We Should All Be So Lucky—Bringing Baby to Work
Life for a working mom seems to be changing, as more moms are bringing babies to work with them.
This past school year, I was approached to see if I’d be interested in applying to be an instructional specialist for my school. This would mean that I’d begin working in this capacity part time, while teaching part time. I was assured that being pregnant and taking time off work would not be frowned upon, that they’d work with me and I’d be able to do some work while at home. In fact, one of the district coaches even told me that I would be more than welcome to bring Olive to after-hours meetings while I was on leave. “Everyone can take turns holding her,” she said, excited to get to hold a snuggly newborn. It was a working mom’s dream come true.Olive is now seven weeks old, and I’ve begun doing some work from home, fielding phone calls and answering emails, of course in addition to all the writing I do. You see, I’m the type of mom who chooses to work. I’m better for it, which makes my girls better, too. I thrive on my career, and when mama is happy, the whole family is happy. So, of course I’m seriously contemplating going into work for one of the instructional specialist meetings–with Olive in tow.
I’m not the only working mom who’s bringing baby with me. In fact, two of my friends who are working moms–and who didn’t have the fortune I’ve had to stay at home so long–toted their newborn daughters to the office as they transitioned back to work part-time. Up in Oshawa, Canada, a council member, Amy England, has been doing just that — attending city council meetings with her newborn, who was born just two days after my Olive. She’s even openly breastfed her daughter during these meetings. And just days ago, many breastfeeding moms and advocates joined her as they sat in the audience of a meeting to breastfeed their children in solidarity after England was criticized for her actions.
England has been standing up for the rights of the breastfeeding mom and plans to keep bringing her daughter to meetings through March, when she feels her breast milk will be fully established. She feels it important to breastfeed a newborn on demand to have an ample supply. And it’s important to note, too, that she always has back-up with her at meetings if her daughter gets fussy.
Her actions are also bringing to the forefront he fact that Oshawa government workers aren’t given parental leave. The hope is that England, and the other breastfeeding moms and advocates she’s inspiring, can bring about change for women who work in politics. This is not a new concept — just a little over a year ago, we found Licia Ronzulli, an Italian member of the European Parliament, wearing her newborn to vote.
Images like these are hopefully showing working moms that times are a-changing. They show working women struggling to figure out how to manage a career and children what’s possible.
Of course, this situation isn’t ideal for all places of work. I know for me, as a teacher, bringing Olive to work just isn’t feasible–even if my mom could come to help out. However, for an after school meeting, where the rest of my school district’s leaders are women, and moms themselves, it’s totally acceptable. A newborn is pretty simple–they eat, sleep and poop. And Olive especially loves to sleep as I babywear her. Plus, I think my brain could use a bit more adult conversation in my life.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN