Comparing stay-at-home and working parents is like comparing apples and oranges. Still, that hasn’t stopped our society from pitting the two against each other.
Staying home and working onsite both have pros and cons. And with two inherently different scenarios, “your grass is greener” syndrome is inevitable. One stay-at-home mom recently faced this problem with her boyfriend, who believed she must have it easier since she stays at home all day.
Her now-viral TikTok video proved just how wrong that idea was.
The Larger Problem
The battle between stay-at-home and working parents has been going on for years. In 1926, Henry Ford created the 40-hour workweek with a stay-at-home parent in mind.
Our society not only expected women to stay home and tend the house. Its schedules also relied on it. As a whole, our society also tends to value money over time. Whoever is earning the most money, is often viewed as the most valuable. This doesn’t bode well for homemakers who do necessary, yet unpaid, work.
After all, does earning more money always mean doing more work? Sierra Nicole, a stay-at-home mom and TikToker, doesn’t think so.
A Viral Response
“My boyfriend said I don’t do anything at all while he works all day,” Nicole began in her now-viral TikTok. “So, I thought I’d take a video of all the things I do.”
Unsurprising to no stay-at-home parent anywhere, Nicole’s day was full of child and house care. She spent the entire day juggling an infant and toddler in between chores.
After putting her toddler to bed for the night, she sat down for her (first) meal of the day. “I ate some dinner while I held [my infant] and realized he s*** on me, so I changed him and changed me.”
Ah, there’s that relaxation her boyfriend was talking about—right?
Nicole ended her long day by cleaning the floors. “Normally, after I’m done with that, I would be texting [my boyfriend] asking him what he wants for dinner,” she narrated.
“But tonight, I’m just going to pour myself a drink,” Nicole said. The video quickly gained over two million likes, and many users showed their support.
And in true internet fashion, people were also quick to come after the boyfriend with the wrath of a thousand stay-at-home parents.
Does He Deserve The Hate?
The next day, Nicole posted a follow-up video defending her boyfriend. “I get the anger and frustration, but he doesn’t deserve all that hate,” she said. “You guys can stop attacking him as a person.”
She included her boyfriend in a second follow-up. His baby-voiced apology is admittedly as cringey as his initial comments, but the couple seems to have moved on. They even got engaged last December, almost two years after her first video was posted.
But Nicole’s story highlights a bigger problem. Women are still expected to handle the majority of domestic tasks, even if they’re the ones working full-time. Meanwhile, we laud dads as heroes for doing the bare minimum of childcare.
Indeed, it’ll take a lot to dismantle this mindset. However, learning to share (and appreciate) domestic duties is an easy first step. Otherwise, your stay-at-home partner’s next viral video might be them announcing their recent status change to “single.”