as she should

This Mom Refuses To Take Her Toddler Out Of Daycare While On Maternity Leave

"And no, I don’t feel guilty about it."

A mom had to defend her choice to keep her toddler in daycare while on maternity leave with her newb...
Vadym Buinov/Moment/Getty Images

A mom posted on Reddit, asking for opinions on her decision to continue to take her son to daycare while she was on maternity leave after people in her life questioned her choice.

Redditor u/edamommy_, a mother of two, recently went viral on the r/workingmoms subreddit. She shared how she’s on maternity leave after giving birth to her second child. She and her husband decided that their first child would continue to stay in daycare during the duration of her leave.

When she shares her situation with people in her life, some question her choice. She asked Reddit if she’s strange for deciding to keep her kid in daycare while being at home for a few weeks.

“When people question it, I give the following answer: she would lose her spot in school if we pulled her, and she likes going,” she wrote.

“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. Also my husband works from home, so the house would be chaos and I’d be constantly trying to keep the toddler out of his office.”

Then, she dives deeper into the “real reason” why she continues to put her toddler in daycare while being home with her newborn.

“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 confessed.

The post took off and went viral, gaining 4.6k upvotes and hundreds of comments from parents with their own opinions on the subject.

“A kid’s life is already upended when a new baby comes home. Why would you want to disrupt their routine even more? This is the best situation for everyone involved,” one user wrote.

Another echoed, “People question this? We will be doing the same come my maternity leave this fall and I never thought twice about it. Why would I continue to pay for a spot at daycare and not have her go? It also affords me one on one bonding time with my new baby.”

One user pointed out that maternity leave is meant for adjusting to a new baby and bonding with them.

“Maternity leave is meant for bonding with the new baby and healing from giving birth. NOT for having time off of work and trying to do everything else. Rest, bond, take care of yourself, enjoy your time "off", and let the haters be haters,” they wrote.

Another mom noted that she did, in fact, take her toddler out of daycare when their younger sibling was born and regretted it.

“We pulled my 3 year old out for one week the week her baby brother was born and it was a MISTAKE! Seriously. The worst mistake. Not only did we get her off her routine, but she had to sit around and watch me hold a newborn and nurse all day. If I could go back, I would just keep her on her same routine and not pull her out of daycare,” they wrote.

The OP gave more context on the situation in an update and wrote, “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).”

Fact is, there are people in the world who think parents should spend 24/7 around their kids, especially during a tender time like maternity leave. This mom’s points are so valid, and she shouldn't even have to justify herself decision to have some time away from her eldest kid while bonding with her newborn.

Why have mom’s mental state be in shambles looking after a toddler and a newborn 24/7 when she could thrive (like the productive OP) for the betterment of her entire family?

Furthermore, the OP has the privilege of having a job that pays her 24 weeks of maternity leave while also being able to afford to put her child in daycare is something that so many moms in America do not have.

The U.S. does not have mandated paid maternity or paternity leave for working citizens. It is up to each individual employer to decide whether to offer parental leave. Even federal employees are granted a measly 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

According to Investopedia, 70% of Americans support the idea of paid parental leave. However, only 55% of employers offer paid maternity leave while 45% of businesses also offer paid paternity leave. That means only about half of working parents are receiving some sort of payment while on parental leave.

In a culture where parents are not exactly set up for success, why shouldn’t this mom take advantage of the opportunities presented to her and get in all the baby snuggles and house projects without a toddler begging for snacks and attention and to have their butt wiped? More power to her!