A Spanish mom who lives in the US has listed the differences in the parenting style of both countries and said parenthood in America can be ‘isolating.’
Ana Gildersleeve, a college football coach, was born and raised in Valencia, Spain, but later moved to Kansas, US, to live with her American husband.
The mum-of-two, who goes by the username @_anagildersleeve on TikTok, posted a video listing the differences in the parenting styles of Americans and Spanish people.
“My thoughts on parenthood/motherhood in the U.S vs. Spain,” she captioned her GRWM video on TikTok.
“I think being a parent in the US is way more boring and isolating than in Spain. Someone told me, ‘I thought I was depressed, but I was just in the wrong country.’ And that’s when I was like, ‘I need to talk about this.’” Said Ana.
“First of all, most Americans don’t do anything fun during the week after work, especially if you are a parent. Let me explain. Monday through Friday, most Americans do not socialize with other people,” she continued.”
Gildersleeve added that American parents go straight home from work and mostly save their social events for the weekends, whereas, in Spain, people are out all the time with or without children.
“They go straight home after work, or if you are a parent, after your kid’s activities. In general, Americans save social events for the weekend, they spend a lot of time in the house. Whereas in Spain, we are out all the time. Monday through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. When the kids are done with school, you go to the closest playground to their school and socialize with other parents.” She said.
“Also, there are many playgrounds that have attached, like, a little bar or a coffee shop, and it’s super normal to have a glass of wine or a beer with other parents while the kids play in the playground. That’s unthinkable in the US.”
According to Gildersleeve, people in the US take forever to make plans and have to schedule playdates weeks and sometimes even months in advance. On the other hand, Spanish parents are more spontaneous in their plans.
“I feel like in the US, it takes forever to meet up with your friends. You have to schedule playdates weeks and sometimes months in advance, whereas back home you’re like, ‘Hey, are you home?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Want to meet up in 20 minutes at the park with the kids?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Okay, meet you there.’ Also, I think motherhood is way more isolating here because I feel like most Americans don’t have a village at all. Moving around the country is just pretty normal here. In Spain, most people live close to their families, like my siblings live within 20 minutes away from each other, walking. So it’s my mom, my grandma, my aunt, my cousins.”
She added, “Another thing is that here in America, parents stop doing what they are doing even though they are having fun because they need to put their kids to bed at 7 pm. If you see a kid is still awake past 8 PM, it’s like, ‘You’re a bad mom.’ But in Spain, it doesn’t matter where you are. You just bring the stroller and the kid will fall asleep.”
She ended her video by saying that in America, parents organize their life around their children’s schedules, but in Spain, children must adapt according to their parents’ schedules.
“Finally, in Spain, even though you are a mom, you keep hanging out with your girlfriends, and you’ll still go to bars and clubs from time to time. But I feel like in the US when women become moms, they stop having fun. Yes, your priorities have changed but one thing doesn’t take the other. You can go to a bar or a club and get a couple of drinks with your best friends and still be a good mom.”
The video amassed over 2 million views on TikTok with more than 391K likes and 8,000 comments.
People in the comment section had mixed reactions to Ana’s video.
“we’re overworked, underpaid, and can’t afford groceries or medical care. we’re all so stressed out,” one wrote.
“America is isolating in general. I don’t have kids and spend most of my time alone. It’s so sad,” a second said.
“Okay but now compare husbands in the US vs Spain and I think you’ll find your answer,” a third wrote.
“OH MY GOSH I AM IN THE WRONG COUNTRY,” someone said.
“We have no third space here! It’s a huge problem- we have no easy place to gather,” said someone else.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.