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Family’s doorbell cam footage proves that mom is the 'default parent'

"Where's daddy?"
/ Source: TODAY

A viral TikTok shows what it looks like when mom is the "default parent."

"Moms can never get a minute of peace, lol," Toniann Marchese of Oviedo, Florida, captioned a video with nearly 4M views.

The clip shows Marchese talking through the family’s Ring camera to her 3-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, who were home with their father Eric.

Mom was out grocery shopping and dad was right there with the kids, but still, they took their problems to their mother.

"My tablet is dead," the boy told his mom, through the Ring camera.

"Where's daddy?" asked Marchese.

"I dunno," said her son.

Then her daughter jumps into frame. "Mommy, my tablet's not — where are you right now?"

Marchese continued asking, "Where is daddy?" as both children complained to their mom about their tablets.

In a different video, Marchese's son calls her again, pointing to his dad, who is holding the devices. "Mommy, daddy's right here!" said the boy.

“Kids prefer mom over dad ... also life. Karens can keep their comments to themselves,” Marchese captioned another video.

Marchese’s comments section was awash with jokes:

“Never mind consulting the project manager. Goes straight to corporate,” “We all know damn well they both walked right past their father to do that” and “Daddy was in the bathroom.”

“My kids will walk right past my husband on the couch to interrupt my shower and ask for juice,” a mom wrote.

“I hate to break it to you, this doesn’t stop,” a commenter added. “My kids walk past my (hubby) to ask me stuff. They’re 17 and 10.”

“My 6 year old called me from his 22-year-old sister’s phone to ask me for something to drink when I was out getting my nails done last week,” shared a mother.

The term "default parent" is somewhat of a joke, but there's a kernel of truth.

"A default parent is typically one who is 'first in line' when it comes to caring for children, child-related responsibilities, or home-related tasks," clinical psychologist Amber Thornton wrote in Psychology Today. "Assuming that there are two parents present, the default parent is more likely to carry the bigger load in parenting."

Default parenting as a syndrome, Thornton wrote, "Is more than just an individual problem; rather, it is a systemic and collective experience in which there is a bias toward women and mothers in providing primary care for parenting and home-related tasks. This bias is largely the product of decades of patriarchal cultural history that has continued to evolve in various ways throughout our time."

Thornton cautions that default parents can feel burnt out. Children caught in the dynamic can experience a negative relationship with both parents, she says.

Marchese tells that Eric had been working on household chores while supervising their kids and was not in the bathroom or otherwise absent, as some on TikTok had suggested.

"I know my kids are safe with their dad," she says, adding that Eric saw the humor in their children's dilemma.

"Some people said he was 'useless,'" she says. "It's wild that people take the time to say nasty things."

As for being the so-called "default" parent, Marchese says it's a logistical role. "Dad is at work before the children wake up and comes back after they get home from school," she says. "It's just a different bond."

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