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Mom refuses to let ex use her job's free daycare; 'he can pay for childcare' himself.

Mom refuses to let ex use her job's free daycare; 'he can pay for childcare' himself.


A working mother posted on Reddit, asking if she was wrong in a tricky childcare situation between her and her ex boyfriend. Reddit has already decided who the A-hole is, now your turn...

AITA (Am I the A-hole) for refusing to have my kid in my work's free daycare on my ex's days with her?

u/h9hugr writes:

I (30F) have an adorable 6 years old daughter with my ex boyfriend (32M). We broke up when she was 2 years old and we share custody 50/50. Childcare during the pandemic was not a big problem since I used to WFH. After we got back to work, we put her in after school daycare/childcare.

Her school lets out at 2:30PM, the center is in school, and she stays there untill one of us picks her up (usually no later than 6PM). We used to split the cost 50/50.

About 2 months ago I landed a job with a great benefits package, one of them includes an onsite daycare. When it's my days with her, I take about 40 minutes to drive to her school and back to work. That means I have to stay an extra 40 minutes at work to make up for it.

Since I stopped paying half of our old daycare, my ex now has to pay all of it (which is not a small amount). He asked if I could have her in my onsite daycare everyday. At first I said ok, as long as he dropped her off (I do not want to stay 40 minutes after 5PM everyday). He said that he can't get off work to drive her to me, it will take him 1 hour to do that.

So I told him he either drops her off at my work, or he can keep paying for daycare. He says I am an AH. So AITA?

Later, she added:

EDIT: for all the people going at me for not informing him, I did. Before taking the job I told him that I will be taking it, what that means for child care, and the fact that I will be moving closer to my job. He knew what would happen. I didn't just not pay my half of daycare one day and suddenly go: deal with it, I have free child care now.

Also he has a flexible job, just like I do. He can take off an hour to drive her to my workplace, he would just have to stay later/finish work at home.

What do you think? Is OP being unreasonable or perfectly fair?

Reddit ruled mostly NTA (not the a-hole), but there were some disagreements.

Key-Bit1208 says:

NTA. If he wants to enjoy the privilege of utilising your work daycare on his custody days, then he needs to figure out how to get her there. It’s extremely unreasonable of him to try to demand that you rearrange your work days to save him money.

SamSpayedPI asks:

NTA. It's perfectly reasonable for him to miss work to pick her up at school and drive her to the daycare. It's nothing you don't do on your days. It's only a bit longer for him than you. If he simply can't leave work for that long, then he's stuck with the school daycare. Does it still cost the same even though she's no longer there every day?

And OP responded:

Yes, it costs the same.

Minnim88 replies:

This is pretty common, they can't just fill that spot unless they happen to have a kid who needs only those exact days. Honestly I don't think OP handled this well and am surprised everyone is on her side. She unilaterally changed their agreement and saddled her ex with extra costs (twice the daycare costs he paid before).

From Hedgehog_Insomniac:

That’s really dumb. I hate how stupidly aftercare is priced.

And OP said:

And that's one of the reason I took an $8k pay cut just so I could be done with all that BS.

VeraXavier comments:

This problem I think isn't that he can't leave work for an hour, it is that he doesn't want to. In that case he should just pay. He can't have it both ways. Especially when it's his day to have the kid... right... he needs to chose one of the 2. He can't expect the other parent (OP) to do it for him only coz she gets free childcare... Again this doesn't necessarily make him a bad parent but he needs to play his part right.

coffeecoffi says:

NTA. I see from the comments that he is able to do the drive at his work, but chooses not to and you took 90% of the childcare during the pandemic with no additional help from him. So he can pay more for daycare or he can drive her to yours. [If he wasn't able to drive her to yours, it would be a bit more iffy)

Sources: Reddit
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