Grandma Says Support Breastfeeding Working Women

BreastfeedingOh My God! Model and working mother Gisele Bunchen, age 33, wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, tweeted a photograph of herself breastfeeding their one year old daughter while getting her hair, nails, and makeup done–all at once–while getting ready for work.  Both large South Florida newspapers covered this story!  The Miami Herald said some call the photograph “obnoxious and outrageous.” The Sun Sentinel quoted her as exhausted after long travel and little sleep while she was getting ready for work and feeding her child at the same time.  Fortunately, others were quoted as saying she is “a great example of a working mother.”  This Grandma is with the latter group and appalled in 2013 that there are people appalled at this in 2013.

This same “news” day, December 12, 2013, both newspapers reported on a new Pew Research Center study on millennial women closing the gender gap in income, but that “it remains to be seen whether motherhood will slow their strides, as it did for women before them.” The Miami Herald reported:

“Young women seem tantalizingly close to achieving gender equality in the workplace, at least when it comes to wages….as of last year, women workers ages 25 to 34 were making 93% of what men of the same ages earned….Nearly two-thirds fear that having children will hold them back in the workplace.”

Emily Alpert Reyes, the author of the article says:

“Millennials have reason to worry:  earlier generations of women seemed to be narrowing the gender gap in wages, only to slip as they aged and many started juggling motherhood with jobs.  In 1995, for instance, women hitting their late 20s and early 30s earned 85% as much as their male counterparts a Pew analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows.  By 2012, those same women, now in their 40s and 50s, were only making 76% as much as men of their same age.  “The question mark is, what will happen to millennials 10 to 15 years into their career?” Asked Kim Parker, Pew’s director of social trends research.”

This Grandma thinks Pew answered its own question.  The report includes three additional important findings: (1) “Between 1980 and 2012, the gap has gradually narrowed for American workers, as wages rose for women and dropped for young men;” (2) “Only 15% of young women said they had suffered discrimination because of their gender at work;” and (3) “and unlike women before them, female millennials–young women ages 18 to 32–are statistically as likely as men to have asked their bosses for a promotion or a raise, Pew found.”

We are in a different world.  We tweet. Seriously, my two professional daughters breastfed their children for several months, mostly pumping in the office.  They multitasked and, yes, were exhausted.  Being successful mothers and successful professionals are not mutually exclusive in 2013.  We Boomer Grandmas need to be cheerleaders for the young professional women of today.  This Grandma predicts a bright future for millennial professional women who choose motherhood and breast feeding too.

Right on, Gisele! You are a positive role model who remains one of the top models in the world.  Keep tweeting, whatever that is.

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

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