As rewarding as it is, raising and performing infant child care is far from easy. The infancy stage is so short, but these years make up the most crucial times in a child’s life. Parents want to be involved in every moment of their baby’s growth to witness all their firsts and to see how their personalities would evolve as the years go by.
Unfortunately, not all parents have this privilege. Both, or one of them, would have to go back to work, especially now that they have bigger responsibilities ahead of them. But one lucky mother named Melody Jett Blackwell had the option to take do infant child care, while still being able to commit to her work full-time.
This was made possible by Melody’s employer, Dr. Elizabeth Baker, who allowed her to take maternity leave for 3 months. She had been working as a chiropractic assistant in the Maryland Farms Chiropractic for over 4 years. When she came back from her break, she was given a flexible schedule that allowed her to work from home most of the week and required her to come into the office just once a week.
She was also permitted to bring her newborn baby, Nora-Jo, with her so that she can continue to breastfeed her and bond with her. Her boss doesn’t also have a problem with allowing infant child care breaks as she needs. Melody is truly very lucky to have such a considerate boss!
Some moms make motherhood look like a walk in the park, or at least that’s what Melody’s boss thinks. After snapping a picture of Melody working in the office while her newborn was nestled on her chest, Melody’s boss thought it was too sweet not to share.
The picture was uploaded in the Maryland Farms Chiropractic Facebook page and since then, the photo has been featured in multiple news outlets, with Melody and her boss being invited to interviews here and there. The two women didn’t expect that this would happen, as they both thought that it was just a cute photo. The Facebook post reads:
“Workin’ mamas. She makes it look easy. It helps that Baby Nora-Jo is so sweet and content just being with and near her mama. Would y’all mind sharing this? We need more small and large businesses to see this is doable and should be allowed more often! The newborn months are so short. #WorkinMamas post a pic of you and your little ones while you work!”
The photo has been receiving a lot of positive feedback, and Melody and her boss realized that this could be a great opportunity to start the conversation about babies in the workplace. Melody submitted her story to Love What Matters about infant child care in general and here are some of her words.
“I know not every office and work environment is conducive for children and babies, but I think more places can be more flexible than they are currently.”
She also thinks that letting babies in the workplace will help tremendously with the cost of daycare.
“I think many families find it almost makes more financial sense for one parent to stay home, rather than go to work just to have most or all of their checks pay for daycare.”
Melody is also especially concerned with single mothers who have no option to stay home at all.
She says, “I hope that other employers will see this picture and see that it can be done. Depending on the work place, moms can bring their children to work and be productive. I hope that more moms in the future will get the opportunity that I have-to get to spend every day with my baby but also contribute to the family income.”
We completely agree with Melody and admire her initiative to start this conversation! What began as a simple social media post turned into something more – a possible reform in the work set-up for new mothers. Melody took advantage of the platform that she was given and spoke up for all the moms who also believe that if given the opportunity, they too, can take care of their children while still being productive in the workplace.