A few weeks ago I had an issue with a company. I would say this is a regular occurrence for most of us, but the thing is, it made me quite angry. One employee's lack of responsibility, or maybe compassion for her customers caused my daughter to go to the ER. My daughter who has been diagnosed with compromised lungs. During cold and flu season. I was furious.
The thing is, when I really think about it though, I was so furious with this person that I lost sight of her being a human being with issues of her own. Maybe she truly doesn't care, but maybe she doesn't know how. Maybe she has a very lonely life. Maybe She can't have children herself. Maybe she has been diagnosed with something very hard to live with. I have no idea what this persons story is. While I do believe it is her job to care about my child's needs, I don't want the outcome to be her losing her job. In no way do I believe that me working hard to make someone else's life miserable will make mine better.
Please do not misunderstand me, I 100% believe that employees should be held responsible for their actions. I just want to make sure that in my response to an issue with a company I still remember I am dealing with humans who make mistakes.
What I am hoping to do here is give some perspective on how we react to what happens in life.
Recently I briefly spoke with a friend about something going on at the business she works for. This is at one of her three jobs she works in order to get herself through school while supporting herself and trying to grow her business.
A woman came into the business and was feeding her child. This woman breastfeeds her child and while I wasn't there, the firsthand account I received was that the woman left her breast out after feeding and was asked to cover herself up, not her child. It could have been completely different. Maybe someone did do something completely wrong and actually illegal and ask her to cover herself up while feeding. This I am not sure of, as I stated, I was not present.
This caused a social media storm and people from all over the country began giving this family owned, small business 1 star ratings and poor reviews. By the time I heard about this and spoke with the friend she was very concerned with wether she was about to lose her job. Thankfully, the business stepped up and had a compassionate and professional response. They not only apologized, but hosted an event to raise awareness and funds for a local breastfeeding organization (I am not sure if that is the best way to describe it, maybe it would just be called a milk bank?). They also have stated they plan to better train their employees. I have learned that both sides have reconciled (although some people have not taken down said 1 star reviews which have nothing to do with the quality of the business, only to do with the aforementioned incident).
We live in a world that needs more love and positive responses. The thing I want to really stress is that the positive responses need to be from BOTH sides.
If I thought a woman losing her job would make my life easier, then maybe I would think of it differently, but it isn't that simple.
I always intended to solely breastfeed. To be along side of all of you mamas who proudly feed your child from the supply your body produces. The problem is I was only able to breast feed once. She was two months old and it was the day before my birthday last year. She latched on and even transferred milk. Unfortunately, my daughter (the one I mentioned with the "compromised lungs") aspirated. Feeding her by mouth was very hard on her little body and at a very small 7 lbs she had a procedure to surgically place a feeding tube.
Talk about getting stared at in public.
Most people are just curious, but there are those people who stare with what can only be described as alarm. Who ask "what's wrong with your baby?" I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it is incredibly difficult for tears not to well up in my eyes, I just want to scream "NOTHING IS WRONG WITH HER!" Maybe give them a guilt trip. Maybe jokingly say "if you think this is bad, you should have seen her when she was born 3 months early and had tubes everywhere."
To be completely clear, this isn't just the public. I have had employees say things to me. Actually the first time it happened it was a hostess at one of my favorite local restaurants. It wasn't my daughter's feeding tube, it was when she was still on oxygen and we had to carry around an oxygen tank. I was so angry (as was my mother-in-law), but I let it go. I have a feeling the girl was not taught a lot of tact, as so many others out there. I used it as an opportunity to educate right then and there. When I look back I am actually more upset at the establishment for stopping complimentary chips and salsa with to-go orders.
To this day I still pump. My daughter receives about 3 ounces of milk a day, but the stresses of pumping, tube feeding, multiple therapies and really feeling inadequate in the breastmilk department really go to me. I prayed about it and decided that I would relax a little and use formula.
My daughter is doing great and is miraculously healthy. Each exam has showed not only that her lungs are getting stronger, but she recently passed a test that now allows her to drink by mouth. Unfortunately (yet fortunately in so many ways) she is too big to try breastfeeding now and acts as if I am abusing her if I even try to hold her to give her a bottle. I also intended to give my daughter all organic foods, and while I am able to make most of her food, some days I will try anything to get us closer to not having a feeding tube. We have a long way to go, but I am optimistic.
I think it is so so important to fight for what is right, but really think about how your method of protest is going to affect the lives of others. Really think "is this something that is worth ruining someones life over?" Even better maybe ask yourself how you would like to be dealt with if you made a mistake. I would hope that more that the message I send my child (who will be an adult one day) is that there is always a positive way to look at any situation.
Thank you for reading, and be sure to show someone love today. It may be the only love they receive.