Jackie and her husband had just welcomed their third child and their relationship was under a little strain. Looking for a nice relaxing evening out with their kids, they had no clue that their waitress could do something like this.
She was so angry when she returned from the restroom of the restaurant where they were having dinner. The waitress had left something at their table which made her feel rather ill.
Then There Were Tears
She tried not to cause a scene, but she had to do or say something. She couldn’t just sit there and pretend nothing had happened. So she leaned over and demanded that her husband show her what it was the waitress had handed him. As she read the note, tears rolled down her face.
Being A Mother
The challenges Jackie Johnston-Smith faced as a mother was nothing compared to the life-changing experience she had at this little pizza shop in Des Moines, Iowa. Even though motherhood itself was a challenge, nothing had prepared her for this.
Oh, The Drama
Somehow, their waitress had the guts to write her husband a note and snuck it to him while she was in the restroom. Can you believe it? Well, when she read the letter, she couldn’t believe it either.
Someone Not To Be Trifled With
Jackie had a tough personality, having served quite a bit of time in the U.S. Army. Although she was known as a person not to mess with, she also dedicated herself to her children, wanting to be the best mom she could possibly be.
A Hero Of War
So what impact could note from a waitress to her husband possibly have on a war-hero? Even her husband was shocked at her response when she broke down in tears, in spite of her tough persona.
In spite of constantly looking exhausted and disheveled due to having kids, Jackie did her best to look nice. She made an effort in spite of feeling tired, but her husband was by all accounts, a very good-looking man.
They All Looked, Wherever He Went
Of course, Jackie had noticed how other women looked at her husband. She found him attractive, after all. She always brushed it off, trying not to let it get the best of her, but sometimes it was difficult, like the way the waitress looked at her husband really didn’t sit well with the tired mom.
It couldn’t be denied that perhaps as the years had gone by, their relationship had changed somewhat. Three children later, she was feeling that she didn’t hold the same appeal she once had, having taken strain physically and mentally.
There had been times when she had felt uncertain and insecure in her marriage. Of course, she had wondered if she should address it with him. But she had successfully ignored these thoughts for some time now. However, on this particular night, her insecurities came to the forefront.
A Family Night Out
Although both Jackie and Tom knew that they were overdue for a date night, since they had just had another baby, they decided that date night could wait and they would take the whole family out for pizza at a local restaurant.
When there’s a Newborn at the Table
Almost as soon as they arrived at the restaurant, the newborn baby started fussing. Jackie could tell that people were staring at her as she started feeding the baby. But not the way the waitress was staring at her husband.
A Lack Of Support
Becoming a mother seems to make others judge the new mom in everything she does. After already having two breastfed kids, Jackie knew the feeling all too well as she lifted her top to feed her newborn at the restaurant.
Being A Proud Momma
Stares and social discomfort were not really enough to make Jackie want to stop breastfeeding her kid, but the staring waitress was making her feel more and more uncomfortable, to the extent that she felt she had to do something.
When All Eyes Are On You
Jackie was passed the stage of letting people’s staring get to her while she fed her baby, so she ignored them all in spite of their mumblings and staring, and continued feeding her baby.
An Uneasy Feeling
Jackie became uneasy as the waitress continued her staring. She wondered if the waitress had never seen anyone breastfeeding before. From the strange look on her face, Jackie was sure the waitress was about to do something, but she wasn’t sure what.
The Note That Caused It All
As Jackie got up to go to the restroom, her husband asked for the bill from the waitress. As Jackie walked away, the waitress came rushing over to their table and snuck a letter to Jackie’s husband.
The expression on her husband’s face as he read the note showed such complex emotion and as Jackie watched from afar, she felt unusual emotion overcoming her. It was a feeling she had never felt before.
Jackie couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Instead of crumpling up the note and tossing it aside, as she hoped he would have done, he took out his phone. Did she just give him her phone number? She found the situation completely unbelievable.
Was He Falling In Love?
In the context of how Jackie had been feeling that her husband was falling out of love with her and that he could be tired of her and the kids, a pit in her stomach grew as she watched this scene unfolding in front of her very eyes. How could she stop it?
It’s Hard To Hide The Jealousy
As she watched the waitress swooping in on her husband, Jackie felt a wave of overwhelming anger take over her. Her mind was racing with outrageous thoughts as the burning question consumed her: What was written in that letter?
The worst part for Jackie was that he had taken out his phone immediately after reading the note. It really seemed like he was saving her phone number. Jackie walked back to the table and demanded to see the note, but soon she started crying.
She Was Suspicious Of Everything
The waitress was offering to give him a discount on the not-so-small bill, but why? How could she tempt a married man with his wife right there looking on?
The note brought up the fact that she had chosen to breastfeed her baby in this restaurant which is a public place. Jackie was, of course, accustomed to being the center of controversy like this, but no-one had had the cheek to bring it up like this, in such an upfront manner before.
An Emotional Moment
Suddenly she couldn’t hold it in anymore and she burst into tears. Jackie couldn’t believe what she was reading. How could the waitress have written a note like this?
A Note That Made Her Weep
Now the tears were streaming down Jackie’s face as she continued reading the note as she slumped down into the seat. She never imagined a note like this one would come her way. But as she read, she began getting inspired.
The Letter That Went Viral
Due to her strong feelings about the matter, Jackie ended up taking her story to social media. She knew that breastfeeding in public was always a contentious issue and a big topic of conversation on social media platforms, but still, she could never imagine how people would respond to her story.
Jackie started her post by explaining how she had breastfed three children in all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant places. That she had breastfed them sometimes discretely and sometimes out in the open. She explained the types of responses she has had including the many dirty looks and stares. But then she went on to explain that her experience at the restaurant had erased any negativity she had previously experienced.
A Waitress Of Experience
The waitress, whose name in Bodi, had been a waitress for quite some time. She had witnessed how, time and again, when women had chosen to breastfeed in public, they had been stared at and gossiped about.
She Shared Her Thoughts
Her social media post detailed how she had eaten at the restaurant, Fongs for the first time that night. She went on to explain that the baby was fussing so she had nursed him for a while at the table, before leaving the table prematurely so as not to disrupt the restaurant-goers any further. She explained how the waitress had given her husband the note and how emotional it had made her feel. But, what exactly did the letter say?
So, What Did The Note Say?
Although the waitress had not experienced the bias personally, it still upset her that women were made to feel unwelcome for choosing to feed their baby at the dinner table. Because of this, she had written on their bill the following: “I bought one of your pizzas… Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!!”
Expecting The Worst
Jackie admitted that she had assumed when he pulled out his phone, that he was trying to put the waitress’s ‘phone number into his phone. She admits that she was expecting the worst.
It Just Caught On
But luckily, her husband was just trying to capture this amazing note for himself. Jackie decided to do the same and people’s responses on Facebook were amazing. People were praising both Jackie and Bodi. It seems the note had a positive spin-off, as other similar notes started coming up as people were inspired.
Changing Breastfeeding Perspectives And Raising Awareness
The Breastfeeding conversation was opened up a little more because of Bodi and Jackie. Along with almost all breastfeeding moms, Jackie had really become tired of getting stared at and made to feel uncomfortable for trying to feed their children the way nature intended.
Bodi showed Jackie and other breastfeeding moms, that there is support for them out there. It is still not a comfortable topic for most, but Jackie hopes that there will be even more progress around the issue.
A Great Response
It almost never happens that a mom gets positive feedback for her choice to breastfeed her children, even though it is the most natural and healthy choice. Bodi said that she had noticed Jackie breastfeeding and was so thrilled that she was doing so.
The Deep Stare
About Jackie noticing her uncommon stare, Bodi says “…I tried not to stare because I didn’t want to seem creepy or make her feel uncomfortable, but I felt like doing jumping jacks!”
Women Sticking Up For Women
Jackie was so stunned about the incident at first, that she didn’t even go back inside to thank the waitress. She was so delighted though and said: “After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back.”
It Was Amazing…
After recovering from her shock, the mom went back to the restaurant to thank the waitress in person, letting Bodi know how she felt: “It is amazing how we women can make each other feel when we empower each other” and “Although I don’t need a pat on the back for feeding my child, it sure felt amazing.”
This Family Is Unbreakable
The interaction with Bodi seems to have strengthened the couple’s relationship and their relationship is better than it’s ever been and Jackie has been making big strides on social media speaking out for moms who choose to breastfeed in public.
Ripples Of A Good Deed
Bodi probably never imagined that such a small gesture on her behalf would have such a positive impact on Jackie and her family. Social media then ensured that the story had an impact across the world.