Moms saving on childcare by bringing babies to work
Exclusively breastfeeding her baby for the first 12 months was a top priority for Sharon Murphy.
She gave birth to daughter Ginny in November 2021 and enjoyed a few weeks at home on maternity leave from her data management job at a nonprofit. Then, in February 2022, her company switched to hybrid schedule that required her to work from the office two days per week.
She and her husband, Jake, didn’t have any nearby relatives or friends to care for Ginny during the day, nor did the first-time parents want to enroll their infant in daycare at such a young age, especially with COVID still looming.
So, Murphy went with the only logical option available to her at the time: She took her then-3-month-old into the office and breastfed her throughout the workday.
“I’d bring her into our big team meetings and I’d sit off to the side, and I’d cover myself up while I nursed her,” Murphy, 28, from Central Texas, told The Post. Her co-workers didn’t bat an eye.
“Everybody was very supportive,” she said, adding that both her male and female colleagues, as well as the company’s CEO, regularly offered to play with Ginny or take her on walks around the building during the day. “They loved having her in the office. She almost never cried and didn’t made too much noise.“
And when the tyke wasn’t being fed or fawned over, she kept herself entertained in a portable crib furnished with stuffed animals and an iPad that Murphy had set up in her cubicle. Ginny ultimately accompanied her mom to every in-office day for nine months.
“It was great,” said Murphy, who currently works at a different job that does not allow babies in the office on a regular basis. Ginny, now a 14-month-old, goes to daycare instead.
“I’m lucky because I got to spend every day of the first year of her life with her,” Murphy added. “And I learned how to balance work and motherhood.”
She’s not the only mom taking her baby to work. With childcare costs on the rise — in 2021, the national average set parents back an estimated $10,600 annually, according to Child Care Aware® of America — and difficult to find, more and more moms are opting to have their tots with them on the job. The TikTok hashtag #BringBabyToWork has more than 22,000 views.
“[It] makes it possible to get work done,” said mom Krystina Londeree, who works at a Florida real estate brokerage firm and recently went viral on TikTok with a post showing how she’d transformed half of her office into a colorful playroom.
Celebrities such as Emily Ratajkowski, 31, are are also onboard. The siren recently had her 22-month-old son Sylvester Apollo Bear on set with her during a photoshoot for the Versace Spring/Summer 2023 campaign. Fellow model mom Maggie Maurer, 32, breastfed baby Nora-Jane backstage at the Schiaparelli show during this month’s Paris couture shows immediately after walking the runway, with her face still lathered in gold metallic makeup.
High-powered politicos have broken boundaries by having their tots on the job. In 2018, New Zealand’s then-prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, 42, made history as the first world leader to bring a baby, her then-3-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha, to the United Nations assembly. That same year, US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) brought newborn daughter Maile to the Senate floor for a vote in the wake of a unanimous Senate decision to allow children under 1 in the chamber during votes.
Dads are also combining work and child’s play.
This month, California congressman Jimmy Gomez, 48, made headlines after carrying, feeding and diapering his 4-month-old, Hodge, on Capitol Hill during the drawn-out voting for Speaker of the House.
But, having having a small child in your workplace isn’t just good times and social media fodder.
Pediatrician Amna Husain told The Post that although having her 19-month-old daughter Minnie in the office is a joy, it come with some challenges.
“At times it’s tough,” said Husain, 34, who runs her own practice alongside her husband Zain in Marlboro, New Jersey. “On occasion, I’ve had to cancel patients if their visit was going to conflict with her nap time.”
“There are times she might be crying or she may need to be fed or she’s just clinging to me,” she added.
Still, it’s better than the alternative, she said.
“I’d rather her be with me than have the stress of knowing she’s with some stranger while I’m working,” she said.
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