Dad Receives Backlash From Fellow 'Blue-Collar' Workers For Explaining Why He Turned Down A Job Making Double What He Makes Now

For him it was a simple issue of work-life balance, but others were downright outraged.

blue collar worker Billion Photos / Shutterstock

Finding work-life balance is hard for anyone, but it's even more of a challenge for working parents. But one dad's simple decision to put his family ahead of his career led some online to accuse him of being a bad parent and husband.

The man turned down a job making double the money because his wife and kids are his top priority.

"I turned down a job yesterday, making well over twice as much money as I do now," the self-described blue-collar dad known as @nailinmyfoot on TikTok said in a video. "I said, nope!"


For most of us, that would be a dream. But for this dad, the decision was a no-brainer.

"I just got out of chapel with my son in the middle of the day on a weekday. Yesterday, I picked him up from preschool at 2:30 in the afternoon," he said. "I made my wife supper for probably the 2000th night in a row, and I'll do it again tonight."



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Sure, those things don't pay the bills. But for him, they're top priorities and the high-paying job he turned down wouldn't allow for due to travel requirements and other demands it would place on his time.

And even as hard as things are economically and financially these days, he said he didn't regret his decision because putting his family first makes his life worthwhile. Many people on the internet, however, disagreed with his choice, and a torrent of shocking backlash soon came his way. 

People scolded him, accusing him of being a bad dad and husband for having turned down a job making double the money.

The TikToker said his fellow blue-collar professionals seemed to be the people who got the most angry about his decision. In a follow-up video, he described the wave of vicious criticism he received in response. 

"I made some blue-collar people mad yesterday, which is confusing to me because I'm blue-collar," he said. "The pushback was insane," he went on to say, sharing that he got called a "beta," a popular term on the far-right for men who don't fit the traditional images of an "alpha male." 




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Putting a finer point on this weirdly outdated and sexist notion, the TikToker said he also got called "a woman" by people who scolded him that "a man is supposed to provide for his family." 

He also got accused of being able to turn the job down because of "privilege," by people assuming he was rich enough to not need the extra money. But he said, "all of that's wrong." 


He works roughly 50 hours a week, but his present job allows him flexibility that permits him to be present for his kids and to help his wife by cooking dinner "because I'm a better cook," he said. And he had a message for those calling him a "beta" and a "woman" because of his priorities: "Kiss my [expletive], bro." 

Experts agree that being emotionally present for your kids is far more important than money. 

There's no doubt that growing up in poverty has myriad deleterious effects and that money opens doors for kids. That, coupled with how increasingly difficult our economy is becoming, from the high cost of college to the punishingly cutthroat job market, makes it easy to think that money is the most important thing. 

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But therapists say that the quantity of time spent between parents and kids is just as important as the quality of time and that having parents who "show up" is key to kids growing up feeling safe and secure — not just as children, but all the way into adulthood.


Having present, involved parents is also key to teaching kids emotional intelligence — a skill every bit as important, including in the job market, as the ones money can buy.

For @nailinmyfoot, though, the decision comes down to something far simpler. He's more "in love with being a dad" than he ever could be about a job because of the ways his priorities have changed with fatherhood. 



"I'm ashamed that so much of society can't accept the fact that a man can be a breadwinner and a healthy father for their children," he went on to say, "without being some sort of… monster or someone that's lacking. And unfortunately, I think that stems from the fact that they had insignificant fathers themselves."


In the end, it isn't money that his kids will remember, it's the relationship he fostered while raising them. No salary, no matter how large, can replace the value of that connection.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.