The year 2020 will go down in the history books for many reasons — and one footnote might be that it was the year parents descended upon TikTok, the social media app once dominated solely by teenagers dancing to Cardi B.
With this newfound platform combined with YouTube and Instagram, parents had more opportunity than ever to express perspectives on social justice, remote learning, raising teenagers, and just the fun of having babies and kids — and they did.
Here are some of our favorite viral parenting videos of 2020:
A soundtrack for remote learning and teaching in 2020
Remote/online/distance learning became a central part of the parenting experience in 2020, whether we liked it or not. And almost without exception, we did not like it, and neither did teachers.
TikTok user @makeshift.macaroni, a music teacher named Liz, pretty much summed up the general feeling about online learning and teaching with an original song she posted for everyone's listening ... uh ... pleasure.
The video went viral and was even shared by actor Mark Ruffalo on Twitter. Seems many agreed with the commenter who wrote, "This is amazing. This song speaks to me spiritually."
You know what they say about karma, kids ...
Ohio mom Angela Higinbotham's TikTok bio says she is "not like a regular mom," and that's the truth. A video she made and posted of her dream of someday walking into her grown kids' houses with her husband and treating them with the same disregard they treat her house now has 12 million views.
The video, which she hashtagged "payback" and "karma," shows Higinbotham and her husband hiding dishes under beds and spitting toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror.
When Higinbotham posts videos, her two older daughters joke that she is "cringe-y," but that doesn't stop her, she told TODAY Parents.
"They definitely have tried to deny that they do anything in the video," Higinbotham said. "Shoes come off in the garage before coming in the house, so I’ll give them that one, but everything else is 10,000% things they do daily."
Allison Holker and husband tWitch: "White privilege is real"
In the midst of the social justice movement inspired by the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, dance icons and spouses Allison Holker and Stephen "tWitch" Boss went viral on TikTok with an answer to the app's "check your privilege challenge" trend.
For the challenge, Holker, who is white, and Boss, who is Black, responded to statements on a pre-recorded sound clip: "Put a finger down if you have been called a racial slur. Put a finger down if you've been followed in a store unnecessarily ... put a finger down if you have had fear in your heart when stopped by the police."
After 10 questions, Boss eventually ran out of fingers to put down. Holker, however, related to none of the statements until the final one: "Put a finger down if you have ever had to teach your child how not to get killed by the police." Holker, a mom of biracial children, finally lowered a finger.
The video has more than 3.5 million views and serves as a powerful example of how white privilege affects even different members of the same family and household.
A peanut-sized peanut gallery enjoys her mom's golf fail
"You know you suck at golf when even your baby laughs at you," said Mackenzie Haggett. In a viral video posted on Instagram, Haggett misses a golf shot, and her daughter Aria, 16 months, finds it absolutely hilarious.
Haggett told TODAY Parents her husband loves to play golf, but as a former gymnast, the sport isn't her greatest skill. Still, she plans to continue to attempt to perfect her swing.
Until then, she'll provide great entertainment for her mini heckler!
A mom nails the pitfalls of quarantining with children
The day she wrote the lyrics, Borders told TODAY Parents, "My kids had been fighting much of the day, my kindergartner was fighting me on doing schoolwork, and they had all been clingier than normal. I was actually thinking to myself, 'Oh my God, if someone says 'mom' one more time, I'm changing my name and moving to Madagascar.'"
Borders says her words are "100% based off of real life." In fact, at the end of the song, you can actually hear one of her young daughters barging into the room and saying, "Mom," while tapping on her hip.
As if she wasn't already relatable enough, Borders' reflections have been echoed by many parents since the pandemic began last spring.
"As a mother, it has made me realize that it's OK sometimes for me to not be the perfect mom and wife," Borders said. "It has also taught me that I am absolutely not cut out to be a teacher, and made me realize how thankful I am that there are people who take the time to teach our kids."
Welcome to da club
Turning 21 while quarantined at home with your parents and your younger sister in the middle of a global pandemic is no college student's dream, so Carolyn Torchia decided to make the best of the situation and plan an epic at-home celebration for her oldest child, Jack.
Jack's sister, Emily, 18, posted a video on TikTok of the result: a nightclub just for Jack in the family's New Jersey garage, complete with a bouncer — also known to Jack as "Dad" — green tea shots, and a festive leg lamp.
Welcome to "Club Quarantine":
"My brother enjoyed every second of it," Emily told TODAY Parents. "We told him at dinner that he had to get dressed up because we were going to a club — the confused look on his face was hilarious."
Get in mah (baby) belly
Little Albie Dunville, who will be celebrating his third birthday next month, mesmerized us with his marinara-soaked belly-rubbing and his charming smile. The UK toddler's viral video also brought awareness to Down syndrome, a condition he happens to have.
"Albie has absolute bags of personality and his smile is the most contagious I've ever seen," his mother, Emma Ayers, told TODAY Parents. "You can literally watch people around him light up."
We can't wait to see what new treasures 2021 brings!
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