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Mom Furious After Childfree Coworker Refuses To Give Her Their Extra Christmas Time Off

Woman screaming into her phone while looking at her laptop.
Andrii Iemelyanenko/Getty Images

Having children is a deeply personal decision.

Those who choose to have children should be commended for wanting to nurture and love a child.

Those who choose not to have children, however, should be equally commended, as they know they can’t give a child all the love and attention they need.

Unfortunately, those who feel passionately about having and not having children are often quick to judge and look down upon those who don’t feel the same as them.

Redditor FriendlyAd2809 was looking forward to their Christmas vacation, which they had cleared with their bosses well ahead of time.

Unfortunately, the original poster (OP) was later guilt-tripped by a jealous colleague for taking so much time off, thus preventing her from taking those days off as well.

Even going so far as using the fact that the OP didn’t have children against them.

Wondering if they had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to give up my Christmas leave for a colleague who has kids.”

The OP explained why they angered a colleague over their upcoming Christmas vacation:

“So context, my office closes over Christmas and generally opens around the 2nd/3rd of Jan.”

“This year, we were instructed to put in our leave request up until the 2nd.”

“And put a second request through for any additional days after that, and they would approve additional days after the 2nd once everyone had applied, and they got to assess how many staff they would have.”

“I put in until the 8th of Jan, as did 3/5 of my colleagues.”

“1 is coming back the 2nd, and another one didn’t put in any extra days, so they approved it.”

“The one who didn’t put in any extra days has since gone to the managers and said she wanted to take off until the 8th also because she wants to spend time with her kids (they’re like 8/9) and her husband.”

“My bosses declined as they needed two staff members here, and it hadn’t been put in beforehand.”

“Colleague said she wasn’t put in the extra days already, but the rest of the team knew and did it.”

“Bosses said the only way she could have it off was if she could get another staff member to come back early.”

“She asked me in a passive-aggressive email because ‘Christmas holidays are about being with family, and because I don’t have children, I could come back on the 2nd and swap with her’.”

“I declined, saying that I had plans for that time, and she lost it!”

“She has been going around saying that I ruined her holiday plans and am being inconsiderate of people with families and children.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for not trading in her vacation days.

Everyone agreed that the OP had their vacation approved fair and square, and the fact that they didn’t have children was a moot point, as their colleague should have put in their request earlier, just as everyone else did, with many even suggesting the OP report this colleague to HR.


“You have plans; you requested the leave.”

“End of story.”

“If it were a matter of working Christmas Day itself and a colleague had a 3-6 year-old, I MIGHT consider swapping.”

“But after New Year?”

“Nope, a thousand times nope.”

“And Tell HR she’s creating a hostile working environment.”- Remember1959

“NTA If it were truly important to her, she would have applied early and made sure she knew what she had to do.”

“There will always be cases like this.”

“People without kids would never get any holiday time off if parents like this had their way.”

“That’s why there is no point feeling guilty whatsoever.”

“If she keeps badmouthing you around the office, I’d go to HR about it.”

“If you do go to HR, you might want to indirectly (and carefully) suggest that workers shouldn’t be told that they can get time off anyway, even if they didn’t apply properly by trying to get another worker to give up their time.”

“Your boss saying that is what set all this off.”- kurokomainu


“This is on her, and you should likely tell HR.”

“Her behavior is 100% unacceptable.”

“And just because people have kids doesn’t mean their off time is more important.”- lmmontes


“I have young kids who still do the Santa thing, and being with them for Christmas is really important to me.”

“So you know what I do?”

“Am the very first one to ask for leave at this time to be sure my supervisor knows and I’m approved.”

“This year, I got it approved in July.”- Illustrious-Shirt569


“You are the child of two parents, maybe siblings, and presumably have aunts, uncles, and cousins.”

“All of this equals family.”

“That you also could be spending time with.”

“She ruined her own holiday season by not planning better.”- Snackinpenguin


“Excuse me?”

“You have family, too.”

“Just because it doesn’t look like hers doesn’t make it any less valid or important.”

“From an HR perspective, it wasn’t fair to anyone who participated in the system correctly to tell her that she could only have it if one of you handed it back.”

“Instead of dealing with her disorganization, they’ve created conflict.”

“Further, you should check whether parental status is a protected class in your area/state/country.”

“If it is, you’re likely protected regardless of whether or not you have kids. They can’t discriminate against you for having children or not having children.”

“This would extend to protecting you from discrimination by a colleague.”

“If she’s singling you out because you don’t have kids if she’s telling you you aren’t as important because of your parental status, that’s discrimination.”- Natural_Garbage7674


“What you respond with is:”

“‘I’m sorry you feel that way’.”

“‘Next time put in for leave in advance like everyone else – your lack of planning is not my emergency and I will not be changing my plans’.”

“‘Particularly now, after you have gone around disparaging me.'”

“‘Your behavior is HIGHLY unprofessional.'”

“‘Find someone else to switch with and stop harassing me.'”

“‘BCC HR, your boss, and your manager on the email when you send it to her’.”- Adventurous-Try1728

“She’s right.”

“Christmas holidays are about being with family.”

“Thankfully, the 2nd-8th of January is not Christmas, so you’re NTA.”- Independent-Pay-9442


“I hate people that act like just because you don’t have kids, the holidays shouldn’t mean as much or something.”

“I left a job because of that.”

“NTA, if anything, send her email to HR and let them know what she’s doing.”

“If you’re petty like me, I’d start showing people the email and show them how you requested the extra days off as you were instructed to do!”- Outrageous_Grade2713

“Easy NTA and her kids are not relevant in any way.”

“Enjoy your holiday, guilt-free.”

“And any hostile behavior from her should be documented for reporting.”- The_Bad_Agent


“She had the exact time frame to put in for days off.”

“Just because she can’t follow directions doesn’t mean you should suffer.”

“Obviously doesn’t love her kids enough to follow an email thread.”- wayward_painter


“Her bad planning is not your responsibility.”

“Just because you don’t have children don’t mean you don’t have family.”- Mysterious-Bag-5283


“She ruined her own holiday by not putting in for the extra time off like everyone else.”

“You not having kids doesn’t make your time off any less important, btw.”- Anxious-Routine-5526


“This is BS. You have a family also!”

“You just don’t have a bunch of kids.”

“It’s ok to take time off for holidays even if you have no family.”

“You got your time in on time. She did not.”- Artistic_Tough5005

“I absolutely HATE when people think that just because they have kids, they are entitled to this and that.”

“Nobody told you to get knocked up.”

“NTA.”- Phillip_htx


“She needs to be more organized.”

“Just because you don’t have kids doesn’t mean you don’t have a life or family to spend time with.”

“Even if you just want to spend your time being a couch potato on your own, that’s your choice, and you applied for leave correctly to do so.”- Real_Life_Drama


“‘Christmas holidays are about being with family.'”

“Ok, but Dec 27 – 8 January is not Christmas, so she can go off.”

“If it were that important she’d have booked it off already.”- BigScaryLizard

It’s understandable that the OP’s colleague wants to spend more time with their family over the holidays.

Even so, knowing how getting time off worked at her place of employment, she should have planned ahead to ensure she could.

Just as the OP did, who doesn’t need to have children to justify having time off from work.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.