I post this picture today with a huge smile on my face and great affection and gratitude in my heart for all those marvelous employers in my past who, when it was at all possible, allowed me to show up for work with one or more of my children in tow. As a result of their forward-thinking and open-minded largesse, I have, among other things, answered phones, served food, sold Feminist books and zines, written newspaper articles, organized women’s rights demonstrations, edited newsletters, and cleaned other people’s houses — all with a sweet, suckling, slumbering monkey strapped to my chest or slung onto my back. And believe me, it wasn’t just a political or revolutionary act for me to have done so — though, looking back now, I very clearly realize that it certainly was that, as well. No, for a young, working-class family just starting out, like we were, it frequently meant the difference between groceries or no groceries.

The gift that was given to me by these employers was two-fold: 1.) Because I could bring my baby with me, I didn’t have to pay a babysitter — and thus my entire desperately-needed paycheck was mine to keep. And 2.) Because I had my child with me, my mind and heart were there with me, as well — and that contributed always to focus and excellence in my work. I was helped personally, financially, professionally, and creatively. It made me a better employee and it made me a better mother — which is, of course, the most important job in the world: creating and shaping extraordinary human beings.

So, to all employers, managers, business owners, professional organizations, multi-national corporations, and governmental bodies who both encourage and support women and mothers on their journeys toward becoming the most fulfilled, prosperous, empowered, amazing beings they can be…

a most grateful and heartfelt THANK YOU.

“European Member of Parliament, Licia Ronzulli (an MEP from Italy), took her seven-week old daughter, Victoria, to work at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. [It was not a ‘Take-Your-Child-to-Work’ event.] She kept her baby carefully cradled against her in a wrap and occasionally leant to kiss her on the forehead. This photo was taken as she voted on proposals to improve women’s employment rights and was broadcast and published in newspapers around the world.”

About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and hipmama.com. She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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