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Single Mom Wants Childless Coworker To Cancel Her Time Off So She Can Spend Christmas With Her Son

Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock
christmas, mother, children

It’s no secret that no employee wants to work on Christmas day. However, should some employees be given priority over others? 

One mother sparked debate after she believed that she should be given Christmas day off over her childless colleague. 

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The mother asked her childless colleague to withdraw her time-off request so that she could be off instead. 

Sharing her story on a thread on the UK-based parenting site, Mumsnet, the mother attempted to explain her reason why she believes she should be given Christmas off over her colleague, admitting that she feels “terrible” over it. 

“My colleague and I, who I get on quite well with, normally have both requested off Christmas Day,” the mother wrote. 

However, their manager informed both employees that only one of them will be granted the day off, and that they must sort it out themselves. 

The mother asked her colleague to withdraw her request. She claims that the main reason she believed she should have priority to have off over her colleague since her colleague is childless. 

“She and her husband have no kids and normally go to her husband's parents on Christmas day but they also go every week so it's not like they never see them,” the mother argued. 

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The mother shares that she is a single mother to a four-year-old autistic son and needs to look after him on Christmas morning. 

“[I] on the other hand have a four-year-old autistic son, and he normally goes to the nursery but his nursery closes one week before Christmas and doesn't open until next year.”

The mother shares that the shift in question is a morning shift on Christmas from 7 am-10 am.

She claims that her colleague could “still make it” to her husband’s parent’s house for lunch while she is a single mother and since the nurseries are closed, she has no one to look after her son. 

“Yes, I could pay someone but it would be extremely expensive and he would most likely be very distressed with having someone he is unfamiliar with in his home,” the mother claims. 

She adds that her son is non-verbal and it would be difficult for a babysitter to understand. 

“I do feel bad asking her to do this but if she won't then I am going to have no choice but to leave my job,” the mother wrote. 

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Users on the thread criticized the mother for not considering her colleague’s holiday. 

“Oh yeah, I forgot! If you don’t have children then Christmas and family mean absolutely nothing to you!” one user commented. 

“You having a child doesn't make you more entitled to the day off,” another user wrote. 

Other users claimed that whoever requested the day off first should be granted it. 

“Whoever requested it off first should have it. You can’t just say people with children have a right to Christmas over people without,” one user pointed out.

“It’s not her fault you have childcare issues, sorry. You can ask her nicely but she’s not bound to agree.” 

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However, other users sympathized with the mother’s difficult situation.

They did, however, advise her from believing that someone is less deserving of a holiday off simply because they do not have children. 

“I think it is okay to ask because you are in a very difficult situation, however, it is not ok to minimize her Christmas just because she has no child,” one user shared. 

“I agree your situation seems more in need of the time off, however, you are very wrong to dismiss her request just because she doesn’t have children,” another user commented. 

“I get it, OP [original poster] and I sympathize, but you do realize that people without children have the right to enjoy Christmas day, right? Absolutely ask, but I'd say no,” another user added. 

Hopefully, both women can work out a compromise so that they can both have a stress-free holiday. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.