You all know I tend to stay away from the controversial stuff in the news, unless it really makes me angry or upset.
Well, today has been one of those rare days!
A picture was taken of a radio host here in Australia, Jackie O, crossing a road and bottle feeding her four month old baby at the same time. Yes, I can hear you all gasping from here, what a shocking thing to do!
But in all seriousness, this caused NSW Minister for Families, Pru Goward, to come out and say Jackie O had "endangered" her baby, acted "unnecessarily cavalier" and compared her to when Michael Jackson dangled his baby over a balcony.
The full article can be found here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8232101
This has made me extremely angry, so much so that I decided to email the Minister's office directly with the following letter:
I truly hope you are going to offer a public apology to Jackie O after your petty, ill-thought comments regarding her feeding her baby while walking across a road.
I am usually not the type that feels the need to put my two cents in about this sort of thing, but as a working mother with a toddler and baby, I was disgusted and infuriated by your attack on Jackie O. And you are the Minister for FAMILIES, which makes your words even more incomprehensible to me.
I am a published author and I chose to work from home as Jackie O is, keeping my children with me. And yes, I too have fed my children while walking around. I can't tell you the number of times I was breastfeeding my younger daughter and had to get up to intervene when my older daughter was doing something she shouldn't have been. Are you going to announce that I too am "endangering" my children and compare my actions to dangling a baby over a balcony?
Get serious! I'm sure you have more important things to spend your time on than making small-minded comments about a woman doing her best as a first time mum. If you have children of your own, surely you can remember that when infants want to be fed, they mean now. I truly want to know, do you think she should have walked around with a screaming baby, making the child stay hungry, who is too young to understand? Or do you think she simply should not have left the house?
Publicly singling one woman out as a bad mother is not only atrocious, it's irresponsible of you as a minister and public figure yourself. You don't know Jackie O's home situation, if she happened to be one of the thousands of women unfortunate enough to suffer post-natal depression, your reckless comments could have resulted in her hurting herself or her baby.
I am incensed by your words and think you should be ashamed of yourself.
That pretty much sums up what I think about this situation. I truly hope Ms Goward does own up to her ridiculous comments.
And Jackie O, if you happen to read this, you have nothing to be ashamed of, you've done nothing wrong. You're no different to a million other mums around Australia (and probably the world) who've done the same sort of thing. I stand with you and your actions, as I'm sure many other mums around Australia will as well.