Many folks can be accused of taking work home with them. Well at the Iowa statehouse a Siouxland lawmaker is turning heads by taking home with her, to Des Moines.
The Sioux Rapids republican is making history at the Capitol.
As winter drags on in the capitol city, lawmakers under the golden dome are busy at work.
Each with their own set of priorities but there’s one member of the Iowa House of Representatives
who has a few more things on her mind.
Representative Megan Jones arrives to the statehouse before 7:30 every morning. Considering the precious cargo she has in tow, she travels rather light and quickly.
Inside a carrier, you’ll find a tiny, three week old, bundle of joy, Alma.
Jones represents District 2 in northwest Iowa. Three and a half hours away from Des Moines.
And the first weeks of a baby’s life are so important for bonding.
“These moments are so precious and they’re only little for so long,” said Jones.
No matter your title. “I think these things can operate together. You shouldn’t have to give up a family to have a career,” added Jones.,
So she takes Alma with her everywhere. To committee meetings, into the chamber.
“We have a rock-n-play on the house floor with is probably unprecidented and probably not in line with protocal, but they have been so gracious and kind,” said Jones.
People are lining up to help around every corner. In what can be a contentious environment, babies are bipartisan.
“If she needs something, we’ll be there for her,” said fellow representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City.
Adding, “She’s a very very good mom, very attentive to her, but I also know it takes its toll. Sometimes she doesn’t sleep at night, and Megan has to deal with that too.”
Jones’ husband, Will, is a farmer. And, for their family, there is no perfect time to have a baby.
“If its not session for me or the campaign season, its probably going to be calving season or our first son was boring right during harvest,” says Jones.
So Megan keeps Alma in Des Moines and Will keeps their 2 year old at home. “We pretty much kind of work on opposite schedules throughout the calendar year, but that works really well for us because one of us can always be picking up the slack,” added Jones.
They Jones family is a team.
“Sometimes you’re giving 100 percent, sometimes you’re needing the 100 percent, but either way were able to manage the family and keep everyone going,” said Jones.
And to have a husband willing to do dishes, laundry, day care, while she works, is not lost on Megan.
“He does not think what he does is remarkable. And I think that says so much about our generation.We don’t see gender roles as much anymore so he’s just doing what he needs to do to get the job done,” said Jones.
It’s not always easy. Megan says she’s just doing what she has to.
“I think there’s a lot of moms in similar situations. Small business owners, they’re doing the same thing,” added Jones. While also breaking down barriers for young ones, like Alma.
“That’s not really what I set out to do but I hope that if our journey inspires other people then that’s wonderful but were just trying to do what we gotta do to raise a family and keep both of us employed,” says Jones.
Something people from across the political spectrum support.
“I hope that other women can see Megan as a role model and know that you can do this job and have babies and its okay,” said Mary Mascher.