A young mum has received a flurry of responses after revealing her baby boy is accompanying her on her job as a strip club manager. Since TikToker @whatsuarez shared a video on the subject last month, it has since gone viral, amassing over a million views and nearly 207,000 likes.
The video, found hereelicited a mixed response: While the majority of commenters seemed to support TikToker parenting, some used the clip to discuss the lack of viable childcare options available to working parents in the United States.
According to the Center for American Progress, “The United States faced a child care crisis before the pandemic began, but the ongoing health and economic impacts of the coronavirus have brought the child care industry on the verge of collapse”.
“Parents are often unable to find a child care program with a vacant space for their baby or toddler,” the report adds. “While there are options available, they are generally not affordable. Infant child care costs families an average of $11,000 per year and is higher than the price of a public college in 33 states.”
Under these conditions, parents, especially mothers, are forced to spend huge sums on childcare, reduce working hours or, if possible, bring their child with them to work, as @ whatsuarez.
The viral video featured several video clips of @whatsuarez’s son at the club where his mother works. The clips show what a very happy baby looks like, smiling, sleeping, playing and being held by club employees.
The response to the video was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting that the little boy looked healthy and was being well cared for. However, some took issue with the unconventional arrangement.
To provide additional context, @whatsuarez posted a follow-up clip the next day. “Hey guys, this is the horrible mom from the strip club,” the TikToker said, addressing the unsupportive viewers sarcastically.
She explained in the clip that although she used to dance at the strip club, she worked as a manager since she had her son.
She then points to two doors on either side of her office, explaining that they are locked when her son is at work. She added that he never goes to the club floor when customers are present and is always supervised.
“He is not allowed to enter the club until all the customers have left and all the alcohol has been consumed,” she said.
“Strippers are mothers. And they love it,” she added. “They love hard, as they love their own children.”
Many commenters voiced support for the mother’s attitude and parenting style, with countless saying fellow TikToker – the club’s dancers – will keep him safe and teach him to be respectful of women.
“He has a large family of women, many of whom are mothers or aunts themselves, to love and watch over him,” @call.an.optimist wrote.
“He has a group of women who adore and watch over him,” echoed @alainabourrel. “It takes a community. It will grow in respect for women [sic] and their bodies.”
Others, however, argued that small children had “no reason” to hang out at a strip club, even if their parent worked there.
“This is just disturbing and y’all argue it’s just as untrue,” @kayburs wrote.
To these commentators, others have hit back, noting that childcare is out of reach for many working women. “You all need to stop acting like anyone can [trustworthy] babysitting,” @martaperfection commented.
@daesha_duh added: “I think it’s time for people in society to learn that some mothers have no one to babysit.[s] while they work.”
Newsweek could not reach @whatsuarez for comment.