in , ,

Mom Asks If She’s Wrong For Attempting To Feed Her Infant Son During A Job Interview

Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

Striking a solid work-life balance can be really hard, especially when you’re a new parent and are also looking for a job.

But some would argue that bringing your young child to a job interview is overwhelmingly entitled and won’t get you the job you want.

Redditor “Deepsighofrelief” shared her latest interview endeavor on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after she was reprimanded for needing to feed her 7-month-old during an interview.

The Redditor explained she discussed bringing her child along prior to the interview. 

“Today I went to a job interview at a childcare facility. I had done a phone interview back in March for the summer, and they knew that I would have to bring my baby with me to the in person interview.”

“When I got the call yesterday to come in, I verified that they had room at the center for my now 7 month old and that I could bring him to the interview with me.”

But it was harder for her to juggle the interview with childcare than she was anticipating. 

“I arrived 10 minutes early (my usual early is better than late) and was handed a paper application and questionnaire to fill out.”

“After filling out the forms I was called back to the director’s office, just as my son was fussing for his lunch.”

She then tried to make arrangements to feed her son during her interview. 

“I asked the director if there was something I could set his carseat on while I fed him.”

“She looked at me funny and asked me if he could wait until after the interview to eat.”

“I smiled and said, well he’s hungry now, and I’d like to go ahead and take care of that. She told me there wasn’t anything to put him on and she had no food for him.”

“I clarified that I brought his food, he just needs to be fed.”

“She replied that he needed to wait until we were done.”

“I laughed a bit and invited her to explain to my infant son that he needed to wait, saying he may listen to her, but I’d doubt it since you know, he’s a baby, and when babies are hungry, you feed them.”

The director made other arrangements while the Redditor took care of her son.

“She said she would interview the other candidate first to allow me time to feed the baby.”

“I sat on the floor out of the way in the lobby as they had no tables to put the car seat on and fed him, changed him in the back of my car and came back in.”

When the Redditor was called back for her interview, she received feedback she wasn’t expecting.

“I was almost immediately called back by the director. I thanked her for being flexible with the interview order so I could feed my son and that I got him fed and changed.”

“She immediately told me that in 20 years she has only done this twice, and told me that she didn’t think I would be a good fit for the position.”

She then sought opinions from other Redditors. 

“So reddit, am I the a**hole for feeding my baby?”

Other Redditors responded to the OP’s (Original Poster’s) interviewing approach anonymously, using the following scale: 

  • NTA: “Not the A**hole”
  • YTA: “You’re the A**hole”
  • ESH: “Everybody Sucks Here”
  • NAH: “No A**holes Here”

Some were concerned over the attitude the OP seemed to give the Director. 

“I agree with all the YTA judgements, and found one more reason why: ‘I laughed a bit and invited her to explain to my infant son that he needed to wait, saying he may listen to her, but I’d doubt it since you know, he’s a baby, and when babies are hungry, you feed them.’ WTF?”laughingnottocry

“I think the key difference for me was her ‘invited to explain’ part. That comes across as rude vs just saying a sort of, oh haha wouldn’t it be great if babies could understand timing.”

“To me inviting someone to explain is when you know they’re wrong and basically want them to admit it or look stupid saying it, not necessarily the best attitude to have with future boss”future_nurse19

“I dont even see bringing in her child as an issue. Even when you have reliable child care things still happen, especially with covid going in right now!”

“My issue is everything else in the post, especially the fact that there was someone else waiting. Personally I would have seen it as a great character quality for her to have maybe told the director to please call in the other person first because she needs to take care of her child really quick.”

“That’s shows the ability to distinguish between what needs to be done first and how to make everyone more or less ‘happy’ through diplomacy.”

“But instead she got very snarky and sassy and was even offended that an official work environment did not have space for random children.”

“While yes, the facility was for childcare. That’s like going in for an interview at walmart and being upset that there’s no produce and cash register in the managers office.”AnimalLover38

Other Redditors focused on the OP’s lack of preparation to navigate the interview with a child. 

“I think it just shows poor foresight and planning. YTA”Pretend-Resolution

“They greenlit her bringing her baby, which is a huge accommodation, and she really should have been on her very, very best behavior after basically making a huge social-capital spend ‘on credit,’ so to speak. That includes minimizing the disruptions her baby would cause in the interview by planning better, and not being a caustic jerk to her interviewer.”MaryMaryConsigliere

“That’s my thought. It’s bad enough to bring your child when, child care facility or not, you should be focused on the interview. Another to show you have zero forethought or consideration for anyone else’s time by not planning out said child’s schedule for the day so that you could at least pretend to focus. A baby is not a resume, no matter what job you’re applying for”lilirose13

Two Redditors who have hired new employees before gave their two cents on the OP’s lack of readiness. 

“I’ve interviewed a buttload of people in my time, and if the interviewer was the one telling this story instead of OP I would have said ‘They’re tanking the interview on purpose to stay on unemployment.’ It’s a thing, and the classic sign is they’re so stunningly unprofessional it must be intentional.”

“It’s not even the baby part. It’s the total of lack of foresight and planning regarding bringing the kid. Feed him, make sure his diaper and clothes are clean, and play with him so he’s tired before the interview.”SnausageFest

“Yeah, I have to agree. I LOVE babies and I really want to help people be successful, but as someone who has done hiring in the past and has children of my own, I see a lot of entitlement and lack of planning here.”

“If you MUST bring your baby (even though it’s a daycare job, OP should have tried to make other arrangements), feed and change your baby BEFORE you come in the building. Try to wear the baby out so he might sleep.”

“I also think challenging the potential boss to tell your baby to wait before eating is a huge red flag for interpersonal issues. OP is right that the baby can’t wait, but that line would have been a red flag for me.”

“Just for perspective, I’ve worked with other supervisors who see the lack of a pen as a red flag, but a fussy, hungry baby? Yikes.”epi_introvert

Though we all have other responsibilities we have to attend to, how we juggle them says a lot about our character.

Hopefully this new mom will remember that when it’s time for her next interview.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.