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Mom Explains Tragic & Uniquely American Situation When She Can't Take Off Work While Her Kids’ Daycare Is On Lockdown

Photo: Rajesh Rajput via Unsplash / fizkes via Shutterstock
toddler on a chair and sad woman

A mom wrote to Reddit as a way of venting her frustration and anxiety after an armed man tried to enter the church where her kids attend daycare three times in a row before being arrested for trespassing.

She took to the "r/parenting" subreddit to relay the complex details of a sadly common experience for parents nationwide.

The mom explained how she was stuck in a tragic and uniquely American situation after not being able to take off work while her kids’ daycare was on lockdown.

She recounted how an armed man repeatedly came to the church where her children go to daycare, “saying he’s being told by Jesus he needs to start a new resurrection through a blood bath.” He was arrested after his third attempt at trespassing on the church grounds but was only charged with two misdemeanors.

The mom reported that her friend, who’s a police officer, informed her that “unless they decide to hold him for a psych evaluation, he’ll be back on the streets tomorrow.”

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Photo: Pexels / cottonbro studio

“They’re keeping the daycare doors locked, but that means nothing. And my babies, my innocent little 3-year-olds, are in the very first classroom you encounter when you walk in. I know the teachers would lay down their lives to protect my kids but god, it breaks my heart that they even have to risk that,” she exclaimed.

She couldn’t keep her kids home, because neither she nor her husband could take work off, and she can’t risk losing her income or health insurance.

“So, I just have to send my babies off to daycare not trusting that they’ll come home to me,” she said, in a sentence that showcases the heartbreaking realities of modern American parenting.

The mom made several edits to her post, replying to comments shaming her for having to go to work.

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“People are making me feel like s-–t for needing to go to work, but I’m in America,” she explained. “My health insurance is tied to my work, and my kids have medical needs. I can’t afford to lose our main source of income and also lose their health insurance. It’s literally not feasible.”

She clarified the urgent financial reasons she was literally unable to take time off from work, saying, “I’m also under a contract where if I quit or lose my job before the end of August, I have to pay back a sign-on bonus that I don’t even have near enough to pay back (used it to pay down medical debt... again, America).”

She stated that she was going to talk to her boss and see if she could get time off, but there was no guarantee her job would be amenable to that. She gave a sarcastic “thank you, to everyone for making me feel like s--t because I have to go to work to keep a roof over our heads and make sure my kids have food and their medical needs met.”

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She spoke directly to the people urging her to quit her job, saying, “If I quit, I’m forced to pay back a $10,000 sign-on bonus (which was actually $6k after taxes, all of which went to paying off other medical debt. And yes, I would have to pay back the full $10k)."

She continued her explanation of having no good options, saying, “If my husband quits, he needs to pay back his $5,000 in tuition that his job paid for and would have to drop out of school. We do not have $15,000 to pay back. My son also needs surgery soon, and we’ve hit my deductible. If we lose my insurance or have to switch to my husband's,’ we’ll have to pay for the surgery and we can’t afford that.”

The mom called people out for framing the decision to quit her job as simple, stating, “As much as it would be great to ‘just quit,’ that isn’t possible. Please stop suggesting it. Please stop telling me I’m a bad mom for not taking off work. Please. I’m already stressed out enough and feeling like s--t, I don’t need to hear it from everyone else.”

Photo: Odua Images / Shutterstock

Blaming the mom for sending her kids to school in an unsafe environment is not only unsupportive, it completely misses the point of the crisis she’s in.

As one person noted in the comments, “This is sadly the most American post ever.”

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Someone else stood up for the mom, saying, “They need to keep the lights on, groceries paid and [a] roof over their kid’s head and the reality is that this is part of the risk that inherently comes with sending your children to school daily... You’re focusing on the individual puzzle piece — it’s part of a far bigger picture. This is just a symptom.”

That same person told her, “I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's not fair for any of us to worry about where we must leave our children just to make ends meet.”

The mom ended her post by sharing that the armed man got a felony charge added to his other charges. She said, “I’m trying very hard to give him grace, because I know he’s sick, but at the same time I want him locked up forever.”

She elucidated the real issue at the root of it all, saying, “I hate the system that just lets people like this get access to deadly weapons and don’t seem to be taking his threats seriously.”

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Even with the existence of extreme protection orders, commonly known as “red flag” laws, gun violence is a constant, unavoidable threat. Red flag laws “allow people to petition for the temporary confiscation of an individual's firearms if that person is deemed to be a risk to themself or to others.” Yet these laws vary state-to-state, and not every state has instituted them.

The mom’s post captured the existential terror of every parent in the United States. It highlighted how distorted our way of life has become.

For a parent to be forced to send her children into harm’s way or risk losing her economic survival, proves that urgent, comprehensive change is the only answer.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.