Last month, Nini Suarez, who goes by the username @whatsuarez on TikTok, revealed in a video shared to the platform that she brings her young child to work with her, and that he “loves it and is loved”.
In the clip, the toddler can be seen being held by various employees at the Arizona strip club where Suarez works, and sitting on the counter at the club.
Suarez captioned the TikTok: “When people get offended that your son is a strip club baby, but he loves it and is loved.”
The video, which has been viewed more than 1.1m times, has been met with a range of responses, with some viewers criticising Suarez’s choice to bring her son to the strip club.
However, the overwhelming majority of the comments have been positive, with numerous TikTok users expressing their support for Suarez.
“Being monitored, clean environment, fed, loved, dressed… what’s the issue exactly?” one person commented.
Another said: “I see a strong mom surrounded by love and support doing what she has to do for herself and her child.”
“It takes a village. Carry on!” someone else added.
Others defended Suarez from criticism on the basis that childcare can be expensive and difficult to secure, with one viewer asking a critic: “Do you have kids? Do you know how much daycare or babysitting actually costs?”
The video also prompted many viewers to share their own experiences bringing their children to work, or growing up at their parents’ places of work.
“This was my baby 17 years ago. He had his first birthday at the club I worked at lol,” one viewer wrote, while another said: “I just want to say that I was raised exactly like this but in a dive bar and those people loved me endlessly and still love me endlessly.”
In the comments, Suarez confirmed that her son is not in “danger” and “never will be while in the club,” before explaining that he enjoys the music.
Suarez, who revealed that she worked as a dancer during her pregnancy with her son, also acknowledged that 80 per cent of the women who work at the strip club are “mothers themselves”.
While most of the comments were supportive, Suarez addressed some of the questions she received in a follow-up video, where she began by noting: “For the haters, I really don’t care to answer any of your questions”.
In the video, Suarez then explained that, when her son comes to work with her, he does not enter the actual club, where the dancers are and alcohol is served, but instead stays inside the club’s lobby.
Suarez also said that her son is never at the club all night, and that when he does attend work with her, he is never out of her sight, before noting that he loves going into the locker room with the dancers because “the ladies absolutely love him”.
The strip club manager also addressed concerns over drunk customers, reiterating that her son is never inside the club with customers and that any drunk customers are removed by security.
“One thing I also want to address is, strippers are mothers,” Suarez continued. “And they love hard like they love their own children.”
Suarez, who previously shared a video of her son crawling on to the stage after hours as a dancer practiced, concluded the video explaining she has no problem with her son being held by or around the dancers and that it “shouldn’t be anybody’s business” if she wants to work at a strip club rather than a desk job.
The follow-up video was also met with praise for Suarez, with one viewer commenting: “You don’t owe anyone an explanation momma!” while another said: “Girl no explanation needed. You are a good momma taking care of your baby.”
A May survey conducted by YouGov found families across the US spend an average of $8,355 a year on child care for each child, according to CNBC, and that, on average, parents spend a little more than $750 per child per month during the school year, with the number increasing to an average of $834 for summer child care.
The Independent has contacted Suarez for comment.
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