Father-of-one, Angel Gutierrez, shared how he feels after he drops his daughter off with her mom in a touching video that has gone viral.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 17, 2023. It has since been updated.
When you are a parent who is divorced or separated, the hardest part is co-parenting. Yes, you miss having a happy marriage, but at the same time, you also miss spending time with your kids. Whether they spend the weekends with you or your co-parent, amidst all the moving, you are reminded constantly of the precious time and memories you miss with your kids.
TikTok user, Angel Gutierrez—who goes by the username @ainjole on the platform—shared how he feels after he drops his daughter off with her mom (and his co-parent) in a touching video. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of America's 73.7 million population, children under the age of 18, live in families with two parents.
"I think the hardest part of co-parenting (for me) is dropping my daughter off with her mom and coming home to silence," Gutierrez wrote in the caption for the video. "Of course, when she’s rowdy and loud, I wish for peace and quiet, as does every parent when they’re overwhelmed. But then I hate it when I have it."
In the short video, we can see Gutierrez coming home after dropping off his 2-year-old daughter, Penelope, with her mom. He slowly starts cleaning up his apartment, first picking up the toys, dusting, making the bed and sweeping. It is precious to see him arranging his daughter's toys so carefully, dusting off her fingerprints from the furniture and TV, and leaving out some stuffed animals as a gentle reminder of his daughter.
The video has garnered 3.4 million views and over 400K comments from other single parents who related to Gutierrez. "I've been doing it for 10 years now, and it doesn't get any easier, but just know that 2 happy homes are better than 1 toxic home! Proud of you," commented Stephanie Dugal.
"The worst feeling is when you get home from dropping your kid off and you open your phone and the first thing you see is the YouTube video they were watching," added @droe2430. "Damn, bro, I do that every Monday; I don't have the heart to clean up after them Sunday night after I drop them off. The mess reminds me of them," noted @killarobshot. "My fiancé left me and we still live together for now; she's looking for a new place, and I know the day she leaves with the kids, I won’t be the same," said @dontbeasweatt.
As much as you enjoy peace, a house without children is eerily quiet. As they go, you allow yourself some time to put the house back together, but you can't help but feel sad because it will be a while before you see them again.
"I've been doing it for 3 months, and it’s the hardest thing to say goodbye to my boy and come home without him. The silence kills me every time." said @djconway1. "I've been doing this for a little over a year, and each time I drop my kids off (3 of them) and get home later on in the night to an empty house, I cry," vented @whiskey_tango86.
To this, Gutierrez replied, "I understand you 1000%. It doesn't get easier. All that matters is that the kids grow up knowing both parents love them."
During the 1960–2016 period, the percentage of children living with their mothers went from 8 to 23 percent and the percentage of children living with their fathers increased from 1 to 4 percent.
"Despite the rise of childbearing outside of marriage, the majority of children in the United States still live with two married parents," said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch at the Census Bureau. While co-parenting can test your patience, you must remember to raise your kids with love and affection.