As parents, we’re usually done for the night once children are all tucked into bed. However one TikTok mum recently posted a video, showing what she does each evening once her 10 kids are asleep – and while her routine is admirable, not all her followers are impressed.
Alicia and Josh Dougherty are parents to 10 children – four biological and six adopted from foster care – and have become an internet sensation. They have a huge following on both TikTok and Instagram and regularly post videos that show what everyday life looks like in a household of 10 kids. In a recent post, Alicia describes her “Evening routine after my 10 kids go to sleep” – and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
The busy mum starts by unpacking all of the kids’ lunch boxes. She puts all their ice packs back into the freezer and washes all the dishes. She then cleans up the bathroom, which is a mess after 10 showers, and hangs out all their towels.
This would be enough for some parents but Alicia then puts toothpaste on all their toothbrushes and lays out clothes for the next day. She even packs their snacks for school. “I put them in their back packs with their water for the next day,” she says, “Then I go through all their coats and take out their wet mittens and make sure the have a nice dry pair and I make sure they have an extra face mask in their backpack.”
She then vacuums and plugs in all their devices to re-charge.
“By that point, it’s midnight,” she says. “So I scroll social media until I fall asleep.”
@doughertydozen #Routine What’s Your #EveningRoutine ? #BigFamily #BigFamilyLife #MomLife #10kids ♬ GOOD VIBES – Ellen Once Again
The post attracted 1.4 million likes and well over 32,000 comments. However the reactions were extremely mixed. Many viewers are in awe of Alicia and what she achieves each night, leaving comments such as “You’re such an amazing WOMAN” and “I have one kid and I’m exhausted.”
However many of the mum’s followers were highly critical of the routine, saying that her kids should be doing more jobs around the house. “They can’t put toothpaste on their own toothbrushes? Or clean up after themselves?” commented one follower.
“I’m pretty sure most of them are capable of doing a lot of that by themselves and it’s important to make sure they have those skills,” said another.
“Just as my personal opinion – it’s too much,” wrote yet another. “They surely can take out the wet things out of their pockets or put their ice packs in the freezer?”
The comments go on and on, however one or two followers show their support and understanding. “Most (if not all) of her kids have difference diagnoses and special needs. If this routine sets them up for success, let her be!” wrote one.
“Maybe this stuff makes her feel good… I wish I had a mom like you!” wrote another
Ultimately, everyone is different and whatever works is the best plan. Ten children is a huge number to organise and many of this brood do have special needs. Personally, the thought of getting them all dressed, fed and teeth cleaned before school is absolutely exhausting. If putting the toothpaste on brushes the night before helps make the morning run more easily – then why not?
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