Working moms certainly don't have it easy—but one mom's artistic project speaks volumes about how difficult the juggling act really is.
Artist, educator and mother Kasey Jones struggled to balance all her responsibilities after welcoming her second child, and she knew she wasn't the only mom grappling with this. That's why she created the "working mother suit," an outfit made entirely out of breast milk bags.
The mom posed for a photo series in various takes on the "working mom suit"—in one, she's sitting on a toilet in a public bathroom and pumping breast milk. Another shot features Jones sitting behind a desk, talking on a phone while wearing a dress made of breast milk bags.
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Working Mother Suit: Pumping in the Stalls || How we treat Mothers in our society reflects what we value the most and what we value the least. An all too common occurrence, we are often forced to pump in the bathroom stalls. Pumping liquid gold as the smell of shit and piss lingers in the air. If breast is best, give Mothers the space they deserve in the work place so we can comfortably collect the food that nourishes our baby. || A labor of labor || 📸: @jac000b #kaseyjonesart #art #design #sculpture #photography #mother #workingmother #mom #breastfeedingart #breastfeeding #breast #breastisbest #womenartist #motherartists #momart #contemporaryart #socialart #feministart #feminism #livingsculpture #artist #fitmom #women #womenartists #laborday #labor #america #pumproom #scarypumproom
“In the wee hours of the morning as I would pump, sleep deprived, preparing to teach to over 100 students, I felt alone,” Jones told The Huffington Post. “When you breastfeed, you are food on demand. You are up all night producing milk and feeding your baby. You wake up earlier than your shift starts to pump so that your baby has enough food while you are gone. You go to work sleep deprived, not 100 percent, you work, you pump, you work, you pump. Then you come home and do it all over again.”
But demands on a mother's time aren't the only challenges that come along with being a working woman who is also a breastfeeding mom. It's no secret that women are constantly being judged when they breastfeed in public—it's definitely not easy to duck into bathroom and hide away every time you need to pump at work.
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Working Mother Suit: Ease into Engorgement || 📸: @jac000b || #kaseyjonesart #art #design #photography #sculpture #livingsculpture #feminist #feministart #breast #breastfeeding #breastfeedingart #motherhood #mom #momart #womenartists #women #mother #supportworkingmoms #workingmom #workingmother #nursingmom #breastmilk #work #contemporaryart #contemporaryartist #socialart #america #fashion #model
But these photos don't just make a statement about the realities of being a working mom, they also highlight an important issue our country faces.
"It's disheartening to know that most mothers do not have a choice and are forced to work full-time on top of caring for an infant," Jones captioned a shot on her Instagram page. "The United States is still the only developed country that does NOT guarantee paid maternity leave. This is a disservice to the betterment of humanity; to the physical and mental health of the people who are in this transitory state: mother, father, child. We need to value self care as much as we value money."
Jones seemingly wants to spark change on a larger level through these works. “It’s evident that our current situation is taking a toll on the health of mothers and their children. Our society needs to recognize this and take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and supportive environment for American families," she told The Huffington Post.
Do these photos speak to you? What challenges have you faced as a working, breastfeeding mom?