As the coronavirus lockdown measures enter its eighth month, many parents have had to adjust to a new work-life balance. Working or studying from home while looking after your children isn't easy for anyone, and quite frankly, parents deserve a medal for keeping their families functioning during these difficult times. But it seems that some moms still can't catch a break, even in this 'new normal' way of living.
Marcella Mares, a California mom to a ten-month-old baby, was shamed by her professor for breastfeeding during an online class. She expressed her disappointment in a Facebook post, together with a picture showing her breastfeeding while studying (what a superhero!). Before the incident, her professor informed her and her fellow Fresno City College students that in order to receive credit for attending the class, they were required to keep their cameras and microphones on. Marcella emailed him, expressing that she was happy to do so but that she "Might need to turn them off to feed my daughter from time to time". Instead of her professor being understanding of her situation, he replied, "That's not what you should be doing during class. Do that on your own time."
After ignoring his shocking response, she opened the zoom class, where her professor announced, "I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time. You guys need to understand that you have priorities now, and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention in my class."
Of course, his response was utterly inappropriate, leaving Marcella feeling heartbroken and with no choice but to take the appropriate action against him and his clear discrimination. I can't imagine he is a parent himself, or he would have understood the kick-a** job this mother was doing by balancing parenthood with furthering her education. Breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful thing and not something that can be 'time-managed'. When your baby is hungry, that's when you breastfeed and to be shamed into choosing between feeding your baby and getting an education is, quite frankly, shocking, especially in the current circumstances. Luckily, the internet jumped to Marcella's defense, leaving her hundreds of supportive comments. Check out her post and some of the responses below.