Life for working mothers is not always easy especially in a system that is inherently patriarchal, but with a little help from thoughtful colleagues, one can always feel welcomed and at ease. Something similar happened for a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is a mother to a nine-month-old daughter.
MIT Professor Troy Littleton took to Twitter last weekend to show how he set up a crib in his office so that his graduate student can bring her infant to work when necessary. Troy’s picture showed a crib placed amidst office equipment like bookshelves, table, and cupboards. The tweet further mentioned that now his student can get her work done while he gets to play with her daughter, describing it as a ‘win-win’ situation.
Troy’s tweet was successful in melting netizens’ hearts. The tweet received over 116.6k likes and 9.3k retweets.
My favorite new equipment purchase for the lab – a travel crib to go in my office so my graduate student can bring her 9-month old little girl to work when necessary and I get to play with her while her mom gets some work done. Win-win!! pic.twitter.com/1R7QKprOLr— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 7, 2021
Commenting on Troy’s post, one Indian woman wondered why such heartfelt gestures are not seen in her part of the world.
How this doesn’t happen in our part of world. You are amazing— Sheenam walia (@sheenamwalia11) May 11, 2021
While another user shared her mother’s experience and wrote that her mom had her while she was a graduate student in architecture. As she showedTroy’s tweet to her mother, the user wrote that she said it would have meant so much to her to have had a setup like this in her time.
My mom had me while she was a grad student in architecture. I showed her this photo and she said it would have meant so much to her to have had a setup like this.— Natalia Guerrero (@sleeplessinmit) May 11, 2021
Another user commended Troy’s “amazing” gesture and wished that there were more understanding humans around her too. A virologist and a mother Mehnaz Qureshi mentioned that it needs some real gentleman genes to accept and support the tough mother phase. The tweet certainly made her day.
What an amazing gesture.I wish there were more understanding humans https://t.co/hhiwFcXYdt needs some real gentleman genes to accept and support this tough mum phase.Made my day#support women— Mehnaz Qureshi (@qureshimeh) May 9, 2021
Troy was also appreciated for enabling a “brilliant” woman to be successful, who is obviously the real hero.
Obviously your grad student is the real hero (go momma!) but it's so nice to see PIs actually enabling brilliant women to be successful.— Briana Coles, MPH (@STEMinist_Coles) May 11, 2021
As the tweet received all the love and appreciation from followers, Troy posted another tweet on the occasion of Mother’s Day and wrote that he wishes that people are able to spot the real hero here. He wrote that it is the graduate student mother and not him who is the hero here.
Well that little tweet blew up?!? However, I wish people were able to spot the real hero here. It's the graduate student mom, not me. She's amazing to do all she has to with her daughter and still keep up her thesis project research. Happy Mother’s Day to all – they deserve it!— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 9, 2021
Troy wrote that she is a phenomenal student as she plays the role of mother and still keeps up her thesis project research.
Keywords: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Twitter, Mother’s Day, Professor Troy Littleton, Graduate Student, Thesis, Working Mother