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Single Mom Hears Daycare Worker Tell Her Son To Hurry Up Because 'Mommy Needs To Get Home To Make Dinner For Daddy'

Photo: TikTok
TikTok mom Michelle Carlson

Gender norms and traditional societal expectations can be irritating when imposed on single moms. Women often face the presumption that they should be the ones cooking and cleaning, and single moms who do it all feel like their role is minimized by people who limit them to just that.

One single mom took to TikTok after a worker at her son’s daycare implied that her son’s dad was in the picture and that she should be cooking for him.

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The worker told the woman’s son ‘Mommy needs to go home to make dinner for daddy.’

Michelle Carlson, who posted the TikTok, claims that when she went to pick up her son from daycare, the worker told her son to hurry while putting on his shoes. Then she said, “Your mommy needs to get home to make dinner for Daddy.”



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As a single mom, Carlson was appalled and claimed she was unsure of what to do or what to say. She simply told the worker, “There is no daddy.”

Explaining the frustration of the situation, Carlson says, “Not only did she assume that there was a daddy. Nothing about me says there has to be a daddy right—but that I would be the one responsible for making that meal.”

She stated that even if she was in a relationship, she would hope her partner would be the one making dinner if she was picking up their child.

Carlson further added that she did not appreciate the “old values” that were being taught to her son by the daycare worker, mentioning that the worker was most likely a retired teacher who had returned to the daycare.

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Gender roles are harmful, and educators shape children’s perceptions of these roles.

This incident highlights the gendered expectations that still exist in our society, where women are assumed to be responsible for domestic chores. Not only are these expectations harmful, but they can make women feel like the roles in their professional and personal lives are limited.

According to CNN, a 2017 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that, across the world, kids growing into adolescence are faced with a common set of rigidly enforced gender expectations that are associated with increased lifelong risks of mental and physical health problems.

The pressure faced by children to conform to these roles—and the isolation experienced if they don't—creates a range of negative impacts depending on a child's assigned gender, according to the study. For girls, those risks can include child marriage, pregnancy, leaving school early, sexually transmitted infections, and exposure to violence. The study says that boys suffer from an increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, and shorter life expectancy than women — especially if they try to challenge masculine norms.

The daycare worker’s comment also raises questions about the impact that early childhood education can have on children’s perception of gender roles. Because children are highly impressionable, it’s easy for them to internalize gender stereotypes they are exposed to at a young age, making it crucial for educators to break this construct.

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Some agreed the worker’s comment was unnecessary while others told Carlson to let it go.

“Why would anyone say that?” asked one commenter. “I would say, oh you are going home. Have a nice evening and see you tomorrow.”

While one user claimed, “What a weird thing for her to say,” another told her to “Just let it be," writing, "I am sure she meant nothing by it. She was just trying to help get him going.”

“Being irritated is fine and understandable,” wrote a fourth user. “However you addressed the comment and it was a simple assumption from someone in a different generation.”

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Maddie Haley is a writer for YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers pop culture and celebrity news.