Maybe you’ve read about a recent Supreme Court ruling. A woman in Iowa was back at her job after taking eight weeks off for maternity leave. Her new baby was breastfed so she needed a place to pump when she was at work. After being sent around from one supervisor to another, one told her to use the wellness room.
This is an unlocked room that people can use if they’re not feeling well. So since someone was in there, she waited. As she became engorged and more and more uncomfortable, she asked another supervisor who said, ‘Why don’t you just go home to your baby?’ Soon after, he also asked her to resign. So this woman sued for sexism. And the Supreme Court ruled that it was not sexism because … wait for it … men can lactate, too. (Cue the crickets.)
Excuse me, what??!! I can only imagine the panic this woman was going into as she searched for a place to pump. There’s been lots of extremely disrespectful response to this story. Everything from ’if you can’t handle having a child then you shouldn’t have had one’ to ‘just one more woman trying to get sympathy because she had a baby.’
I’d just like to lay it out there. The commitment to breastfeeding is a labor of love … it’s hard. It’s not easy to shake off work for a few minutes while you head to a deserted room, pull up your shirt and milk like all the other good cattle in the world. It’s definitely not fun. But the reward is ten-fold. For the mom, the baby AND really everyone. It takes dedication to do this for your child and it’s the stuff good parents are made of. And good parents work hard to make good kids. And good kids do great things in life.
I can’t even begin to go down the path of how dumbfounded I am that this is still happening in 2015. Do we care about the American family or not? Can we support each other to do the best that we possibly can for our kids? Newsflash: women have babies! They also have the opportunity to go to work every day. And here in the good ol’ U.S of A, most families need to have two incomes in order to keep their heads above water. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs that women and families have to make the choice between a family or a job outside of the home. It doesn’t have to be that way and it shouldn’t - but corporate America seems to have a different idea.
Thank you to the businesses and companies that allow moms to take a maternity leave and are welcomed back with open arms. Thank you to the boss who lets the mom take a phone call from daycare because her kid has got a fever. Thank you to the supervisor who easily rescheduled her meeting with her employee, a new mom who was up all night with a teething baby. If you think that the mom is slacking … try, just TRY to walk in her shoes for two seconds. You’ll gladly go back to your life, I’m sure. And here’s the best part … she’ll gladly go back to hers. Moms wouldn’t trade it for the world. They shouldn’t have to walk around in the workplace justifying themselves, either.
So at the risk of my blogs all seeming to end up being about breastfeeding in one way or another, I’ll conclude. For Pete’s sake, just be nice ... except to the company that fired a woman for having to pump. It was Nationwide Insurance.