Expecting couple's requests for free food, mental health therapy blasted on social media

Expecting couple's requests for free food, mental health therapy blasted on social media
Photo credit: Meal Train

An American father-to-be stressed by the upcoming birth of his first child has requested elaborate free meals and for people to do his chores - and it has outraged social media.

Philadelphia couple Jim and Alex Burns are expecting the birth of their first child on April 29, and stressed by the upcoming arrival, Jim arranged an account on the website Meal-Train.

The website allows strangers to make people home-cooked meals and deliver them those who say that they are in need "after a birth, surgery or illness".

On the couple's profile, Jim explains why he was organising the account.

 "As the father-to-be, I'm teetering on a fence of emotions… one of the things I'm most afraid of is not getting a great deal of sleep and as a result not being in the best frame of mind to offer my wife the support she needs to recover from the child birthing-processes".

Under the "special instructions" heading, the man lists more than 30 meal ideas as well as several elaborate requests, including for the food to be low on sugar. What the pair doesn't like to eat is also included.

But the man's desires go further than just food, saying he wasn't just wanting a Meal-Train, but a "mental-health check-in Train" and a "Do you need any help today train".

"It may mean stopping by and walking the dog, or doing some dishes, or simply bringing your smile and some conversation."

He then goes on to say the couple doesn't want to be distracted, so they would put a cooler in the yard for people to put the food in.

A neighbour of the couple shared screenshots of the page on Twitter, calling it "the most ridiculous thing ever" and the "most millennial phrasing I have ever seen in my life".

The social media post has since gone viral, with others ridiculing the couple of the requests and questioning their level of responsibility and independence as soon-to-be parents.

"Dude is not fit to be a father if he's already a mess over this," said one user, while another said: "I have stage four cancer and live alone, and I wouldn't expect or ask strangers to do any of this for me. These people are deranged."

Others said the requests were so absurd that they thought the couple were joking, but when The New York Post reached out the couple, the father said he was shocked the Meal-Train account was getting so much attention and apologised if it was taken the wrong way.

"If they are not interested, then they don't have to check that site or do anything. This is the world we live in."

"New bookings are no longer being accepted" for the account, Meal-Train's website says.