Melody Jett Blackwell and her husband had their first child [five] months ago, a beautiful baby girl named Nora-Jo. Melody’s boss gave her a generous [three]-month maternity leave, but before she knew it, it was time to get back to her work as a chiropractic assistant.
Thankfully, after the new mother returned to her job, her understanding supervisor allowed her to work from home the majority of the time, only asking that she come into the office once a week when they needed an extra hand.
“She allows me to bring my baby with me when I come in so that we can continue to bond and breastfeed,” Melody told Love What Matters.
One day, as she was taking a call, writing notes, and holding her baby, Melody’s boss decided to capture the candid moment of multitasking at its finest.
“This picture was snapped by my boss in the middle of a work day at the office,” said Melody. “She thought it was a sweet moment and so did I. We never thought it would get so much attention! We just thought it was a cute picture.”
But that simple, cute picture quickly gained viral traction after the supervisor captioned it with a message about working mamas that needs to be spread in today’s society:
“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. (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.) #WorkinMamas post a pic of you and your little ones while you work!”
As the picture started to get more attention, both Melody and her boss realized how important it is to start this conversation about moms in the workforce.
“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,” said Melody. “It helps 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. And single moms often don’t have the option to stay home at all.”
Her hope is that other companies and employers will see the photo and realize that this can be done.
“Depending on the [workplace], moms can bring their children to work and be productive,” explained Melody. “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.”