What a parent does for work can affect their child if the hours or travel keep them from seeing each other very often.
But can the type of work a parent does to feed and clothe their child be inherently bad? And who gets to decide what kind of jobs parents shouldn't have?
One 34-year-old woman asked herself that question, then turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor Parking_Affect4563 asked:
"AITA for refusing to quit my job?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I work as an exotic dancer at a club not far from my apartment and as a 'sugar baby' (hate that term!). I also have a daughter who was in the 7th grade when this happened."
"She knows I work at a 'bar' but has never been there, and none of my 'gentleman friends' have ever been to my home. There weren't any problems with this until two years ago, when her math teacher called me for a parent-teacher conference."
"The night before he called me, he came to the club where I work, and I gave one of his friends a lapdance. I thought I recognized him from somewhere, but I'd only met my daughter's teachers once before, so I didn't know where from."
"Basically, he told me to quit my job. According to him, I was completely unfit to be a mother, and my daughter was growing up in an unsafe environment."
"I was stunned, especially since he'd been quite handsy with my co-worker despite being married, but I was as polite as I could be when I told him I was obviously not going to quit my job."
"He threatened to call CPS, and I told him to go ahead—they'd see that I'm an excellent mother."
"He didn't end up calling CPS, and the subject dropped."
"I'm only posting here because I was getting lunch with a friend a few days ago (my daughter recently started in-person school again) and she invited her sister, who was in town."
"We got onto the subject of obnoxious teachers, and I told the story, since at this point I just think it's funny. My friend's heard it before, and she laughed, but her sister looked horrified."
"'You're a stripper and you have a kid?' she asked, and I just said, 'Yeah'. She glared at me and said she had to go.
"So I'm wondering—am I a bad mother because of my job? I'm very involved in my girl's life, and we have a great relationship."
Redditors were asked to weigh in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was definitely not the a**hole.
"NTA. Anyone who goes to a strip club and criticizes strippers is a massive hypocrite. Your kid's wellbeing is the only measure of how you're doing as a mother, and the kid is OK, so any misogynists who have a problem with your job can kick rocks." ~ mongoooses
"NTA. You sound like you are keeping that aspect of your work away from your daughter and doing everything you can for her. The people giving you grief are the AH (a**holes)." ~ ShibeDogeBork
"NTA. Being a stripper doesn't make you a bad mom anymore than being a lawyer makes you a good one." ~ dirtybirdfeeder
"Damned if you do damned if you don't. If she was working at a grocery store hardly able to provide for her kid she'd be a bad mom."
"If she was on government assistance she'd be a bad mom. If she was working full time and going to school and not spending any time with her kid she'd be a bad mom."
"Screw em. Do your thing. Make your money. Provide for your kid."
"Seduce the math teacher's wife. Make her spend his salary on you." ~ Missfantasynerd
"The flexibility of the schedule most dancers have definitely allows you to be at every special event and even the small ones. I was able to go on all the field trips, be at every school event/ceremony, take my kids to every practice and just be there for them in general."
"As a single mom I definitely feel like it allowed me to be a better mom." ~ Spiritual_Astronaut7
"I bet he mentioned CPS so she'd be too afraid to tell his wife / boss. NTA." ~ MrsY-Bibliophile
"Had he called cps, I would have called the school board. My best friend is a teacher and cannot even be spotted having a beer in public."
"I can only imagine what would be said about being recognized at the local titty bar. (No offense OP, I'm jealous you are still killing that money at 34 and after kids. I would be paid to put it back on)." ~ Lucy_in_the_sky_0
"The hypocrisy alone makes you NTA." ~ FanofYueFei
"It's so weird how some people's minds work."
"Somehow it's not possible for sex workers to be respectable and fit parents, but it's possible for a man to benefit from their services and still be respectable and fit to teach. Like whaa??" ~ kaaallafroo
"NTA. On the list of things that make you a bad mother, being a stripper does not come close."
"You've said you have a great relationship with your daughter and you're providing for her which is more than a lot of other parents can say. Keep on doing you."
"Also, the f'king hypocrisy of the teacher visiting a strip club and then judging you for working there 🙄" ~ so-maya
"NTA. Your job does not define how good of a mother you are. Like, are people who work in the sex industry forbidden from living normal lives outside of their work hours?" ~ SkeletonPieces
"NTA. I think the real problem is that you destroyed the fantasy for the teacher that all strippers are sexually available and actually interested in having sex with their customers (despite the fact that most do not)."
"You made him realize that you're a real person and not just an object to fap to, and he can't reconcile that within his worldview. That's a him problem, not a you problem." ~ Katt_ler
"NTA. When I worked in a strip clinic at least half the dancers were moms. It's frankly a pretty great job for a parent."
"They'd get off work at three, go home, chill or nap, take their kid to school, sleep, pick up kid from school, help with homework, have dinner & go to work. And usually work 3-4 days a week."
"Not many working parents can manage that kind of availability."
"Plus, people who are good at stripping can frankly be good at just about anything, it requires the ability to make instant connections with strangers, sell & up sell, and hustle, it's hard work."
"That teacher & your friend's sister are TA." ~ lolagyrrl
"NTA - If it is so awful, why was he there?" ~ lacyjacobs
While this is likely not the first or last time the OP has been judged for their job, they can take solace in the fact Redditors have her back.