“I Don’t Feel Guilty About It”: Mom Is Expected To Pull Toddler Out Of Daycare While On Maternity Leave, But She’s Having None Of It
It’s important to learn not to judge other people before you get their entire story. Especially when it comes to parenting, a topic that pretty much everyone seems to have an opinion about. Sometimes, decisions that might initially sound a bit unusual are actually for the best once you think about them.
Redditor u/edamommy_, a mother of two, recently went viral on the r/workingmoms online community. She shared how she’s on maternity leave after giving birth to her second child, however, she and her husband decided that their first kid should continue to stay in daycare during this time. Many internet users were very supportive of this decision and pointed out that maternity leave isn’t the same as a vacation. Read on for the full story and to see what people had to say about it.
Many parents are critical of how everyone else raises their kids
Image credits: Prostock-studio (not the actual photo)
One mom shared how she decided to keep her firstborn in daycare while she’s on maternity leave with her second child
Image credits: lithiumphoto (not the actual photo)
Image credits: edamommy_
It’s essential to stay practical, instead of giving in to social pressure
The OP shared on Reddit how some people are very critical of her decision to keep her toddler in daycare while she’s on maternity leave. “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),” she shared.
However, she points out that it makes a lot of sense from a practical point of view to keep her first child at the nursery. This has given the mom more time to focus on her second baby. What’s more, she revealed that she’s finished up plenty of house projects and family to-do’s. Something that she might not have had the time and energy for if she was taking care of both children at home.
And that’s what lies at the core of the story: no matter how much people might love their children, this doesn’t mean that it’s feasible to spend 24/7 around them. Chores, work, hobbies, travel, exercise, meeting up with others—all of these things still happen and responsibilities pile up. Life goes on, and every family needs to find a balance between what’s great for all the kids, and how to keep the couple thriving, too. Because—and let’s not forget it—parents aren’t just parents.
It’s completely understandable if a new parent is feeling overwhelmed by, well, absolutely everything. Not only do they have to battle insomnia as they’re changing diapers, but they might also need to balance their other important commitments, like work. It’s not a weakness to ask for help or to look for ways to catch a breather. Daycare and school can free up a large chunk of the day. As can asking your family and friends to come over and babysit for a little while. Meanwhile, the parents can have a romantic date night, catch up on some sleep, or take some time off to work on their passion projects… or simply be alone with their thoughts. Everyone needs rest. Wanting it doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ parent.
The situation with (un)paid parental leave is very chaotic in the US
In an ideal world, both parents should be able to take long-lasting parental leave once their child is born. This time can be spent bonding with the baby and supporting one another at the start of that wonderful journey called parenthood.
In many developed countries, there are laws protecting a person’s right to paternal or maternal leave. Unfortunately, the situation in the United States is… messy. To say the least. It speaks volumes about how great of a company redditor u/edamommy_ works at that she’s been given a whopping 24 weeks of leave! Not everyone is as lucky.
The US does not have mandated paid maternity or paternity leave. It is up to each individual employer to decide whether to offer parental leave. Meanwhile, Federal employees are granted a mere 12 weeks of paid parental leave. To put it somewhat bluntly, this is beyond peculiar in a developed Western nation.
The idea of taking time off to be with the baby is very popular in the US. According to Investopedia, 7 out of 10 Americans support the idea of paid parental leave. Meanwhile, 55% of employers offer paid maternity leave while 45% of businesses also offer paid paternity leave. The key word here is ‘paid.’
On the flip side, to qualify for unpaid parental leave in the US, you have to have worked for the company for at least a year, and the business has to employ at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the HQ. You can have a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave.