Being a mom is never easy no matter how you slice it. Being a working mom is no exception. Daycare or not, working from home or not, part time, full time, there’s no magic formula for balancing work and family.
A photo of a very special working mom going viral right now is making the balance between work and family look effortless—and adorable.
The sweet photo was taken at Maryland Farms Chiropractic, in Brentwood, Tennessee. When the owner of the practice, Dr. Elizabeth Baker, happened to walk by the front desk, she just had to snap a photo of this heartwarming scene and share her message with the world.
Workin' mamas.????She makes it look easy. It helps that Baby Nora-Jo is so sweet and content just being with and near her…
As she takes a phone call while cradling her tiny, adorable daughter, Melody Blackwell, the practice’s billing specialist, is shown enjoying a peaceful moment in which she seems to have found that perfect family/work balance.
When the photo was taken, Blackwell had just returned from a 3-month maternity leave only a little while earlier. Blackwell now works from home four days per week and comes to the office, with baby Nora-Jo in tow, once each week.
Nora-Jo, Dr. Baker said in her post, is a “sweet and content” baby, and her mom “makes it look easy.”
She also encouraged social media users to share the photo to help make an important statement: “We need more small and large businesses to see this is doable and should be allowed more often! The newborn months are so short.”
Babies are only babies for a short time. Before you know it, they’re off to school, going out with friends, and heading off to college. So, Dr. Baker and Blackwell were determined to make the most out of those precious newborn months.
“Once she got pregnant I knew we needed to figure out a way to make this work,” Dr. Baker said in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle. “We had nine months to plan, at least!”
“I was excited when she said that [working from home] was a possibility,” Blackwell shared with Yahoo. “I didn’t know if it would be.”
If Dr. Baker hadn’t been flexible and determined to retain her valuable employees, Blackwell would have had limited options. “I knew it was going to be hard for me to leave her when she was so young,” she said.
Blackwell knows for sure how blessed she is, and she sympathizes with moms who don’t have this same opportunity and have to utilize childcare so soon after birth: “I know it’s hard to drop them off at daycare when they’re just 2 or 3 months old.”
Speaking of daycare, Dr. Baker is well aware of the high cost of childcare and the fact that, for some working moms, the numbers simply don’t add up and that adding daycare to an already tight budget can be “worse than not having a job at all.”
Blackwell agreed, noting that she knows a few moms who had to quit their jobs altogether because they couldn’t afford daycare and “it made more financial sense for them to quit their jobs.”
To be fair, Dr. Baker knows that many moms work in environments that simply aren’t safe or appropriate for babies, or have jobs that cannot possibly be done off-site. Still, she wants to encourage working mothers and their employers to talk about it and get creative with some solutions.
“If it’s an environment where baby crying is okay,” Dr. Baker said, “I think more small and large businesses should look more toward allowing that.”
Dr. Baker set a great example for employers to accommodate mommies like Blackwell. What a blessing to be able to work while still enjoying those precious newborn moments.
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If this isn’t justice, I don’t know what is.
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