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Mom is repeatedly late to pick kids up from gym childcare after yoga, 'the workers get paid until noon.' AITA?

Mom is repeatedly late to pick kids up from gym childcare after yoga, 'the workers get paid until noon.' AITA?


"AITA for picking up my children a few minutes late from childcare (more than once)?"

My gym has childcare, which is so awesome and I’m really grateful for it. My favorite class is a yoga class scheduled from 11-noon, and the childcare also ends at noon. The class ends with everyone on their backs, completely silent - called Shavasana. It also consistently ends a little late, usually at 12:05.

So I’ve been packing up early so I can pick up my kids right at noon, which requires rolling up my mat, putting on my shoes and opening the studio doors to the noisy gym - all of which I fear is a little distracting to the people in the class - they’re trying to be present and quite their minds. You know, yoga stuff. I’m as quiet as I can be, but still…

One day I wasn’t paying attention and the class was running even later, so when Shavasana started and I started packing up, it was already 12:05. When I picked up my daughter, I said sorry for being a few minutes late and the girl said, “Yeah, we don’t do any later than noon. So you have to be here on time.”

I agreed and said sorry again. Then a few weeks later, I pack up early and am walking over right at noon. I have my phone on do not disturb, so I don’t see all the calls but from 12:00-12:01 (the time it takes me to get to the door), I have 3 missed calls. They quickly hand her off to me and fly out the door. Definitely picked up that they were annoyed I wasn’t there on time again.

Today, I asked gym management about it. Just asking about the conflict between the class end time and childcare, and whether there was a way of having them line up better or whether there’s a grace period for pick up.

He mentioned that the childcare workers get paid until noon and not after, so that’s probably why they’re eager to leave. I told him that I appreciate them and am not complaining about them, just wanted to bring it up as awkward situation each week.

I don’t want to be a Karen and didn’t want this to seem like a complaint to the manager kind of thing. I just feel like an AH leaving the class early and an AH when I’m at all late for childcare. So just trying not to be an AH but probably failing.


Just to clarify a few points. It might be worth noting that the gym runs the childcare and listed the yoga class as a class during childcare times. The childcare is something I pay extra for, not free.

Also, I’m on time 99% of the time. Not chronically late. This happened by accident a few times, and only with this one class that lets out at the same time.

Thanks everyone for your comments, most of them were really thoughtful and helped me see the big picture. I’d been timing my exit during the start of Shavasana in order to make pick up on time (maybe that wasn’t clear in my post since so many suggested it).

But I think I’m going to have to set a phone alarm (on vibrate, don’t have an Apple Watch) since Shavasana is inconsistent and doesn’t always give me enough time. (Also, I’ll chat with the yoga instructor and let her know my intentions. Maybe she can signal me if she doesn’t want the alarm.)

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Papyrus72846 said:

Yeah, YTA. It's not cool for you to force the childcare workers to stay beyond the end of their shift, even more so if they're not getting paid when they have to stay late. Sounds like you need to either pick a different yoga class, arrange different childcare, or leave the class early enough to not be disruptive. Pack up like 10-15 minutes early so that you're out of there before shavasana and no one else is negatively effected.

Haunting_North4679 said:

The yoga class and childcare are both run by the gym, and specifically advertised as being compatible with each other, and OP is being charged for both. Therefore, it is absolutely undeniable that the sole responsibility to make this work is completely upon the gym, and the gym alone.

The gym needs to adjust the hours and pay for the childcare workers appropriately. If the classes and at 12, daycare needs to run until 1230. This is indisputable. NTA.

rhinosorcery said:

The gym runs both the yoga class and the childcare. So if the gyms own yoga class runs over, this really feels like a them problem. They cannot be flexible with their classes but rigid with the childcare...For me you're NTA, this is something the gym needs to sort out internally.

tatersprout said:

YTA. Your yoga is not more important than the childcare staff getting off work on time. Either take a class at a different time or find your own childcare. You're abusing the situation. Edit based on your edit: The gym's childcare is not specifically for your class. It is a convenience for all gym goers.

It ends at 12, not 12:10 or 12:15. So if your class ends late, that's still your responsibility to pick up your child before 12 when the workers stop being paid. You wouldn't want to get out of work late and not be paid either. They may have something to get to and you're screwing with their day.

It doesn't matter if if it just happens once in a while. It shouldn't happen at all. Imagine if they have 5 kids to watch and a different parent or a couple of parents are late for pickup. Should they spend extra (unpaid) time every day with kids and trying to check them out just because parents don't respect their time?

reluctant-subscriber said:

NTA in this specific circumstance. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are late because you wanted to finish a few sets or have a coffee with your mates that would make you an AH. But in this specific scheduling situation you are not an AH.

As a former gym manager, the AH is management. A good manager would see the very obviously problem here and fix it. The fix is very easy. Shorten the class by 5 mins and/or pay crèche staff the extra 5-10 minutes they’re there.

One of the most common questions I was asked is ‘do you have a creche?’ So many parents (but let’s be honest it’s usually mostly mothers), simply cannot go to the gym without one. Creches bring in money to the business. It’s also common for the largest demographic in group classes to be women, especially during the day.

Soooo, it is a no-brainer that management needs to improve their policies regarding class scheduling and also staff pay. The scheduled class duration should simply not conflict with the childcare hours. And if staff have to go over their rostered shift for 5-10 minutes that should be clearly spelled out in their contract and they should be paid for it.

Right_Count said:

YTA. I see why the timing is weird, but the daycare isn’t meant to line up with that one yoga class. It’s just available until 12pm on the dot. If your class ends at 1205 then it’s just not feasible for you to attend the whole class and use the daycare.

Seeing your edit: this is something you should feel empowered to take up with gym management/ownership, but not break the rules for. Find a way to know when it is 11:58 so you can make it. It’s not perfect, but it’s the way it is until/unless management changes the schedule. And a little $10 gift card to the staff by way of apology for last lateness will go a long way.

fallingintopolkadots said:

Sorry, but YTA, but I get it. I'm sure you'd vastly prefer to be able to enjoy the relaxing end of your yoga class, but the childcare ends at noon so you must prioritize that because a) the childcare workers are not getting paid after noon and B) they have lives, too, and you're being late might make them late to whatever they have to do next.

I don't know if it's worth mentioning the issue to the yoga instructor to see if they'd be willing to be mindful of the time or give you a gentle tap when it's time to go (though that really shouldn't be their job), or if you wear a smart watch or something that can give you a gentle vibrating (so sound) alarm to alert you 10 or so minutes before noon would help. Alternatively, you can take an earlier yoga class, even if it's not your favorite.

While the opinions were very divided here, most people felt that leaving class a little early should be a priority over forcing employees to stay past their shift's end time. What's your advice for this mom?

Sources: Reddit
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