A dad whose TikTok video of his postpartum wife exercising while their house was messy kindled a war over gender roles says his critics missed his point.
“It was a message I stood by, and still do,” Phil MacKenzie, 35, a Canadian father of four, said in an appearance on TODAY with his wife, Brodie, on Jan. 30.
“I think moms, and Brodie in particular, need to put themselves first and I think there’s that burden of women feel that they have to take care of everything, and it’s trying to shift that narrative.”
“I’m happy to help out all the time,” he said. “Neither of us get to sit down, but I still know inside you kills you, like you think that’s your responsibility and trying to shift that narrative.”
MacKenzie says he was proud his wife took some time to focus on herself.
“I saw her doing something for herself, and I think that was the most amazing thing because she’s always putting everyone else in front of herself, right?” he said. “Kids, family, house. And I think, to me, that mess can wait. We can handle it later on.”
Brodie and Phil are parents to sons Hudson, 5, twins Preston and Boden, 2, and Ashton, 3 months. Brodie said she has been able to take the controversy in stride.
“As I was working out, a piece of macaroni and cheese fell off of me and I was dying laughing. I was like, ‘This is chaos, but I’m just going to get my workout in and feel better for it.’ And I did,” she said.
Earlier this month, Phil posted a now-viral TikTok video of “super mom” Brodie exercising at home.
“Today, I walked in on my wife working out while our newborn napped,” the founder of a fitness app, captioned the video, now with more than 4 million views.
“Our house was a disaster. Dishes needed to be cleaned. Laundry needed to be done,” he continued. “And a million other things she felt she had to do. Yet, I could not be more proud. She instead decided to take just a little time to herself that she deserved 10 times over.”
“Always remember that YOU DESERVE time to yourself,” he wrote. “The mess and chores can always wait, but your mental health should never be sacrificed.”
While Brodie adored her husband’s message, as did others, they were in the minority.
“Husbands will do everything but the household chores,” someone chided on TikTok.
“You got hands. Clean,” wrote a commenter.
“How about helping her?” asked someone else; a user wrote, “Dude? Try pitching in.”
Brodie shook off the criticism that Phil wasn’t helping her out, saying he does more than his fair share.
“He always does,” she said on TODAY. “We always joke that we’re like a WWE tag team. Kids flying at us, I’m in a chokehold. He’s cleaning and we’re always relying on each other.”
“Our house would implode if we weren’t both all hands on deck 24/7,” she added.
Brodie previously told TODAY.com that she didn’t take the negativity that seriously.
“Some of the comments were hilarious but I felt guilty because he didn’t deserve the backlash,” she said.
The mom explained the 19-second video was shot during a pocket of downtime. The couple are parents of Hudson, 5, twins Preston and Boden, 2, and Ashton, 3 months.
“I get anxiety when my home is messy and that holds me back from exercising,” she said. “Phil was showing how proud he was that I left the mess until we could clean together.”
The couple said their marriage is a partnership.
“It’s not a one-way street — and I would never want it that way, otherwise there’s resentment,” Phil told TODAY.com. “We split the load, but it’s always evolving.”
He added, “If I can help someone make that mind shift and let the mess wait, that’s a win.”
The couple will get some relief when it comes to cleaning, too. While appearing on TODAY, they were gifted with a year of home cleaning from Molly Maid.
“That is amazing,” Brodie said.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com