Shout out to modern mamas everywhere whose day looks a little bit like this:
Workin' mamas.🤱She makes it look easy. It helps that Baby Nora-Jo is so sweet and content just being with and near her…
When Melody Blackwell’s boss snapped this photo of her cradling new daughter Nora-Jo while getting on with her day at work, they had no idea of its appeal.
Within days the post had gone viral with hundreds of people posting comments and sharing on their personal pages.
Maternity leave with a difference
Melody who’d recently returned from a three-month maternity leave was bringing baby, Nora-Jo, into the clinic once a week, while working from home the other four days.
It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement and one that Melody’s boss Dr Elizabeth Baker, owner of the Tennessee Chiropractic clinic where the women work, is passionate about encouraging other employers to do.
Read more on maternity leave:
- 5 things to consider before returning to work
- Parental leave: What are your rights?
- Winner winner: This daycare solved a huge problem for working parents
American women have no ‘right’ to maternity leave
Here in Australia, the idea of a woman having to return to work with such a tiny baby would be the exception to the rule.
Thanks to mandated maternity leave, most of us are entitled to paid time off while looking after our babies and recovering from birth. But there’s no such thing in the US, where women have no legal ‘right’ to time off to care or even recover from birth.
It’s a situation that forces many women to leave tiny babies like Nora-Jo in daycare – or leave the workforce altogether.
A plan that works for everyone
When Melody got pregnant, she and Elizabeth sat down to work out a return-to-work plan.
Both women admit their situation might not fit all workplaces, but feel other companies should at least be open to having a conversation about it.
“I was excited when [my boss] said that was a possibility,” Melody told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I didn’t know if it would be. I knew it was going to be hard for me to leave her when she was so young. I know it’s hard to drop them off at daycare when they’re just two or three months old.”
Cute baby alert
Melody says patients visiting the chiropractic clinic have been welcoming and are always interested sneaking a peek at tiny Nora-Jo.
“But so far no one has asked to hold her, probably because she’s so young,” says Melody.
While she grows, lets hope Nora-Jo’s time in her mum’s workplace will sow some many-needed seeds in bigger companies in America to follow suit.
As Elizabeth wrote on the Facebook post:
“We need more small and large businesses to see this is doable and should be allowed more often! The newborn months are so short.”
“(She has transitioned to working from home mostly, but comes in when we need the extra hands. She’s still breastfeeding and baby needs mama! She has many times for feeding breaks while they are in the office.)”
Amen to that!