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Woman Who Grew Up In Spain Reveals How Differently Americans Parent In Eye-Opening TikTok

TikToker Ana Gildersleeve explained how kids in Spain adapt to their parents' schedules rather than the reverse, which is the norm in the U.S.

Woman describes differences in parenting in Spain and the U.S.
@_anagildersleeve/TikTok

We've all heard the saying, "It takes a village," but parents in the United States often question where this supposed village will magically appear from.

TikToker Ana Gildersleeve, after growing up in Spain and moving to the United States, believed this originated from how isolating the parenting experience often is for Americans.

Using her TikTok channel to talk about the differences between the two countries, she said:

"I think that being a parent in the U.S. is way more boring and isolating than in Spain."
"Someone [another mom] 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.'"

In the video, Gildersleeve described the isolated work week of most Americans she'd observed.

"First of all, most Americans don't do anything fun during the week after work, especially if you are a parent."
"Monday through Friday, most Americans do not socialize with other people. You go straight home after work, or if you are a parent, right after your kids' activities."
"In general, Americans save social events for the weekends."
"They spend a lot of time in the house."

Gildersleeve pointed out that life in Spain was dramatically different.

"Whereas in Spain, we are outside all of the time. Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
"When the kids are done with school, you go to the closest playground to the school, and socialize with other parents."
"Also, there are many playgrounds that have attached little bars or coffee shops. 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, like, unthinkable in the U.S."

Gildersleeve went on to describe how infrequently she saw friends get together in the United States, as opposed to making same-day plans with friends in Spain.

Gildersleeve also pointed out that motherhood seems like a far more isolated experience in the U.S., likely because of the frequency with which most families moved around, unlike families in Spain that live within walking distance from one another, making it much easier to support one another.

Finally, Gildersleeve had strong opinions about who was creating the schedules: parents meeting the demands of their children's schedules or kids going with the flow of their parents' schedule. When parents end their fun evening early because their children need to go to bed, they're taking care of their children but also jeopardizing their abilities to nurture their social network.

You can watch the full video here:

@_anagildersleeve

My thoughts on parenthood/motherhood in the U.S🇺🇸 vs Spain🇪🇸 #cultureshock #livingabroad #livingabroadwithkids #motherhoodjourney #mothethood #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #spain #usa #fypシ #learnontiktok

After watching the video, some were thoroughly convinced they needed to move to Spain.

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Others were more critical and claimed it was easy to speak highly of a different lifestyle.

@_anagildersleeve/TikTok

@_anagildersleeve/TikTok

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@_anagildersleeve/TikTok

@_anagildersleeve/TikTok

Any two countries will be different in how they approach living, work, and parenthood, but it's glaring to see how two countries can differ when one embraces "working to live," while the other prioritizes "living to work."