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Dad Who Travels For Work Shares What He Does To Split Responsibilities Evenly With His Wife Even While He's Gone For 6 Days

Photo: TikTok
TikTok Dad splits chores evenly

A dad on TikTok is proving that the division of labor in the home can — and should — always be equal, even if one person has to travel for work.

Michael Vaughn, who calls himself a "licensed girl day" documented how he prepped for a 6-day work trip for a conference and shared it to his 518,000 followers on TikTok. His prep wasn't about packing a bag for himself or making sure his travel documents were in order, however. Instead, Vaughn used his time wisely to take the load off his wife while he was away.

The dad planned in advance to reduce his wife's mental load while he was on his work trip.

He stated that “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 explained that his work travel left his wife with 100% of the child-rearing and household responsibilities, tasks that he acknowledged were a lot to handle.

He shared how he completed various tasks, splitting responsibilities equitably with his wife, even though he left her alone with the kids for almost a week.

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Vaughn vacuumed the house, washed and folded the laundry, and planned on doing the dishes after his oldest daughter went to bed. He explained that he did these household chores so that his wife could start her week fresh, without worrying about dirty floors and dirty clothes.



He then showcased how he pre-packed some parts of their toddler’s lunch “so it’s just grab and go in the morning,” since that task is his responsibility during the week. 

Vaughn demonstrated how he picked out a series of outfits for their toddler to wear as a way to make his wife’s morning routine easier, “since she’s going to have to wrangle both kids.”

“For the partners watching this 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,” Vaughn said.

Last but not at all least, he booked a hotel room for her so she could take time for herself when he gets back from his trip. “I’m not trying to grandstand,” the dad told his followers. “These are small things with big impact.”

The effusive praise he received in the comments acts as proof that what moms want is to have more support from their partners to lessen their mental load.

“Did someone model this for you in your childhood? Hoping to raise two young boys to be this kind of partner one day,” commented one follower. Vaughn responded, saying his own parents “sort of modeled the opposite of what to do, and my values diverged if that makes any sense.”

The concept of a mental load is nothing new, yet it is being included in cultural discourse more now than in past years. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the uneven and gendered division of labor within heterosexual couples in the United States, especially for those raising children. 

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Not only do women complete more domestic labor, but they also carry the weight of the mental load. The mental load, or cognitive labor, is defined as the invisible, non-tangible aspects of running a household. The mental load has no boundaries or time limit– it’s held at all times, in all places. 

Tasks associated with the mental load include reminding your partner to complete chores, keeping on top of daily parenting-related logistical details, making lists, and organizing your family’s downtime. 

Vaughn addressed the inherent imbalance of labor in families in a stitch video, made with a post from another TikTok creator, Abby, in which she states, “most marriages aren’t equal.” He responded to her claim, saying, “Abby’s right.”



He talked about the book Fair Play by Eve Rodsky as a resource for parents trying to make their partnerships more equitable. As stated by Rodsky, “What’s fair isn’t always equal, and what’s equal isn’t always fair.”

Vaughn then explains what that phrase really means. “If one partner goes out and works a job that has a paycheck, and one person stays home to manage the household, it doesn’t make sense that [there] would be an equal distribution” of labor inside the home.

“But it also doesn't make sense that the person who’s staying home would do the vast majority if not all of the household labor,” he explained. “That’s not fair, that’s not equal. That’s a good way to breed resentment and burnout.” 

“And that’s beside the fact that women who get married have 7 hours of domestic labor added to their plate every week, just by the simple act of having a husband.”

Vaughn is definitely doing the emotional and actual labor necessary to support his partner and their family in a balanced way.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.