I’m child-free but won’t swap Christmas holiday with a mother at work

A woman who declined her co-worker’s request to swap Christmas annual leave so she could spend it with her kids has sought advice online.

The unnamed woman, 25, believed to be in the UK, shared the story on Reddit, where she revealed that as she had just passed her probation at work, and her bosses promised her the ‘first Christmas off’ – which was customary for new starters.

She added that she ‘doesn’t care’ if she has Christmas off or not because she’s chosen not to have children and doesn’t celebrate the festive season. 

However, when a colleague asked if she could swap annual leave days so that she can spend Christmas with her kids, the new employee told her ‘no’.  

She later shared the incident with her sister, who branded her ‘selfish’, and the post sparked a fierce debate, with many questioning why she refused to kindly swap if she’s not celebrating, while one person cheered her on for not being a ‘doormat’.

An unnamed woman, 25, believed to be in the UK, has sought advice on Reddit, after declining her co-worker's request to swap Christmas annual leave so she could spend it with her kids (stock image)

The woman explained: ‘Holy s***, just went on Reddit and didn’t expect this to blow up. I am 25, not sure if it’s relevant but I’ve chosen a child-free life. 

‘About three months ago, I started a new job and have just passed my probation period and now my bosses are sorting out my annual leave with me.

‘This boss said there’s one gap left for annual leave on Christmas and they’ve been saving it for me. According to him any new employees once they’ve passed the probation period will get the first Christmas off. 

‘Here’s the thing, I don’t care if I work Christmas or not and I’ll be on my own this Christmas as I don’t celebrate it’.

Two days later, upon hearing the news, a fellow colleague enquired if she would consider swapping her leave dates.  

‘She then started going on about how she has kids and what I would be doing this Christmas’ added the poster

‘I just said “no”. She seemed moody and walked away’.

She revealed that upon arriving home, she spoke with her sister and nephew about the incident via video call.

A British woman, who has 'chosen to be child-free' said she was approached by a fellow colleague to swap leave dates so she could spend Christmas with her children

She said she had experienced a similar disagreement while working a previous job and her sister had sided with her. 

But since having her own son, her siblings opinion has changed. 

She continued: ‘My sister said I’m being a bit selfish as I’m child-free and she has kids. 

‘She’s working and I’m not which means she won’t be able to see her kids for long on Christmas day. 

‘She also brought up the fact I’m not bothering to come up and see family this Christmas and will be spending three of the days phone-free so I won’t be communicating with anyone’.

In just 24 hours, the post has garnered almost 4000 comments as people weighed in on the topic.

One person wrote: ‘Why did you say no to switching? You said you don’t care about Christmas, you don’t celebrate the holiday, you will not be visiting family who does celebrate. If she was switching, then you wouldn’t be “giving up your annual leave”, you’d just be shifting the date of it’. 

In agreement, another person added: ‘Right, not understanding this. If they truly don’t care, surely the poster can think of another time or holiday that would be more to their liking?’

The post sparked a fierce debate, with many questioning why the woman can't show her co-worker some kindness, while one person cheered her on for not being a 'doormat'

‘Yes, they are her days, but if you can do something to help someone out with minimal disturbance to your own life and you choose not to, you’re an a*****e’ said another.

Another found fault with everyone in the situation, writing: ‘The obnoxiousness of entitled parents is matched by this pointless refusal to help someone out at zero cost to the poster. They’re not celebrating Christmas at all but they’re happy to block those holiday days for others who value them more. What a weird and selfish position to take’. 

However, others were on the side of the child-free woman.  

One wronte: ‘Having kids does not mean the rest of the world has to accommodate your child and family. I have kids and don’t expect anyone other than my wife and I to look out for them. Many a holidays I have had to work and the kids understand. The entitlement of some people is f****g mind boggling! 

‘Don’t do this. Don’t be a door mat. Say “No”. People think that you can’t say no. But your entitled to it,’ added another.


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