Marriages, families, and society at large all function on the concepts of trust and respect. The promise that we make one another that we will be honest and true to one another. In the case of Jackie and her husband, they 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.
It was supposed to be a pleasant and relaxing time with the family, where everyone would get along and the tension could be forgotten for just one evening. Sometimes, just one moment to breathe is too much to ask for, where you cannot even turn your back for one minute. 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
Jackie was stunned for a few seconds before the emotions began flooding in. There was no way that she could hold them in. 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 were 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. Motherhood brings all manner of weird and wonderful obstacles and challenges, but there are some moments that not even the most experienced wives and mothers can prepare themselves for. Jackie was about to have her limits tested.
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. Jackie had not left the table for longer than a minute when the restaurant’s employee sidled up to Jackie’s husband for whatever nefarious reason she had in mind. Can you believe it? Well, when she read the letter, she couldn’t believe it either. Her eyes were wide as she read through the note, one that would change everyone’s lives forever.
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. This combination of tough love and empathy made her a real leader to be admired and learned from. Then again, Jackie was only human, and she was liable to fall for her own emotional traps now and then.
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. This was a woman that had been through all manner of chaotic situations in the most dangerous parts of the world, and yet she still managed to find an emotional response in this letter. What could possibly make a soldier lose their cool?
In spite of constantly looking exhausted and disheveled due to having kids, Jackie did her best to look nice. Putting on makeup, doing your hair, dressing nicely – all these things take time and effort, both of which are in short supply when someone is a parent. She made an effort in spite of feeling tired, but her husband was by all accounts, a very good-looking man. He was tall, muscular, and had the boyish good-looks that wowed many women around him.
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. There was something in the way that this woman looked at Jackie’s husband that didn’t sit well with the veteran.
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. She felt herself growing older and every day, and it became harder to feel excited about things in her relationship when every day consisted of changing diapers, feeding kids, and trying to balance everything with work.
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. These are strong and provoking thoughts that a person cannot help but simmer in, no matter how hard they try to ignore them. How would she express these emotions?
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. Their family always came first, no matter what issues they were having with each other, or what areas they desperately needed to improve upon. They had their whole lives together to patch up their relationship, after all.
When there’s a Newborn at the Table
Almost as soon as they arrived at the restaurant, the newborn baby started fussing. Jackie sighed as she knew what was coming… more uncomfortable staring and dirty looks as those that weren’t comfortable with public breastfeeding would shake their heads. 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. The waitress’s look was different compared to all the others…
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. Why couldn’t people just mind their own business, Jackie thought? This was a perfectly natural and ordinary thing that human beings had been doing since the beginning of time. Why was it an issue in modern times?
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. While people would throw her a couple of awkward glances and then go back to what they were doing, this waitress could not stop looking towards the couple every free moment that she could get between serving customers.
When All Eyes Are On You
Jackie was past 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. She was too old and too mature to be bothered by other people’s awkwardness and she was on baby number three, after all. If people had a problem with her breastfeeding, then they could find somewhere else to stare and grumble.
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. Despite her discomfort, Jackie carried on feeding her baby like any other good mother. Nothing was going to get in the way of caring for her children, not even an overly curious waitress.
The Note That Caused It All
Soon Jackie’s baby was full and the mother tidied herself up, feeling like she needed some personal care herself. She also wanted to break away from all the prying eyes and gather herself. 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. Jackie would return to a nightmare scene.
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. No woman should be handing a taken man notes in the first place, but the expression on her man’s face showed that there was so much going on beneath the surface. Whatever it was, Jackie was going to get to the bottom of it!
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. Not only had Jackie’s husband entertained this woman, but he was following up on whatever she had instructed him to do. Was the unspeakable about to take off? Jackie could feel hear blood boiling.
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? There were only so many ways that a couple can keep the flame alive, and Jackie felt like she was running out of options, for some time now.
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? There was no way that she could allow this act to slip by unaddressed. Maybe they thought that they were being discreet with their actions, but Jackie was not blind, and she certainly wasn’t an idiot.
The worst part for Jackie was that he had taken out his phone immediately after reading the note. He did not miss a beat while carrying out this sneaky action, as if he could not care less 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. It was as if a dam wall had burst within her.
She Was Suspicious Of Everything
As Jackie began crying, she felt all the fear, tension, and sadness erupt out of her. She could not believe that it had all come to this. 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? How could someone use a discount on a bill as a means for flirting? This was all too surreal for Jackie.
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. If this woman had anything to say to her family, she should have gone through Jackie, and not approached her husband as soon as her back was turned.
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? In life, there are many unexpected twists and turns, and people will approach us out of the blue with all manner of strange and often crazy requests and offers. While we cannot predict when such events will occur, we can certainly learn how to control how we react.
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. Suddenly, she felt the darkness lifting as new and wonderful emotions began slowly trickling in. There was something more to this gesture that she had not picked up upon, and she finally understood just what.
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. She wanted to raise awareness for the issue at hand, and find out where other people stood on the matter, far beyond her friends and family.
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. It was a wonderfully freeing feeling.
A Waitress Of Experience
The waitress, whose name is 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. It was as if her other customers had no shame, and had never seen a woman feeding her child before. She hated how these special and vulnerable women had to go through this ordeal time and time again, all under her care.
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!!” She just wanted Jackie to feel comforted and supported in a judgmental and cold world that so often felt opposed to the mother.
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. All her issues had clouded her judgment, and she realized that her mind worked faster than she would have ordinarily liked. Jackie learned an important lesson that day, that even though a situation may seem suspicious, it often has a wonderful meaning.
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. There were so many amazing people out there that had done similar acts of kindness for one another, and they wanted to come out.
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. It was time for people to change the way that they viewed this everyday occurrence, and for breastfeeding mothers to enjoy the freedom and decency that they deserved. This was not the way that nature intended us to behave!
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. If more women like Jackie and Bodi stand up and speak out, then further awareness and action can be taken to facilitate safe spaces for mothers all around the world. Babies need to be protected, as do their mothers.
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. She decided in that moment that she was going to make her support known, rather than standing around in the background as she usually did. Jackie had inspired her, and Bodi would end up doing the same for Jackie.
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!” The mysterious expression that had made Jackie so uncomfortable had turned out to be nothing but excitement and support. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell what a person’s intentions are, especially when everyone else is being judgmental around you. Jackie will always remember Bodi’s good faith.
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.” She was overwhelmed to have been treated so kindly, and by a complete stranger. There was so much gratitude in Jackie’s heart, and she wanted Bodi to know it.
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.” A pat on the back sure beats an ugly stare, or an underhanded comment, and this mother of three felt incredible.
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. It is incredible how such a simple but supportive comment have such a huge impact on an entire family. This makes every little effort that we do for those around us feel that much more important.
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. Many people are now starting to look at public breastfeeding in a new light, and realizing that we could all do so much for one another’s comfort, safety, and overall enjoyment of public spaces. This mother will never feel uncomfortable again!