Mom Says She Doesn't Feel 'Guilty' For Sending Her Toddler To Daycare While On Maternity Leave
May 24, 2023 by apost team
Young children can be a handful for working parents to care for, which is why a break from them from time to time can be quite welcomed. However, one woman sparked debate online after she revealed that, even while on maternity leave, she still sends her toddler to daycare instead of caring for her at home while she’s off from work temporarily and doesn’t feel “guilty” about her decision in the least.
On May 19, 2023, the mom took to Reddit’s Dive Into Anything forum to share her story after going on maternity leave.
“On maternity leave with baby #2. It’s 24 weeks long (about the best you get in America). The thought didn’t even cross our minds to pull our toddler out of daycare while I’m on leave. And no, I don’t feel guilty about it,” she started her post.
She went on to say that her decision was also based on the fact that her daughter enjoyed spending the day with her friends and would likely not have appreciated being cooped up at home.
“When people question it, I give the following answer: she would lose her spot in school if we pulled her, and she likes going. Her friends are there and she loves to play all day. If she was home with me all day she would get way less attention and stimulation,” she wrote.
She added her husband also benefitted from having their daughter be out of the house during working hours as he “works from home, so the house would be chaos and I’d be constantly trying to keep the toddler out of his office.”
The mom went on to describe the experience as “incredible.”
“What I don’t say (for fear of judgment) is that I’m really enjoying this time spent with my baby, and my days are a million times easier without my toddler being home. I’ve gotten so many of our house projects and family To Do’s completed in the past weeks. It’s incredible,” she wrote.
In an edit posted later, she acknowledged the criticism she had received from some users but that “Most of the people who question this decision are either people who don’t have kids, or were/are stay at home parents (my mom chief among them). I think most people with a toddler understand!”
She also addressed speculation about why her maternity leave was so long and said she worked for a “large CPA/consulting firm” and worked an average of 50 to 80 hours a week, “but they give us a lot of time off too!”
In the comments, many users agreed that the woman’s decision was in the best interest of her and her toddler. They sympathized with her situation and urged her not to pay heed to any criticism about her choice.
“Yes, keeping their routine is so important. And with a new baby, you are not in a position where you can easily meet all the needs for the toddler. Everyone would suffer,” one user remarked. Another said, “I had no idea this was controversial. If a child is already in daycare, why would you pull them out, disrupt their routine, and either lose their daycare spot or pay for one while not using it? This is all at the same time that you have a new baby at home? Like, what?”
While the mother gained a lot of positive feedback, not everybody was sympathetic.
“I had my 2nd and my toddler was home. I missed out on a lot of 1:1 bonding time that I wish I was able to get. Do what’s right for you but for me personally I missed out on that bonding time. Also, just a thought starting her after the baby comes, she might feel like she’s in daycare now only because now there is a new baby,” one reader wrote.
Another questioned, “Are you not concerned with toddler bringing home a daycare sickness and passing it off to everyone and newborn?”
Generally, however, much of the feedback was encouraging.
“Let’s make the ‘selfish’ answer socially acceptable too,” one user said. Another wrote:
“I totally agree with you and understand entirely as we share the same exact feelings. I feel frustrated that you feel like you even have to justify that! Like why, as women/parents, do we feel like we have to justify every choice we make for our family? We all live one life and we can’t make ourselves happy trying to please others so always do what feels best to you and you don’t owe an explanation to anyone else.”
One user, however, surmised that the negative comments the mother had received about her post boiled down to jealousy.
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“I’m sorry you felt the need to defend this position. It's a no-brainer and frankly nobody's business. I kind of saw it as an equality thing too: baby no.1 had all my time and attention, so why not baby no. 2 at least while I can? It really helped us form our own bond too. And as an aside, I bet those that guilt you are jealous,” the comment read.
Do you think the mom made the right decision for her and her child? Let us know your thoughts, and be sure to pass this along to family and friends to get their take on the issue too.