Employee Wonders If They Should Feel Guilty For Taking Vacation Days When Their Coworkers With Children Can’t

What are your plans for this Christmas? A huge feast with your family? A gift exchange with your best friends? Or perhaps a day to stay in, order takeout and catch up on all of the Netflix documentaries you’ve been meaning to watch. I just hope that you won’t have to be working that day.

Everyone deserves to take some time off around the holidays. No matter what you do or don’t celebrate, being able to relax, rest and take a few mental health days should be the norm. But according to some people, there are certain factors that can make you more (or less) qualified to take vacation days.

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Below, you’ll find a story that was recently shared on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit detailing how one employee was suddenly targeted by all of their colleagues after being given a week off for Christmas. We would love to hear your thoughts on the situation in the comments, and if you’ve ever had to defend your vacation days, feel free to share how you stood your ground. And then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article discussing why we’re all entitled to holidays, whether we have children or not, you can find that right here!  

After being given a week off for Christmas, this employee is wondering if they should feel guilty for taking vacation days when their colleagues with children can’t

Image credits: Alin Surdu (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Adam Tinworth (not the actual photo)

Image credits: AdvancedGolf7823

There’s no question that having children makes it challenging to balance your personal and professional lives. Childcare can be extremely expensive, and the school day often ends hours before the work day does. And when it comes to celebrating holidays, we often assume that kids get more out of the magic of Christmas than adults do. But individuals who don’t have a partner or children still have every right to enjoy their holidays and take time off. That’s just part of having a healthy work-life balance.

Trying to help out parents without simultaneously harming childfree employees can be a delicate dance. In this situation, the worker clearly deserves some time off for working so hard and allowing their colleagues to have spent time with their families during the three weeks straight they worked. But now it seems like all of their coworkers have already forgotten the sacrifices that were made then, and they’re already feeling entitled to more days off. But the thing is, we all get burnt out. You don’t need children waiting at home to feel exhausted. If your life is busy and you’ve been working hard, you have to prioritize your mental health and take days off. 

One issue that childless people have been bringing attention to in recent years is the message that society perpetuates that our lives are less meaningful if we don’t have children. Lauren Serota addressed this topic in an article for Fast Company, where she referenced a study conducted by Dr. Leslie Ashburn-Nardo. “Participants reported significantly greater feelings of moral outrage– including anger, disgust, and disapproval―toward voluntarily child-free people. At the same time, child-free people were consistently viewed as being less personally fulfilled than those with children.”

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Many companies also provided parents with extra vacation days during the pandemic, which swiftly received pushback from childfree employees as they claimed it was unfair. So what is the solution? Lauren notes that it’s important to recognize that all employees can be struggling, whether they have children or not. “Employees and leaders alike need to take active steps to make sure inclusivity is a day-to-day fact of how we lead our work lives, not a distant, hollow target,” she writes. “Workplaces can be a forum for learning and growth that contributes to important societal shifts. Together, we can change corporate culture so that it embraces—not undermines—our individuality.”

One thing to keep in mind in any conversation about taking days off, or who “deserves” time off, is empathy. Just because you don’t have children does not mean you have no responsibilities or that you don’t enjoy holidays. And just because someone chose to have kids does not mean they should never receive assistance. In this particular case on Reddit, this employee should stand their ground and keep their days off. They worked hard and made sacrifices to work three weeks in a row, so they have certainly earned a nice week off to rest and decompress. I personally believe that their coworkers should be allowed days off over the holidays too but not at the expense of this worker. Perhaps the real issue is whoever decides what days their company is open…

Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below, pandas, and then if you’re looking for another article discussing trying to take vacation days as a childfree person, check out this story next. 

Many readers assured the employee that they deserve days off as much as anyone else, and that their colleagues’ plans are not their concern

However, some readers thought the employee was being selfish

The post Employee Wonders If They Should Feel Guilty For Taking Vacation Days When Their Coworkers With Children Can’t first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source: boredpanda.com

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