A Dad Perfectly Captures The Hardest Part Of Having Joint Custody In Touching Video

In a viral video, he shows what it’s really like to come home alone after dropping your kids off with a coparent.

a single dad shared what it feels like to come home to an empty house after dropping off his kid wit...
@ainjole / TikTok

For many parents going through breakups, the toughest part of divorce is losing time with your kids. Whether they’re with your coparent 50% of the time or just a weekend here and there, it hurts a lot to know you’re missing precious time with the people you love most in the world.

And those feelings of loss and loneliness hit hardest when you walk in the door after dropping them off.

Over on TikTok, @ainjole, also known as Angel & Penny, shared exactly how he feels after he drops his daughter off in a poignant video that quickly went viral.

“I think the hardest part of coparenting (for me) is dropping my daughter off with her mom and coming home to silence,” he 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 video itself, we see Angel coming home from dropping off 2-year-old Penelope with her mom (and his coparent). As that tear-jerking piano music from Up plays (you know the music) we watch him slowly clean up his apartment — first picking up the toys, then cleaning and dusting, then making the bed and sweeping.

It’s touching to see him so carefully arranging his daughter’s toys, removing all of her grubby fingerprints from the furniture and TV, and leaving out a few stuffed animals as reminders. Finally, he lies down on his bed and turns off the lights.

In the comments he wrote, “Now I cherish every scream, every dirty hand print, and every spill.”

So many parents with joint custody — including me — can relate. The deafening silence of the house without kids, the relief at finally getting a moment to yourself that’s mixed with the deep sadness that you’re missing out on part of your kid’s lives. Having a moment to clean up the chaos, but feeling like you’re removing your kid’s presence from the house.

And finally: the feeling of just not knowing what to do with yourself once the chores are done and you’re alone with your complicated thoughts.

The video has tallied 3.4 million views in less than a week, as well as over 12,000 comments, many from other single parents who could relate all too well.

“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,” another dad shared.

“I understand you 1000%,” Angel responded. “It doesn’t get easier. All that matters is that the kids grow up to know both parents love them.”

“I’ve been doing it for 10 years now and it doesn't get any easier, but just know 2 happy homes is better than 1 toxic home,” one single mom shared. “Proud of you.”

“Damn that’s so accurate. Tired. Sad. Relieved. It’s a weird feeling,” another shared.

“Dam bro I do that every Monday don't have the heart to clean Sunday night after I drop them off,” another single dad wrote. “The mess reminds me of them.”

“I miss my daughter everyday till I have her again,” a single mom said. “I always snuggle with her favorite teddybear till she comes back.”

Still, even when sharing his sadness so openly, Angel is still positive.

“It’s painful it see them go but even more special when they come back,” he wrote in the comments.

Let’s get a video about that next time.