This story originally appeared at Goodfullness by Timothy Roberts.
If there’s one thing on the mind of many new or veteran mothers, it’s breastfeeding. There’s so much to consider, like what happens if you’re out and need to pump? Will people be judgmental if you do?
We live in a world that hasn’t quite caught up to the idea of breastfeeding. We often hear about people judging mothers for breastfeeding in public and it has caused many women to feel uncomfortable with the subject.
One woman in Iowa, Jackie Johnson-Smith, was looking for a place to celebrate her birthday. She is a stay-at-home-mom with two older children and one 12 months old, who was still breastfeeding. She wanted to choose a restaurant that wouldn’t shut her out because of her choice to breastfeed.
“I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” Johnson-Smith said.
She decided to go out for dinner, but when the time came, she was nervous about actually feeding her child in public.
“I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” Jackie said.“The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.”
As it turned out, the waitress was not judging Jackie, she wanted to praise her for what she was doing.
When they got the bill, it included a handwritten note: ‘I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!’
“I was in total shock and started tearing up,” Jackie said. “After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back. I was too stunned to go back inside and thank the waitress.”
Jackie went on Facebook to talk about her feelings and the kind act that she and her husband experienced.
“I have breastfed three children…I have breastfed them in a countless number of places both pleasant and unpleasant, discreetly and out in the open. I have gotten many looks and stares, but tonight erases any negativity I have ever received. I ate at Fongs for the first time tonight. Having a fussy baby I nursed him for a while in the booth and eventually left the table early as to not disrupt the restaurant. The waitress gave this receipt to my husband. I was speechless and emotional. Although I don’t need a pat on the back for feeding my child, it sure felt amazing. It is amazing how we women can make each other feel when we empower each other.”
Any mom will tell you that raising a child is difficult. It gets even harder when people judge women for their decisions in life.
We’re happy that this waitress decided to support Jackie. In the end, Jackie was able to enjoy her meal and take care of her child in the way she wanted.