it's the little things

A Dad Shared Simple Tips For Reducing The Mental Load For His Partner While He’s Away

One amazing tip: he gets his wife a hotel room for a night after he gets back so that she gets to rest and recover.

A dad on TikTok shared the small but impactful chores he does before he leaves for a trip to reduce ...
TikTok / @world.shaker

Whenever my partner heads out of town for a work trip, I absolutely dread the time he’ll be away. Don’t get me wrong: I love him very much and will miss him dearly, but the dread of him leaving really stems from all the crap I’ll have to do solo while he’s gone.

My husband pulls his weight in all of the child-rearing, including taking our daughter to activities, picking out her clothes, making her meals and snacks, etc. And while, of course, I am the mom and do all of those things too, there is just something so nice about having a partner to help in all of that. When he is gone, it’s double the work. I’m exhausted.

One dad on TikTok knows the burden put on the partner who is left at home when the other heads out of town and shared and shared some helpful tips on how to ease that mental load before hitting the road.

TikTok user @world.shaker (AKAMichael Vaughn) — who refers to himself as “Great Value brand Seth Rogen,” and a “Licensed Girl Dad” — shared the small but impactful chores he does before he leaves to reduce the mental load for his partner while he is away.

Vaughn starts the video by saying, “Reducing mental load for your partner is not just about when you're in the house, it's also when you're out of it.”

Vaughn reveals that he is leaving the house for a conference for about a week. “That means my partner's getting 100% of the child's responsibilities and the household responsibilities she says she doesn't mind, but I know it's a lot,” he says.

Vaughn then goes through the list of all the tasks he completed before he left for the trip to help ease the work for his partner.

“I vacuumed the house so she can start with clean floors. Washed and folded all the laundry so she can start with no clothes,” he began.

He also did the dishes, packed the kid’s lunches, and put together 5 outfits for their toddler. He then delves into how putting together an outfit for a toddler requires way more mental labor than one might think.

“For partners who don't usually put together outfits for their kids, it's not that simple. It's not just about what matches or looks nice together. I looked at the weather report to base out these outfits, Wednesday is a light shirt and pants because it's gonna be warm and it's not gonna rain so they'll be out in the playground. Friday will be cold so heavier pants, long sleeve T-shirt, and a sweatshirt,” he says in the video.

Then, the cherry on top of the entire laundry list of preemptive tasks Vaughn completed, he reveals that he booked his partner a hotel room so she can have some time to herself when he gets back from his work trip.

While Vaughn insists he is not trying to “grandstand,” the video soon went viral — garnering 2.9 million views and over 400k likes — with several default parents losing their minds in the comment section, praising his attention to his partner’s needs and working overtime to help relieve some of her stress while he is away.

One user wrote, “You need to do dad/household classes and I genuinely mean that.”

Another echoed, “I think I just fainted a little bit... the effort, the detail, the awareness with the hotel?!? This is beautiful. To feel loved like this...”

While some may say that the bar is in hell for dads and husbands — claiming they are praised for literally existing — research shows that dads are more involved in child-rearing than they used to be. A 2022 study found that modern dads are actually more engaged with their kids than fathers of previous generations.

However, when it comes to housework, that burden is still heavily relegated to Mom. A 2020 Gallup poll found that married or partnered heterosexual couples in the U.S. continue to divide household chores along old and tired traditional gender roles. A full 58% of women do the majority of the laundry at their house while over half do the most of the cleaning and preparing meals.

What Vaugh has laid out for other parents to take note of is not even that out of the box. Picking out some clothes and prepping a couple meals are small things that can have a big impact for a default parent who will be left to pick up the slack for a week.