Mom Backed for Refusing to Look After Sick Step-Daughter: 'Not Her Mother'

The internet has backed a mom who refused to look after her sick step-daughter despite already being off work with her own child.

Mumsnet user HomeSick2 shared the story on the site Wednesday and explained: "I'm home with a sick 1-year-old who is unable to go to nursery. It's my step-daughter's time with her mom today, tomorrow, and Friday and she has rang my husband this morning at work to say my step-daughter is poorly and can I look after her as I'm off work anyway and she has to go to work. I've said no."

The frustrated mom explained that she has to work, as well, and also said no because it sounded like her step-daughter has a different ailment: "She's vomiting whereas my son has Covid-like symptoms. No sick but a temperature, cold, very clingy and no sleep," she wrote.

"[It] could be the same thing but doesn't sound it and no way I want my son getting something else on top if I can help it, nor do I want to spend the day clearing up another child's sick when I'm already knackered."

Mom takes care of sick child
The internet has sided with a mom who posted online that she doesn't want to take care of her sick step-daughter. The above stock photo shows a woman tending to a sick child who is lying in her lap. dragana991/Getty Images

She added that her step-daughter's mom had made their life difficult on multiple occasions, writing: "I just have no interest in doing anything for her tbh. I've said to my husband she should take the day off herself for her child like I've had to."

Children are often even more prone to a sick day thanks to building immune systems and frequent contact with other children at school. In a report published in 2012 by the Carsey Institute, it was found that while mothers and fathers have similar access to paid sick days to care for children, mothers were more likely to miss work to care for a sick child, with 74 percent of employed mothers reporting staying home from work when a child was unwell compared to 40 percent of fathers.

The Carsey Institute also found that roughly one-half of employed parents do not have appropriate access to paid sick days to care for their children, and as mothers are more likely to miss work to care for a sick child, they are more likely to experience the repercussions of lack of access to paid sick days in the future.

Mumsnet users overwhelmingly sided with the mom, telling her that she was right to refuse to care for both sick children.

"It's not up to you to look after their child, and I wouldn't want my child potentially picking up another bug," wrote one commenter. "Not unreasonable," said another user. "If it was your husband at home, then it's his call, but you're not her mother."

Another Mumsnet user agreed and wrote: "I would also say no, especially as it's a sick bug as yours would be bound to get it. Yes, it's a pain having to take time off work but tough luck that's what being a parent is about."

Other commenters asked why the husband was not taking time off to care for both of his children: "Love how your husband has the mothers of his kids in an internal squabble. What day is he taking off this week? Then you can both work," said one Mumsnet user.

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