When Melody’s boss caught her red-handed, she didn’t think twice about taking a photo of her and uploading it to Facebook.
But she didn’t expect that people would take Melody’s side.
Melody Jett Blackwell and her husband had been trying for a baby for many years, but luck wasn’t on their side until last year.
As you can imagine, the pair was on cloud nine when Melody found out she was pregnant. But now, she had a tough decision to make…
Melody worked as an assistant in a chiropractic office in Brentwood, Tennessee, and she loved her job.
She didn’t want to quit, so she began looking for alternatives.
Melody researched the cost of daycare but quickly realized that they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Sadly, the U.S. labor laws weren’t on her side, either.
The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act allow for 12 weeks of unpaid annual leave, which was simply not enough for her. So, Melody decided to keep her boss in the loop about the birth of her child and go from there.
In August 2018, she gave birth to her baby girl, Nora-Jo. After spending 12 weeks bonding with her baby, Melody had to return to work.
“I knew it was going to be hard for me to leave Nora-Jo when she was so young,” she said.
“I know it’s hard to drop them off at daycare when they’re just two or three months old.”
Melody couldn’t imagine sending her daughter to daycare at such a young age. It just didn’t feel right. So, she decided to reach out to her boss and ask for advice.
Melody explained to Dr. Elizabeth Baker that she didn’t feel comfortable leaving her daughter at daycare, but at the same time, she couldn’t afford to quit her job.
Dr. Baker allowed Melody to work from home, but there was a catch.
She would still have to come into the office once a week. Melody knew it wasn’t ideal, but it was better than nothing.
Little did she know what her boss was about to do…
Melody arrived at the office with little Nora-Jo in her arms, hoping that her boss wouldn’t notice.
After a few minutes, Dr. Baker entered the office, and her jaw nearly dropped to the floor when she saw Melody with her baby girl. She snapped a photo of the mother and daughter and uploaded it to the Maryland Farms Chiropractic Facebook page with a comment that shocked everyone to the core.
Her Facebook post received over 1,300 shares and 2,300 reactions in two and a half months!
Melody wasn’t surprised that her post had done viral. “I think a lot of people are in that same boat,” she told WTVF.
“They’re trying to make it work, and there are a lot more working moms now.”
“She makes it look easy,” Dr. Baker wrote beside the photo. ”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.”
However, not everyone thought this photo was cute.
“This is wrong,” one user wrote.
“There should be better maternity leave laws not allowing mothers to bring their babies to work. No one can work productively while caring for a newborn. And no one can take care of a newborn while working.” But Melody’s boss had the perfect response.
“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,” Dr. Baker said in an interview.
“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.”
“I wish there was a way for small businesses to afford to give longer time off. There are no government-funded programs for us small businesses to give long leave,” she wrote on Facebook.
“There are no insurance policies we can get to fund a long leave. It’s a huge loss of manpower and a large cost for us to offer any paid leave.” Melody agrees with her. ”I hope that other employers will see this picture of me and see that it can be done,” she told Love What Matters.