OPINION: Super Stella should be celebrated as a modern multi-tasking mother

Ruth Davies breastfeeding her baby Posie

Ruth Davies breastfeeding her baby Posie - Credit: Ruth Davies

Last week MP Stella Creasy was told she couldn’t take her three month old, breast-fed baby into the House of Commons while she works.

Do people really think a breast-feeding mother can’t engage her brain while keeping her child alive?

Because they’re very wrong if they do. So what if it was a rule? Move it. Make it different. This is 2021!

I’d hoped by now there’d have been mass apologies made by the parliamentary authorities who banned her from doing her job whilst still being a human being, but no. A week on and nothing has shifted.

I guess allowing a woman to do something so primal while maintaining professionalism in her work would show the men up.

The men who were allowed to do these jobs for years before women were recognised as capable even when they didn’t have babies to think about at the same time.

I suppose it would also pose questions like: “If a woman can breast feed and do a damn good job simultaneously, how come our prime minister is rendered to talking about Peppa Pig world when he loses his place and gets his knickers in a twist?”

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If a woman can speak coherently in the Houses of Parliament while she represents her constituency and, at the same time be jiggling a tiny baby, then what on earth does that say about Boris Johnson and his inadequacies?

MP Stella Creasy with her baby in the House of Commons last week

MP Stella Creasy with her baby in the House of Commons last week - Credit: PA

Stella Creasy wasn’t asking anyone to do anything for her.

She just wanted to take her baby to work where she knew it would be entirely possible to concentrate on the job while looking after them.

I know she can work and breast feed because I can too, and I do.

I feed while making supper, shopping, writing, making beds and sometimes I’m pumping some milk for later if I need to.

It's my job! I’m good at it, and I’ve had a lot of practice unlike, obviously, the powers that be in the house of commons.

Of course, there are jobs women can’t do with a baby on the boob, we know that, we aren’t fools.

But of the jobs women can do, sitting, speaking and representing a wide variety of people who are lucky enough that their MP is a capable multi-tasking woman, is very definitely one of them.

I’m actually at my most productive when I’m looking after my children at the same time as working.

My head is buzzing to get things done and while some might say: “"ow, what a wonder woman, how do you do it all?” and others will think: “Well, she must be neglecting the children”, I just get on with it and I absolutely don’t neglect a thing. Because I can. And I’m used to it.

We all know our own capabilities and our limitations so if Stella Creasy knows she can do it then who is anyone else to say that she cannot.

She has a responsible job she doesn’t want to shirk but she also has a baby, and she doesn’t want to relinquish her responsibilities to them either. Should we not be applauding her rather than telling her she can’t do it?

As an MP Stella Creasy isn’t able to take maternity cover.

If she doesn’t go to parliament then nobody represents the people of Walthamstow. What’s worse?

Having a woman feed her baby and do her job or having a woman not looking after the people who believed in her and voted her to speak and act on their behalf?

This woman cannot win! If she does as she’s told then she is a terrible MP, if she takes her baby into work then what? Absolutely nothing. She just takes her baby into work.

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was not voted in by the people but appointed by the PM when he wasn’t on a Peppa Pig wanderlust, deems it entirely in keeping with the law and upholds the rule. Why?

If we don’t change, we don’t evolve, if we don’t have conversations to better the world what are we? We have grown up and fought away from accepting the unacceptable and as a result we have a far brighter future where people aren’t segregated because of who they love or what they look like, and women can be MPs.

Jacob Rees-Mogg needs to stand up and be counted, as leader of the commons he has a responsibility to do so. If he cannot, if his hands are tied then really, what’s the point of him? We need someone leading the commons who has power, authority and a will to change the world for the better, not someone who says a computer says no!

Boris Johnson has a small baby too and regardless of which side of the commons he sits, as prime minister he needs to lead this too. I wonder, does he think his own wife incapable of doing anything else while she looks after their baby?

If he opened his eyes then maybe he would see woman of intellect feeding babies, while working, all over the country. He should be standing up for them, for us and for his wife, by standing up for Stella Creasy.

Perhaps if we can find him on a ride at Peppa Pig World, while he takes a nap, unmasked and sat next to Sir David Attenborough, then we can ask him why he isn’t.

For now, stand down Mr Rees-Mogg and stand down Mr Johnson for if you dare to say a breast-feeding mother can’t breast feed her child any damn place she chooses then you are far too dated in view to lead a trip on the George Pig dinosaurs let alone the commons or the country.

Let Stella feed her baby where she needs to, where she works and where if she does lose her train of thought she is absolutely invited to ad lib with a bit of Peppa Pig...

Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk

  

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