Photo of cashier holding her new baby while working is posted as motivational, but sparks controversy instead
January 28, 2022
Being able to combine the life of a parent with that of work is certainly not easy, but not impossible. New mothers should have a maternity period in which they can take care of their newborn, but the legislation on this varies from country to country. Too often, unfortunately, young mothers do not even have time to get used to the idea of having become mothers before they are immediately forced to return to the workplace. On the other hand, if the care of a child depended on your job, what would you do? You would go back to work right away, presumably.
The photo of a cashier holding a newborn in her arms has caused a lot of discussion on the internet: there are those who argue that it is a motivational photo and that the mother should be given credit for her dedication both to her child and her job; but there are those who express their sadness about seeing a symbolic image of a country that fails to shelter and care for a new mother who is also a working citizen.
A Reddit user posted a photo she says is similar to many she has seen on Facebook. The photo in question shows a woman, a new mother, holding her son in her arms, while she works at the checkout of what seems to be a bar or a tobacconist's.
The user posted the photo with the caption: "The other day, I was at BP and I saw this lady. She was the cashier. And she was taking care of her baby so patiently, so gently and so lovingly. All while she was working". Her comment continued: "Some may be highly disapproving of this behavior, and others may judgemental . But I, also being a mother, see hope, inspiration and motivation in this photo. But more than anything else, I see a loving mom willing to sacrifice for her newly born child".
And in fact, many did complain when looking at the photo, finding it disturbing and sad rather than motivating or inspiring. The common feeling among users can be summed up with this comment that a user made: "I feel so bad for that woman. I can't imagine how hard her life must be." The fact that many users do not find the photo "motivating" is that it does not actually motivate anyone, but it underlines the toxic culture of work under late-stage capitalism. Additionally, they added, it is almost certain that this woman cannot afford any kind of childcare because jobs like hers do not pay enough. In short, it seems that this photo was given the wrong messaging by the original poster...
What do you think?