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“Are you crazy?” A mum left her 5yo home alone for an hour and there are A LOT of opinions.

The age which it’s acceptable to leave a child home alone is a parenting debate for the ages, because it’s a very individual choice – as one mum on Reddit discovered the hard way this week.

In a thread simply called, ‘‘Leaving a 5 year old at home’, which featured a screenshot of the woman’s dilemma, the stay-at-home mum named Tarin explained her situation.

“I am 34-weeks pregnant, I have a five-year-old son (and) my fiancée works six days per week. This makes it extremely hard for me to leave the house,” she wrote.

Saying that, “it’s a pain being pregnant and having to get my son ready and in the car,” Tarin said she usually leaves him at home – without her fiancée’s  knowledge – and asked for “no judgement please.”

In a turn of events that exactly everyone anticipated, the mum added, “Well today I got caught.”

And, just like anyone who’s ever been busted doing anything, the woman went on to justify her actions.

A screenshot of the post. Source: Reddit

The mum explained that being pregnant, she was having a particular craving - so she made some calculations. Her son's lunch of chicken nuggets was cooking in the oven, and she figured she had enough time to race to the mall to get her food.

Tarin also figured that as her son was toilet trained and "just plays games on his iPad/watches TV," he'd be set for the hour she estimated she would be absent.

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Her fiancée, Zach, did not agree. He arrived home, and immediately sent Tarin text messages querying the appropriateness of her decision.

Zach's text messages. Image: Reddit

"Why the fu*k is Brent here all by himself, are you crazy?", was Zach's measured response. "How do you not see this is wrong?"

Tarin responded that she had the situation under control. But in the Reddit post, she told the group she was upset at being spoken to by Zach in such an angry way.

“My question is would you guys be mad if your significant other spoke to you this way? I feel degraded and belittled over nothing,” she wrote.

“A five-year-old is perfectly capable of fending for himself for an hour.

“I’m honestly about to pack my bags and never let my son see his father again as well as when this baby is born.”

Listen to The Baby Bubble podcast, where hosts Sean Szeps and Zoe Marshall talk about thinking of the next baby, kids on social media and post natal depression.

Sadly for Tarin, very few people in the group empathised with her position.

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“Given the gravity of the situation, I’d say he’s pretty composed," one person wrote.

"Two children," said another. "She will now leave the 5 year old in charge of the baby so she can go out."

Another joked, "My 5 year old is so self sufficient he actually got a 9-5 and moved out!"

One person noted that the child could have been okay for a few minutes; “I might argue a kid can handle themselves for a bit, but a whole hour, with the oven running, no food ready, while she is out at a mall?

"Five minutes in my kid would have burned himself on that oven."

Others were more outspoken against Tarin's decision.

“She knowingly left her young five-year-old kid at home alone unsupervised with the oven on. That's insanity.

"She has no right to say anything let alone have a tone with her husband who is justified in his response.”

At what age do you think it's acceptable to leave children at home alone? Tell us in the comments below.

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