rhyme or story" that he says always intrigued his wife, and it was she who one day jokingly suggested he should write a book.

This is what triggered him to begin the process of writing down his experience of getting married and having two children soon after, followed by a 'laat-lammetjie' twelve years later. 

He says that life was always going to be interesting with this family, but nothing prepared him for "just how interesting life would become".

Eastment shares how he realises that many books on marriage, babies, children, and all that goes with it, already exist, but he stresses that there are fewer first-hand accounts of being a husband and a father, especially those written by and for men. 

Also see: The mom who leopard-crawled to save her husband's BBC interview  

Another element

This was one of the motivating factors that kept him going, but there is another element to his story... 

"An enormous challenge came when my last child had complications in-utero, and my wife and I were advised to seriously consider terminating the pregnancy before 21 weeks, due to a huge likelihood that she would be mentally challenged," he shares.

He tells me how this was when he suddenly had to re-evaluate his values and priorities and have really deep conversations with himself, his partner, and his other children.

Eighteen years later, during South Africa's second Covid lockdown, Eastment says he found himself with time on his hands, and realised that this was a story that he needed to share. 

"I took the bold step, with no prior writing experience, and decided to put pen to paper", he says, and "what resulted is a heartfelt account of life with kids of my own and sums up my reality of being a father."

Also read: Improve family balance with this handy guide to age-appropriate chores for kids  

Real and frank

The title Dad... Unprepared sets the tone for the book, which he promises will be filled with the highs and lows, the happy and the sad, the frustrations and pride, and the self-doubt and lessons learnt in the course of raising three children in South Africa. 

Why is this book a must read for all fathers? Eastment says it's because we're human too, and despite many father's "I got this" male macho façade, we never know what life has in store for us. 

Eastment promises a book that is "real and frank, but with a touch of humour thrown in too". 

He hopes it can resonate with you as the reader, whether it's just to make you feel less alone or to maybe also help you to navigate your way through life as a dad. 

After speaking to him, and hearing how how committed he is to family, I'm optimistic that Eastment's book will provide valuable insights into family dynamics, and that it will appeal to women and even to grown children, providing insight to help us understand the fathers in our lives. 

Dad... Unprepared is currently in it's final stages of editing and publishing, and will be available in local bookshops and online from April 2022. 


Share your stories and questions with us via email at

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Parent24 newsletter. Also, just for subscribers, we have an education themed newsletter: sign up for Bright Spark here

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.