Woman decides to call out a selfish father who chose his rest over helping his partner with three babies.
Women have always been overburdened with responsibilities on the domestic front. The societal rules in place are such that men get a free pass for a lot of responsibilities on the homefront, which unfortunately most of the men take full advantage of in their lives. Since this has been the status quo for so long, men are able to justify their lack of involvement in these domestic tasks even the ones associated with their own babies. This unfair distribution leaves women exhausted with physical and mental ramifications, and many are calling it out. One of them is Kristine Sostar McLellan—who goes by @one_toughmother on TikTok—who was flabbergasted by a man's nonchalant attitude towards his family on a flight.
McLellan was on a flight from Las Vegas to Vancouver when she noticed a mother struggling with her kids on the seat next to her. She saw that the mother was trying to balance her carry-on luggage with a newborn and toddler. As a mother herself, she knew how hard it gets to manage kids on flights, especially with all the judgment, therefore she wanted to help. She helped the mother to keep the luggage above and get settled down when she saw the mother struggling with it. Though she was traveling with two kids herself she decided to offer her seat to the father, who was one row ahead of them hoping that he would be able to help his wife if he sat closer.
In the text overlay of the video, she explained how while sitting on the seat next to her the mother was getting exasperated, to say the least. "It was a lot," she said. Feeling sympathy for her she decided to switch and gave the offer to the father. The father readily accepted saying, "Great Thanks." However, what happened next made her feel repentant for showing courtesy. The father sent another small kid to sit on that seat. He also asked McLellan to take the middle seat his child was previously occupying. This was inconvenient for her as she needed to aisle seat to take care of her own kids seated behind her. He enjoyed a kid-free flight while his wife had to take care of all three kids at once.
McLellan felt angry but was not surprised. She had seen time and time again how fathers around her relegated responsibilities to mothers. This was no different. There were several people and some men who gave reasons to support the father and stated that they did not know the whole story. In order to respond to that she made a follow-up video where she said, “The only reasonable option in this situation was for him to say: ‘No thank you, I’m actually sitting here with my other child.'" The fact that he even sent the third child, reflected his attitude in the situation, and she wanted to call it out.
@coletonj_ put forward a genuine query, whether the overwhelming reaction to the situation was specifically because it centered around a woman. He asked, "If a wife did this to the dad, would y'all be....?" Since it felt like an honest inquiry and not an attack, McLellan responded with a follow-up video. She agreed that maybe her huge reaction was a result of the systemic unfairness. She explained that "the domestic labor, the mental load, the responsibility of child-rearing, these things are unequally and unfairly put on women." Hence, seeing a woman suffer due to societal injustices, may have incited an emotional response from her.
However, from an individual standpoint McLellan makes it clear that even if it was a man on the other side, she would have felt the same disdain for his partner, She added, "Yeah, I have seen in my life times where I have seen the dads in the relationship treated unfairly." The mother, emphasizes that domestic responsibilities should be undertaken by both parties. In her opinion, overburdening one parent is not the way to go, for healthy lives. There should be an awareness in both the parents, that household tasks and child-rearing, are collective responsibilities. Hence, McLellan holds the same views when it comes to men and women.
McLellan makes it clear that she exchanged seats to help the mother and not to dump more responsibilities on her. The intention was clear and she felt sad seeing her offer being used in such a way by the father. It was clear that they had divided the children, amongst themselves. He should not have put the care of the child present with him on his partner, to enjoy a comfortable flight while she manages them. It was a selfish act on the part of the father, and McLellan wanted to communicate the message to educate others.
The women in the comment section understood McLellan's sentiment. @grehs_ shared her distaste about the man, "If I were the mom, he would not be my husband anymore after that". @see.king.peace chimed in with what she would have said to the father, "I would have said No that’s not what I meant, give me my seat back."
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