She came out of the bathroom furious. She was shocked at their waitress's audacity. Although she didn't want to cause a commotion, she realized she had to speak to them right now.
But when she got there, the waitress had already fled quickly. She demanded to see the message as she turned to face her husband. She started reading as her hands shook and she was struggling to contain her emotions.
Being a mother is difficult. This was something Jackie Johnson-Smith learned the hard way. However, no experience compared to what she went through at a pizza in Des Moines, Iowa. One waitress had the audacity to tuck a message for her spouse beneath the table.
But when Jackie read the message, she was shocked by what she found inside.
A Tough Woman
Jackie was a direct-talking woman. She had truly grown a thick skin after serving in the US army. In addition to serving in the army, Jackie was a loving mother.
But one day, a message from a waitress had her in tears. What could possible have triggered such a strong emotional response in a combat hero?
Not A Glamorous Job
Most of the time, being a mom isn't the most attractive profession. You are worn out, messy, and always present for your children.
But her spouse was a handsome man. Jackie had frequently observed the stares other ladies gave him. She made an effort to ignore it, but it continued to nag in the back of her mind.
VYING FOR ATTENTION
Jackie had always been self-assured, and her husband Tom had never given her cause to question his loyalty or worry that she wasn't good enough for him.
However, their partnership was about to face a challenge. She was immediately alarmed by the manner their waiter was observing him that evening.
Jackie was painfully aware of how their relationship had evolved as time went on. They had been dating for some time. Jackie started to question his opinion of whether a change was necessary.
She had given birth to three kids, after all, and no longer possessed her former strength or body. That wasn't all, though.
Jackie had been observing some changes in Tom's behavior, but she wasn't sure whether to blame them on postpartum mood swings, stress, or anything else.
Normally, she would dismiss these concerns. However, this time, something was different. Jackie struggled mightily to escape the sense that something was seriously wrong.
She Was Happy
She had heard several testimony, for instance, about how spouses typically gripe and mope over the absence of intimacy during the weeks after childbirth. Tom had not experienced that. He looked to be in good health.
In actuality, he appeared to be on the money. Jackie couldn't recall the last time she had witnessed him in such joy. During his pregnancy, he had experienced considerable stress, but at this point, he appeared to be stress-free. That wasn't all, though.
To Good To Be True?
He was more willing than ever to assist around the house; even when pregnant, he frequently made an effort to delay household chores as long as possible.
But at this point, he was performing nearly all of the household chores.
It seemed almost too good to be true. What if it was? What if Tom was hiding something from her and was doing all of those things out of guilt, to overcompensate and keep her from suspecting anything?
At times, she told herself that she was being ridiculous, but she couldn’t shake those fears. And that wasn’t all: there was another thing.
Tom had started wearing a different cologne; as a matter of fact, he went back to the same cologne he used to wear when they started dating almost eight years ago. He stopped using it a year into their relationship and claimed to be sick of it.
“I don’t know how I was able to walk around reeking of that,” he joked about it. But now, he was wearing it again. What was going on?
While Jackie spent most days absolutely exhausted, although infinitely grateful for her newborn baby, Tom seemed to be more upbeat and gleeful than ever before.
This dire contrast made Jackie feel some type of way she wouldn’t be able to define precisely. It would have been wrong to resent her husband: after all, he was being the best partner and new dad she could have asked for. But was he?
Moment Of Truth
Jackie kept telling herself that those were just her insecurities talking, that pregnancy and motherhood had been taking a toll on her peace of mind. But was that really all there was to it?
She kept trying to brush it off, and after a few weeks, she almost managed to forget about it. But that night, something else gave her a good reason for suspicion.
The Choice That Makes Us
One day, Jackie and Tom decided they were in need of a date. They had just recently had their third child. So, as a family, they packed up and headed off to their local pizzeria. But when they got there, their baby grew niggly.
Jackie knew it was time for a feed, so she did just that. As she breastfed her child, she could feel eyes hot on her back. But none as hot as her waitress’.
Usually, she felt a certain sense of camaraderie with waitresses and service workers. She had been a waitress at a restaurant herself for a few months right after she left the Army.
As a matter of fact, that was the time he met Tom. They met while she was working; after finishing his meal, Tom asked her for her
A Cute Memory
That was a cute anecdote that she enjoyed sharing with friends and relatives. She always remembered her times as a waitress every time she went to a restaurant with Tom.
She thought of it this time too. However, this time the memory hit her together with a strange feeling of anguish and anxiety. And it was all about the waitress’ behavior.
“The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant,” Jackie said. However, the reason behind the waitress’ walking back and forth and eying the family’s table wasn’t because she wanted to judge Jackie.
Was that it, though? Or did she have a different reason to be strolling around their vicinity and glancing at them again and again?
She was about to find out the truth about the issue. It would be a simple gesture that would give the waitress’ real intentions away.
It was a note that left Jackie “…in total shock and tearing up.” But that wasn’t all. Her husband had a part in it, and Jackie was about to catch him red-handed.
All too aware of the waitress’s sideward glances, Jackie began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. Did she have a problem with her breastfeeding in the restaurant? Something was up. The way she was pacing back and forth like she had something to say.
Little did she know, the waitress was just biding her time. She was waiting to make her move.
Things Heat Up
Jackie knew she had to do what she had to do. However, her waitress’s stares were beginning to make her feel uncomfortable. She noticed how intently she was watching. And then, she saw the way they locked eyes. There was something going on here. She just didn’t know what.
Feeling emotional, Jackie began to get up. But she had no idea what the waitress was planning on doing in her absence.
Jackie excused herself from the table. During this time her husband had asked for the bill. As soon as she was gone, the waitress swooped in.
Slyly, she slipped Jackie’s husband a sneaky little note. His reaction was everything Jackie needed to see; right then and there, she knew she had to do something about it.
She Was Watching
What he didn’t know was that Jackie saw everything. And at that moment, her heart sank. Then, her feeling gave way to another emotion entirely — pure rage.
She slung her baby over her hip and stormed over. Her husband still held his phone and the incriminating note in his hand. And she was ready for a fight.
What had sent Jackie into such a rage was how her husband had reacted to the note. Instead of simply getting rid of the evidence, he immediately took out his phone and started typing something while looking at the note.
She could barely believe what she was seeing. It felt like a nightmare. It seemed like all her fears had been prophetic.
She Had To Do Something About It
Jackie couldn’t help but feel as though he had had enough of playing dad. And now, all her insecurities were confirmed. But where did that man get the nerve to do something like that while she was gone for a minute?
She felt her world fall apart as she stood there, watching. Well, what was she going to do about it?
Jackie was outraged. How dare another woman move in on her man in her absence! Her mind was racing. She couldn’t imagine what judgmental note was scrawled on the slip. What hurt more, however, was that her husband immediately took out his phone.
Was he really going to save some random woman’s number in front of her? Jackie demanded to see the letter. But when she looked at it, she just began to weep.
Not only had the waitress given her husband a “special” discount, but the note was also about Jackie breastfeeding in public. Jackie was used to being the subject of controversy, but nobody had ever commented directly on her feeding her baby at their restaurant before.
Feeling stunned and emotional, Jackie couldn’t hold back the floodgates any longer.
As Jackie stared at the slip, hot tears rolled down her face. She could not believe what she was reading.
Jackie was overcome with emotion. She sunk into her seat and took it in. Of all of the notes to be passed, she did not expect this one. But the note did more than evoke emotion. It inspired Jackie to do something.
Jackie felt so overwhelmed by the waitress’ gesture that she took to social media to tell everyone how she had been treated.
She wanted everyone to know what had happened to her at that restaurant and about the waitress’ actions. Just a few hours after posting her story, she checked her social media again. She was amazed when she saw that it had gone
She knew that breastfeeding in public had become an extremely hot-button issue, but she was still surprised by the feedback she received from Facebook users. Thousands of people liked, commented, and shared her story.
“I have breastfed three children… I have breastfed them in countless places both pleasant and unpleasant, discreetly and out in the open,” she began.
“I have gotten many looks and stares, but tonight erases any negativity I have ever received. I ate at Fong’s for the first time tonight. Having a fussy baby I nursed him for a while in the booth and eventually left the table early as to not disrupt the restaurant,” Jackie’s Facebook post continued.
“The waitress gave this receipt to my husband. I was speechless and emotional.” So, what did the note say?
One Note Making The Difference
Bodi had been a waitress for a while. And through her years of service, she had seen how breastfeeding moms were treated. She understood their plight.
And it made her so mad that people judged women for just wanting to feed their babies! So, when she saw how cool and calm Jackie was, she had to do something.
So she wrote a note on the bill: “I bought one of your pizzas… Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!!” This gesture moved Jackie to the point of tears. She was touched by the waitress’ gesture and her solidarity.
Jackie took the stares in her stride. But what she did afterward was even more amazing.
Make It Known
When Tom pulled out his phone, his wife had expected the worst. However, he merely wanted to capture a shot of the powerful message. Jackie now understood this. And she decided to do the same. Jackie took a photo of the slip. And when she shared it on social media, the response was overwhelming. People praised Bodi and Jackie equally.
Bodi had made a massive impression on the public. But her actions birthed a beautiful movement.
Breastfeeding Is Hero-id
Thanks to Bodi and Jackie, breastfeeding awareness was starting to grow. Too long had moms been subjected to awkward stares. People seem unable to comprehend the concept of breastfeeding. Jackie showed moms it is ok to be bold. And Bodi showed that out there, there will be cheerleaders who support their choice to feed.
It still isn’t a comfortable topic, but all awareness is good awareness. And that’s exactly what Jackie wants to share.
It’s rare to get such positive feedback for breastfeeding — even though it is a totally natural thing for a mother to do.
Bodi, the waitress, later said, “I noticed [Jackie] nursing and was so thrilled she did it. 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!”
“After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back. I was too stunned to go back inside and thank the waitress,” Jackie said. Later, Jackie visited Bodi to thank her in person.
“Although I don’t need a pat on the back for feeding my child, it sure felt amazing. It is amazing how we women can make each other feel when we empower each other.”
The Super Family
Since the incident, Jackie and Tom have been stronger than ever. Their little family made waves on social media. Today, they still have a resounding presence. But it’s thanks to Jackie passionately standing for her beliefs. Who knew that two women could create such an impact? Between Bodi and Jackie, they have allowed more moms to feel supported.
Their legacy will definitely be passed on through this story. And the world thanks them for it.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.