Librarian Hayley DeRoche could write a book about parenting expectations vs. reality. In the meantime, she’s sharing her hilarious musings on TikTok.
“Family dinner. Do not enjoy,” DeRoche, 36, begins in a recent video. “I thought it would be a lovely bonding experience. At the end of the day, jokes on me, because it is not.”
"Family meal was sold to me as being a time when everyone connects," DeRoche, who's kids are 8 and 6, tells TODAY.com.
In the clip, DeRoche implores viewers to “imagine inviting multiple wild mongoose” over for a meal.
“They are ravenous, but they are also immediately full because they do not like what has been placed on the table,” she says. “Also they have no bones, so they’re just flopping right out of their seats. I don’t know why you even have seats, honestly.”
DeRoche also romanticized walks in the woods before she became a mom.
“Do you know how fast you can move on a trail with a child who does not want to be hiking? Imagine a glacier… that glacier is faster than the pace that you will make on this hike,” DeRoche explains, noting that she has had “some success with the Hansel and Gretel method.”
According to DeRoche this is “where you take some of your trail mix and just drop it along behind you.”
Next, DeRoche bemoans reading graphic novels aloud.
“I’m so glad they enjoy graphic novels as much as I do. Unfortunately I do not enjoy reading graphic novels of ‘Dog Man’ aloud because it’s basically just dialogue,” she says. “So it’s confusing for everyone involved.”
“I don’t want to burn books, but the thought has crossed my mind,” DeRoche adds.
DeRoche, who lives in Virginia, tells TODAY.com that mealtime has been the biggest letdown.
“I envisioned all of us coming around the table, and we would each ask each other about how our day was, and we would be talking about something we learned that was new,” she says. “I also expected we would all be sitting on our butts in chairs. Most of the meal is spent trying to keep people in chairs.”
As for hiking, “I definitely thought it would involves more people’s feet on the ground as opposed to me carrying them,” DeRoche says. “I thought we’d be powering through and learning some life lessons about endurance. The reality is, you just get a lot of ticks and everyone cries.”
DeRoche’s relatable video has resonated with parents everyone.
“I spent my entire pregnancy and the 1st year of my son’s life looking forward to spending time in the kitchen together. I hate it so so much,” one person wrote in the comments.
Added another, “Reading ‘Dog Man’ out loud is really making me question my whole “I don’t care what we read as long as we’re reading” philosophy.”