At 10 days postpartum, many moms wouldn't be back at work, but Senator Tammy Duckworth and little baby Maile had history to make this week. Clad in a little blazer that fit the Senate dress code and tucked into a black baby wrap, Duckworth's infant daughter went with her mom onto the Senate floor, becoming the first baby to do so, ever.
The day before Maile's historic arrival a unanimous vote by United States senators paved the way for Duckworth and any parent/senator who follows her, to bring infants up to a year old into the Senate chamber.
It's a history-making move in government, one Duckworth believes will open doors for working mothers in other sectors as well.
"By ensuring that no Senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example & sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies," Duckworth tweeted.
The vote was unanimous, but the decision certainly wasn't arrived at easily. It was hotly debated, with some senators initially suggesting an exception be made only for Sen. Duckworth, and not other, future parents.
The logistics of diaper changes, breastfeeding and baby attire were all debated, with the Senate finally, and thankfully, realizing that Maile—and all the infants who follow her—won't actually be a big problem. Babies at that age pretty much just sleep and eat, after all.
When all was said and done, Maile came to work with her mom, attracting a flurry of camera flashes as her mother headed in to vote on the confirmation of Jim Bridenstine to be the NASA administrator. Senator Duckworth was so ready for the historic moment.
"I may have to vote today, so Maile's outfit is prepped," she tweeted. "I made sure she has a jacket so she doesn't violate the Senate floor dress code (which requires blazers). I'm not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies, but I think we're ready."
The world was ready, too. As Duckworth said, "It's about time."