Feeding Baby While Crossing the Road...is this fair judgement?

Jodi - posted on 04/03/2011 ( 52 moms have responded )

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AUSTRALIA'S high-profile media identities have come out in support of radio host Jackie O, as a political row erupts over her parenting skills.
NSW Families Minister Pru Goward claims Jackie O "endangered her baby" by feeding her while crossing the road earlier this week.

"We all were horrified when Michael Jackson dangled his baby out the window and this woman is crossing the road not just holding a baby but feeding a baby and I think it was unnecessarily cavalier," Ms Goward told The Sunday Telegraph.

"There would be no mother, no parent probably, or even a hardened feminist, in the country who would think that was a good way of feeding a baby, particularly a little tiny baby," she said.

The astonishing comparison to Jackson prompted Federal Women's Minister Kate Ellis to tell Ms Goward to back off.

"Perhaps it would be better if people like Pru Goward spent less time judging other women and the choices they've made, and more time working for supportive and flexible arrangements which assist parents to make the best decisions," Ms Ellis said.

Ms Goward, the former sex discrimination commissioner, also upset her successor, Elizabeth Broderick, by saying women were returning to work too soon after giving birth and should remember "nobody is indispensable" in the office.

Ms Goward said it was tough for mums to decide when to return to work but insisted there were sound medical reasons not to do so too soon.

"There is such a thing as coming back to work too soon and that is what the whole paid maternity campaign was and is about," she said.

Ms Goward did not want to criticise Jackie O for going back to work two months after giving birth, saying: "She is in a very difficult position, she has a career unlike most people. I understand that."

"It is very disappointing when a woman like Jackie O doesn't feel she can take advantage of [paid maternity leave] because she is paid so much money to be on air that presumably the management have said to her: 'Look if you take three months off, sorry you don't have your spot'."

"That is a judgment call for Jackie O about what she thinks is more important."

Ms Broderick said other women had no place to comment on another mother's decisions. "We have to support mothers to make the right choice for their family," she said. "Why do we feel we can judge women? It's a shame."

Radio debate fires up

Debate erupted after images were published of the popular 2Day FM host feeding her daughter, Kitty, while crossing the street.

Jackie O returned to work in January, two months after giving birth for the first time. Her husband, Lee Henderson, is a stay-at-home dad.

"If I could have taken a year off, it would be great, but I can't: I have to keep this job," Jackie O said on Friday, adding that the debate had made her feel like a "second-rate mum".

Nine newsreader Georgie Gardner was so angered by the attack on Jackie O that she revealed she had also felt pressured by her then-employer to return to work after giving birth."This whole sorry episode has brought to the surface my own experience of feeling monumental pressure in our industry to return to work before I felt ready," she said.

"My first-born was no more than six weeks old when I received a phone call from a senior executive where I was employed at the time.

"After me stating quite clearly that I wasn't ready, and, indeed wasn't obliged, to return to work at that point, I was asked what my husband did for a living. When I replied that he worked in a bank, his response floored me and is etched in my memory: 'Tell your penny-pinching husband to pay for a f****** nanny.' "

Kerri-Anne Kennerley was also livid at the attack, saying: "If you are going to whack someone, go on a professional angle. There is a line to be drawn with deeply personal issues and motherhood and babies are among those issues."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ro...

Your thoughts?

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Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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I don't want to America-bash. However, it does seem that in the U.S., I often see this attitude of resentment towards anybody who is getting something that other people may not be getting.

I see it in discussions of universal health care: "I'm healthy -- why should my tax dollars go towards some slob's bypass surgery?"
I see it in discussions on public education: "I don't have kids -- why the hell should I pay for public education?"
And I see it when it comes to parental leave: "I don't have kids -- why the hell should I have to pick up extra work while the office breeders go and pump out babies?"

And I just don't get it. My tax dollars go towards all kinds of shit that will never directly benefit me. So what? That's called "being a member of society." And my own boss is going on mat leave in August, which will leave me with a fair bit of extra responsibility, because we're not actually hiring anybody to cover her. So what? It'll be a good challenge for me, I'll learn some new skills, and it'll look really great for me when review time comes around. Besides, who's to say that I won't be in a car accident 5 years from now and be on short-term disability, leaving my boss to cover MY workload for awhile?

I don't know...when it comes to the social safety net, I just see a lot of pettiness coming out of the U.S. Not to say that EVERYBODY is like that -- I know that there are a lot of you lovely American ladies who would happily help shore up your fellow man or woman. But are you in the majority? I honestly don't know.

Krista - posted on 04/03/2011

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I don't see it that way, Sharon.

Up here, women are entitled to a year off after they have a baby. In some cases yes, other coworkers might pick up the slack. However, in many cases, the company will hire a temp for a year-long term to cover that person. So the mother gets her year off, and the temp gets a year of really good work experience.

Besides, SOMEONE'S got to keep the population going, right? It irks me when we women are made to feel like we should apologize for having kids. Yeah, it can be inconvenient, but that's life. If I miss one year of work out of my 40+ years of working life that I'll accrue by the time I retire...well, is that really THAT huge a deal in the grand scheme of things?

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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With our world population as it is, I don't see that a chosen career woman NEEDS to be the one to keep the population going.

So in your viewpoint, career women should not have babies, and women who want babies should not have careers?

No. I do not accept that premise. Career women can absolutely raise families. The thing is, it DOES take a certain amount of supportive behaviour from others. So if we all want to be selfish dicks and tell new mothers to get the hell back to their desks two days after giving birth, then no, it's not going to work. But, if, as a society, we can be more kind to each other and offer that support, then it CAN work very well.

Like I said earlier, where I live, we just don't HAVE that nasty resentment towards parents. Maybe it's because we have a better social safety net. Maybe it's because it's just how our society works. But up here in Canada, if a mom goes back to work right after giving birth, it's usually more because she can't afford the reduced mat-leave income, not because she feels pressure from her employer to come back early. As a matter of fact, in Canada, it's ILLEGAL for an employer to try to pressure an employee to cut their maternity leave short. They're not even allowed to ask you when you're coming back -- they have to assume you'll take your year, unless you notify them otherwise.

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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the hysteria is too much, the act or pic doesn't realate to the rest of the story of going to work early, but i still don't really think that feeding while walking across a city street is good form, if she were to drop bub (the chough, choke, fart burp spew wriggle cry all without telling you first) not only is it possible that bub is seriously hurt, if a car serves into the on comming traffic to miss her she (mum that is) is possibly liable for the accident and any damages, in the same why if you wander onto the road while texting or don;t hear a car because of your ipod, it is your responsibility to cross safely...and besides jacki o is a media whore who if she had known it would get so much attention would of sold the pic herself, and dont worry in the no too far off future there will be the jacki o book deal on how to do it all, with a special section on how to multi task in new and unusual ways, clothes in the bath with baby, while you are wasting time sitting on the loo why not take your lap top and pay the bills, don;t waste time having a shower before going to work, just use wet ones in the car, just hope that no one else is multitasking and feeding bub on the crossing or there might be a catastrophy....

H.J - posted on 04/06/2011

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Maybe she had to cross the road whilst feeding her baby because the damned paparazzi was hounding her and she wanted to get away from them but hadn't finished feeding her baby... just a thought

52 Comments

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[deleted account]

Uh i still dont undertstand the hyteria over her feeding her baby and crossing the road??? is there anything wrong with that picture? absolutely not.

oh and for those who say u get a year off after having a baby where do you live?? i only got 2 month from school and 3 months from work but i went back to school at 2 weeks and quit my job since i didnt need it.

Sal - posted on 04/07/2011

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hmmm if you were on a mobile phone and got hit crossing the road you can be charged as you were not paying attention to the road, i could see this in the same catergory.

Trish - posted on 04/06/2011

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Man why doesn't she breastfeed baby while walking 1000 feet high in the air on a tight rope....hehehe. Leave her alone. Was the road she crossing a grand prix track and the cars were racing? You know people need to stop judging others when no one is hurt. Was the baby hurt by her mum crossing the road while baby was feeding...I guess baby wasn't. So what's the big deal?

Cyndel - posted on 04/06/2011

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Oh come on! This is rediculous!!!
There is nothing dangerous about her feeding her baby while crossing the street! Now if she was attempting to get her latched onto the breast while crossing the street that is a different story, but she was giving the girl a bottle. It is safer then talking on the phone, holding the baby and crossing the street!
Sheesh back off and leave the woman alone.

BTW, I have not read any of the comments from other COM moms, this comment is directed at the oblivious media who is making a big deal out of nothing because they are bored and have nothing better to do.

Sal - posted on 04/06/2011

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i was thinking of this today, i was crossing the road with my daughter, i picked her up and carried her as i was in a hurry, i had forgotten how it felt to have this little person in your arms while trying to do something that take attention from you (she is 3 and much bigger than a 4 month old but can hold on to me) and just watching the traffic and making sure she wasn't going to fall was more than enough to deal with there is a reason i have never walked around feeding , it is tricky....go the sling if this is you need or want to feed and walk, i would never forgive myself if i dropped her at all, if i done it while doing something "unnesersarily caverlier" i would feel even worse..

[deleted account]

You know, I bet you're right. If she sat down they'd be all over her with their flashing cameras in the poor baby's face. Ugh. What a nightmare.

Stifler's - posted on 04/05/2011

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Oh I wasn't saying that's my attitude I just know A LOT of people who think this way and don't realise how much better off they are making good money and not having a healthcare card etc. than being on benefits and still talk about their "tax dollars" and shit not realising how much stuff they get for free themselves.

Casey - posted on 04/05/2011

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I don't see the problem with her feeding her baby while crossing the road I have heard of much worse like women breast feeding while driving the car, sure I guess there is a small chance that she could have dropped the baby but that could just as easily happen if you were walking around in your own home feeding your baby, I think people are so quick to judge new mothers.
As for her going back to work 8 weeks after giving birth thats her choice and she doesn't need to be critised for it and I think thats quite a normal time for alot of women to go back to work after having a baby and it's not like shes dumped her baby in daycare it's at home with it's daddy who would be just as capable as she is at taking care of it, some people just need to back off and give the poor woman a chance shes a new mum and just like any new mum shes probably still working it all out.

Charlie - posted on 04/05/2011

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This is the MOST ridiculous display of mummy judgment I have ever seen , seriously there are far more important things that need this kind of attention.

[deleted account]

It doesn't look all that bad in the picture? Don't they have more important things to deal with? Or more dangerous people to harass? Eh, media. What can you do? > .>

Bonnie - posted on 04/05/2011

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I don't see what the problem is. People feed their babies while walking in a grocery store, walking in the mall, going up and down stairs. What people can't do two things at once. She can still see where she is walking. You have to be able to multi task when you are a parent.

Merry - posted on 04/05/2011

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You wouldn't believe how hated people are in America if they are on any government assistance! It's the same, if I have to pay for your medical needs then you are a rotten thieving pig! Those of us in USA who do get assistance usually keep it a secret because otherwise we
Get yelled at!

Mel - posted on 04/04/2011

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when i got maternity leave we didnt get paid at all. I took 5 months off then only went back saturdays

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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And I guess that in my opinion, such attitudes are really short-sighted.

Even if I didn't have kids, I'd be happy for my tax dollars to pay for public education.

Why? Because the better-educated a society is, the more prosperous it is.

Even though I have excellent health, I'm happy for my tax dollars to pay for healthcare for my fellow citizens.

Why? Because when people declare bankruptcy because of health expenses, that hurts the economy.

And even if I didn't have kids, I'd have no issue with covering someone else's work during a maternity leave.

Why? Because I think that society benefits when it takes into account that we're more than "workers" -- we're human beings.

And I guess I just don't understand that a lot of American politicians tout themselves as being all about "family values", and yet they do everything in their power to make life HARDER for families.

[deleted account]

Until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes you have no right to judge them. You don't know their circumstance or challenges. When I say 'you' I mean in general, not directed at Emma! ; )

Stifler's - posted on 04/04/2011

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The attitude against welfare is the same in Australia though. People who works long hours and make decent money hate people on the dole or who have low income health care cards even though they are way better off than them.

Amanda - posted on 04/04/2011

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Not only is is illegal for a job to fire you while on maternity leave, and up to a year after you return back to work in Canada, your husband can take so much of your maternity leave instead of you.

Ez - posted on 04/04/2011

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Kati I think you're right. Those of us with better maternity leave schemes (and honestly, Australia is still a long way behind many other countries - we now get 18 weeks at reduced pay, and then up to 12 months unpaid) do find the situation in the US astounding.



I can't fathom being forced back to work after a few weeks out of fear of losing my job. Supportive maternity leave programs have become the norm here. People really don't bitch about it. If anything (as evidenced by this article) people get snarky if a mother doesn't take advantage of the whole 12 months.

[deleted account]

Krista- Unfortunately, your comments ARE highly accurate. In my experience they ring true. Brotherly / Sisterly love and 'love they neighbor as thy self' is a foreign concept. Some areas of this country leaves much to be desired. Of course there are also wonderful and amazing things about this country that I love and am happy that this is my home but to speak of the negatives, those would be high on the list. I am from the south (Bodie Island, North Carolina) where the culture is to be welcoming, inviting and respectful. People in the south have wonderful manners. Children call you 'Miss' then your name. You rarely hear a child call an adult by their first name alone. Again, not everyone but the majority have good manners bc it is the culture. When I moved to Seattle (Pacific North West, bordering Canada for those who don't know) I was shocked at how stand off-ish people were and how people looked at me like I was crazy when I talked and smiled...even the cashiers at the grocery store. I felt so alone! I'm used to it now but it was alot to take in at first bc it's such a dramatic change. Aahhhh....I'm getting homesick now for my happy island home. I wish we could move back. Sorry...I'm drifting way off topic lol. :D

Rosie - posted on 04/04/2011

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that probably is true dana, however with my experience (albeit limited) with women from countries that give long maternity leave, it seems like their attitude is that they cannot believe that we only get 12 weeks. it seems like it's been engrained into their heads so much that women deserve that amount of time, that they respect it. it seems like whole different mindset. many times on this site i hear a woman from canada or australia gasping in awe about how little time we get. like they can't even fathom the thought. i know that doesn't necessarily represent every person in those countries. :)

[deleted account]

Sounds like a great idea Julianne! Fun, fun, fun!!! :D



In my experience, when a worker goes on maternity leave the company rarely gets a replacement / temp to fill the spot 'til she comes back and all that extra work falls on the coworkers...and even if they understand and aren't really resentful it's still the "I can't wait 'til she gets back to work bc picking up her slack sucks" deal. I like Canada. We've visited a few times and had fun. When we went to Vancouver I paid for everything with my visa debit though bc I couldn't be bothered to figure out the money conversion. My husband told me a million times but for some reason I had some sort of strange mental block about it lol. It's so peaceful there and it was so cool to get a coke with French writing on it. Yes, yes I know I'm a dork.

Dana - posted on 04/04/2011

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Yeah, although I bet that no matter where you live and what laws are in place, there's always going to be idiots who say maternity leave is too long and the mothers are just being lazy, etc...

Rosie - posted on 04/04/2011

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i was thinking more along the lines of people- coworkers and such, not companies. however, speaking of companies though, not many i know of are jumping at the bit to give more than 12 weeks off, paid or unpaid. whether they complain or not, still don't see the overall attitude about maternity leave loosening up. :)

Dana - posted on 04/04/2011

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I don't know, Kati. I think that all depends on what company you work for. Some are fine with extended maternity leave.

Rosie - posted on 04/04/2011

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if someone took a year off for maternity leave in the united states, there would be comments of how lazy she is, etc. it's so disheartening to me to see how other countries work, and how they support their new mothers. sigh.

[deleted account]

if you move to canada come to nova scotia...then we can be friends IRL too!
I don't see this differently as walking across the street with a baby in a stroller... i did it too....but gabby was in a sling attached to the boob...does this make me a bad mom?? Babys hungry....feed baby...should she wait till a more convenient time and let the baby starve??

[deleted account]

I want to move to Canada!!! That is amazing that your maternity leave is that long! Wonderful! I wish the United States would take note on so many things that Canada implements and follow their lead. It would make for happier, healthier families. I haven't heard of Canada dealing with middle eastern wars and weapons of mass destruction lately. Canadians seem pretty passive. ; )

Toni - posted on 04/04/2011

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Good on Jackie O for feeding her child when her child wanted to be fed. Big thumbs up!

Pru Goward needs to have a good long hard look at herself :(

[deleted account]

I don't see the big deal about this pic. Maybe I'm missing something? Did she walk into oncoming traffic while feeding the baby? Did she not look both ways or wait for the cross walk sign to turn green? She's just crossing the street so it seems. I think the media must have been searching / trolling for something negative to write about her bc this is something I wouldn't have given a 2nd thought. Yeah, maybe she should have sat down somewhere but what if there wasn't a place to do that? I've fed my babies while walking before. I'm talented like that. I can give a boob and take a step all at the same time. :D



EDIT TO ADD: It does look like she could get a better hold on the baby, though. They both look uncomfortable.

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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What crap. She shouldn't be judging celebrities parenting from one pic and the fact that they have gone back to work as the Minister for Women either. Irresponsible IMO. Isn't there that thing we call womens lib?

Jodi - posted on 04/03/2011

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I think that's the problem with the media. There is such big money for *that shot* these days, and so much competition for it, the media deliberately prey on anyone they feel would be a good target. They happened to get the perfect photo and suddenly we have a story that has been manufactured.

Personally I think Pru Goward is a poor excuse for a Minister for Women. Yes, that's right, she was appointed as Minister for Women in the NSW Parliament (announced just yesterday), and she hits out to make a mother feel this way for doing something she didn't consider *appropriate*. I am totally disgusted that she could pass judgement so harshly on ANY woman doing what she needs to do for her family. Isn't it great to see a Minister for Women providing such a supportive environment for all the mother in her State.

I went back to work when my son was 6 weeks old. I did what I had to do for my family. It doesn't make me a bad mother, and I would have been absolutely livid if some politician decided to judge my life on the merits of a couple of photographs showing a moment in time.

Ez - posted on 04/03/2011

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I'm sure that's true Mel. That's what I meant by this being just one moment of her day. The press has latched on and run with it, and turned it into an example of why mothers of infants should never leave the house :-/

Mel - posted on 04/03/2011

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I also saw an article where she said 98% of the time she is sitting down feeding the baby, this was just a one off thing

Ez - posted on 04/03/2011

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The reason both issues are linked in this article is because of Pru Goward. She went public with slamming Jackie O on the feeding issue, and used it as a platform for her political agenda concerning working mothers.

Personally, I really don't care what Jackie O does. The photo does look a bit awkward, but it's just capturing a split second of her day as a new mum. I'm thinking those who are condemning her for this are maybe going for the 'she's too busy to even sit down and feed her baby because she went back to work too soon' angle? IDK....

But I can accept Sal's point about her making herself fodder for the media. She has invited them into her personal life with all sorts of photo spreads and interviews.

Mel - posted on 04/03/2011

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theres no need to make such drama over it, she did nothing wrong I cant believe people are critsising her

Katherine - posted on 04/03/2011

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I'm not getting notifications either. CoM is really annoying tonight.
I think the article is ridiculous. Why make such a big deal? Not too safe IMO, but to go to another level and say moms go back to work too early? WTF?

Rosie - posted on 04/03/2011

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WTF? why is this even something that causes controversy? i dont' get whats wrong with feeding your baby while crossing a street. what difference does it make if she's feeding the baby or holding the baby? are mothers not supposed to cross the street with a baby in their arms? seriously, don't get what's debateable, lol.
i also thought it was weird that they started going on about women going back to work early. what the hell does that have to do with a woman feeding her child while walking across a street?

Dana - posted on 04/03/2011

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What is more annoying than the site being slow today is the fact that I was the first person that posted to this thread and it never actually posted! I wondered why there were 9 responses and I never got any notifications...



Anyhow, I think it's ridiculous that people feel the need to make this woman feel bad, for ANY reason. There's nothing wrong with feeding your baby while walking across the street. It's not as if she's gazing into his eyes and unaware of her surroundings. And let's be honest whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, sometimes we have stuff to do during those gazillion times a day that you're feeding your child.

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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That's pretty true Sal. Kyle Sandilands IS an asshole! Jackie O is not much better when it comes to discussing other idiot behaviours or media stories. That's just what you get when you say shit about everyone else.

Sal - posted on 04/03/2011

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if it was a pic of a teen mum kyle and jacki o would of crusified her, they aren't really nice people (or their media personalities aren't) i do feel sorry for her because if done something stupid with my baby no one would of taken a photo and put it in the news but you just can;t have it all, sell you life to the media for cash, there were the wedding features, poor jackie can't get preg feature, look jacki is preg story, look at jackis nice home story, lets welcome jackis baby story, well this is just the jacki feeding baby on road story, with all of my kids i never felt my time was too imporant to sit down and take time to feed my baby,

Sharon - posted on 04/03/2011

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With our world population as it is, I don't see that a chosen career woman NEEDS to be the one to keep the population going. Apparently what we need is someone to man the office and decide coffee and donuts or bagels and tea.

Jessica - posted on 04/03/2011

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OK I'm confused. The article starts out, OMG SHE WAS FEEDING HER BABY WHILE CROSSING THE ROAD!! and then goes into 3 paragraphs about when to return to work after having a baby and being criticized for going back too early.

As far as feeding her baby, I don't know, I really don't see what the hype is about. How exactly is she endangering her kid? I mean, I'd probably take the opportunity to sit down first, but is it really that big of a deal...?

And as far as when to return to work, I mean, you do what you have to do.

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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I think just because Jackie O is a celebrity doesn't make her exempt from being a new mum. We all did stupid things that we thought were ok at the time then looked back and thought... oops. That probably wasn't the best idea. I don't think walking across a road feeding a baby is a fantastic thing to do to be honest, but she's a new mum we don't know everything just because we've had a kid. I'm not sure what walking across a road feeding her baby has to do with the"She went back to work too early" thing either. She's allowed to go back to work whenever she likes. In another article I've read about this it says that her husband is a stay at home dad... wtf.

Merry - posted on 04/03/2011

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I think the picture is fine! Idk, it doesn't look like the baby is in any sort of danger, it's in a comfy looking position. I would probably have my hand grabbing the baby's thigh personally but she could have been adjusting at the time the picture was taken. I mean seriously no celeb can do anything with their baby without getting yelled at!
As for going back to work after two months, well I went back at 6 weeks as did many many Americans, so I don't like it, but that doesn't make her a bad mom! It's work, we do it either because we have to for the money, or because we love it as a part of our lives. I did it simply for the money, my heart is set on being home, but some women love their jobs and do great as both mom and career woman. Why do we Carr if a celeb has a job two months after having a baby? Just because we love to hate on people right!

And yeah, if she w bf with a sling it would also probaly be headlining news, but I'd think less of a hero more of a 'hippy crunchy wannabe'

Sharon - posted on 04/03/2011

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In regards to a job...

You can't have it all. Unless you are indeed unique and indispensible and un replaceable, your job is always at risk. Are you a mom? Are you a career woman? Make up your mind. SOMETHING has to be sacrificed. The woman who has no kids shouldn't have to pick up your damn slack because you're off indulging in your "instincts" like some base animal.

feeding your baby while you cross the road. Knock yourself out. People feed their kids while watching, TV, ironing, doing the damn dishes. So fucking what? I don't see people raising holy fucking hell that a baby might bet burned, electrocuted or drown (lmao) while doing those chores with its mother. So sit down and stfu.

Jodi - posted on 04/03/2011

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(Grrr, I am so OVER how slow this site is today!!)

Anyway, my husband saw this story this morning and made an interesting comment.

"If she had that baby in a sling and was breastfeeding it while crossing the road, she'd be being hailed as a hero." He probably has a point.

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