A mother who suffers from depression and anxiety has been labelled "horrible" by her family for wanting to put her kids in childcare on her days off work.
"They keep saying that my kids should be enough to keep me going," she posted on Reddit. "Which they are 100 per cent the only reason I'm still alive to this day."
The mum shared that she works part-time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for five hours a day. Her children, aged one and two, currently attend childcare then, too.
"I want to increase it so they go Monday to Friday to give me a day to do all the housework, food shop and prep etc on a Tuesday and then a day where I can rest/relax on a Thursday," she said, adding that she'll still end up doing housework on those days but "that's the plan."
The mum explained that due to her mental health issues and constantly being "on the go with the kids and work," currently, she is really struggling.
"My family seem to think I'm horrible for not wanting to be with my kids every moment I'm not at work," she said. "But am I wrong for wanting a break? The way I see it is I will be more attentive and a better parent by taking that time to decompress."
The mum added that attending childcare benefits her children too. "My daughter also has a speech delay and the childcare she's at has a SEN/speech specialist so the more time she spends at nursery the more time shes going to have developing her speech."
And her partner is supportive, too. "He works full time so is out of the house from 7:30 until six each day."
The mum noted that she is only planning to put the kids into daycare for as long as her shifts are - five hours a day. "I will still have them for the majority of the day, as they will be going 8-1 every day so will be with me solely from 1-6 then my partner usually gets back in time for dinner, bath, bed."
Adding that she is starting to feel like she's being selfish, the mum notes, "it's only two days where I would have them for a full day and I should be able to cope."
Redditors were quick to reassure her that she was doing the right thing - for herself and her family.
"Structure, consistency and socialisation all benefit the kids. And if they have a happy mum even better," one commenter wrote.
"The only reason you're doubting your decision is because people are putting thoughts into your mind because they're judging you," added another. "They think they know what's best, and on the outside it looks a certain way.
"My only advice for you in the future is to just make your decisions for your family with your husband, and not explain your reasonings to your friends and family. Because they're only going to make you doubt and question yourself when I think you're doing just fine. Good luck."
"We really need to stop pressuring mothers to spend every waking moment with their children," another commenter wrote. "It is obviously incredibly stressful, and when you aren't able to take care of your own mental health, there's no way you'll be able to take care of theirs. Mothers deserve to have lives outside of motherhood."