Despite already writing a blog today – I have to weigh in on a subject that has been a bit on fire today! Subject is? The mom that was asked to leave a trade show for having her 10 day old infant with her. Rules clearly stated no children under the age of 16 were allowed.
Now, I would normally keep my mouth shut as these types of subjects are usually fodder for being attacked from all angles. Today I have read about this from two points of view: High Gloss and Sauce has offered her side: In defense of the woman kicked out of a trade show for breastfeeding and Lipsticks and Lollipops has her side: Breastfed infants do not belong at trade shows.
Me thinks that there is no middle ground in this discussion. But allow me to try to offer some.
I have been exhibiting at trade shows for sixteen years. There is an inordinate amount of work involved in setting up and preparing for them. Additionally when you are working a show, it requires tremendous focus. Of course as a mother myself, we all learn to multi task and there are those that will, and I’m sure have argued that tending to the needs of a ten day old baby and being in full selling (wine pouring) mode is as easy as pie. Wrong. No way, no how.
From a safety standpoint there are hazards for everyone. During set up there are flat beds, small forklifts, moveable walls, all types of equipment that is being moved everywhere. Moveable wall falls on mom. Far fetched? Maybe. But if it happened, who would have a lesser chance of being hurt? This is why there are rules that need to be adhered to.
Time for the stone throwing now. I did not breastfeed my girls. OMG!!!! I know, I’m a horrible excuse for a mother. So, I cannot speak for those that have or are. But I had ten day old babies twice. I know that I couldn’t effectively handle setting up or exhibiting at a show while tending to the needs of a newborn. It’s taxing in every way. If the baby needed to sleep, I am doubting that mom would have held him every single minute. And if she put him down in a baby seat or small portable crib and turned her back for any moment, something could have happened.
My first concern here is for the safety and well being of the child. I understand that mom was thinking that she couldn’t separate from her baby that was breastfeeding every hour. And I’ll even give her the benefit of the doubt that this was her first show and she didn’t know what to expect. But there is one fact that remains no matter what the argument is here.
There was a rule and that rule was broken.
That is all.