A New Jersey mom is speaking out after a video of a typical flight experience for her family went viral.
In her Nov. 13 Instagram video post, which has since garnered over 16 million views, Maria Roberts is seen on an airplane next to her two children, untangling headphones and setting up a tablet for one child and fetching a backpack, suggesting that she tends to be busy caring for her 3-year-old and 5-year-old during a flight. The short clip also shows her husband Lou Roberts wearing earbuds in the row next to them, appearing to watch an in-flight movie or program and sitting calmly in his own seat, indicating he takes a hand-off approach when he travels by plane with his wife and kids.
“As Lou likes to say, ‘I would switch with you, but they refuse to sit next to me,'” Roberts wrote in the caption, referring to her husband.
Roberts, who works as a content creator and a part-time speech pathologist, said both she and her husband were acting out the scenario and filmed each other for the video, which she wanted to share to show fellow mothers her family’s relatable experience.
“It’s meant to have moms feel like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m not the only one going through this type of situation’ in a humorous way, so we can laugh about it and de-stress a little bit,” Roberts told “Good Morning America.”
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The mom of two said this particular family travel setup might not be universal, but for her and her family, it’s usually the “stress-free” way to fly together.
“We’re just trying to get from point A to point B on the plane as smoothly and as stress-free as possible,” Roberts said. “Both of my kids prefer to sit with me. So that’s just how we do it. They sit with me, my husband takes the seat directly across from us on the aisle so he can be right there too. But Mom ends up being the one that’s coordinating all of the things with the kids. Dad’s kind of hanging out but he’s there if needed.”
“We may change how we do our flight setup in the future but I also like to sit next to both of my kids,” she added.
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Roberts also said that even though the short video clip focuses more on her experience with the children on the flight, what viewers don’t see is the work her husband puts in before the family even boards the plane.
“He is the one that has booked our flights, booked the car. He does all of the managing of getting to the airport, managing us through the airport,” Roberts explained. “I feel like you do what makes things as easy as possible when you travel and I don’t think every single task has to be split 50-50. You just kind of do what works for your family.”
For other parents traveling with young kids, Roberts’ advice is to not stress too much about what may or may not happen.
“If your child cries the entire time, it’s OK. Most people on the plane feel bad for you,” Roberts said. “Don’t let it deter you from flying with your kids.”
Her other tried-and-true tip? Pack snacks, if possible.
“We pack a backpack for each child, actually, and I fill each backpack with their own snacks and activities and a tablet and anything that I think that they might like so that way, we can just kind of rotate through things on the plane to keep them engaged on the flight,” she added.
At the end of the day, Roberts said she encourages other families and parents to do what works for them, even if it doesn’t look like her family’s experience.
“We do what works for us. You can do what works for you,” she said.
Mom explains why her husband doesn’t sit with her and kids on flight originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com