Lawmaker returns to work at Iowa Capitol with newborn baby by her side

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Photo: Rep. Jones

A newborn baby at the Iowa State Capitol is proving to be the ultimate job shadow. 

Iowa State Representative Megan Jones, R-Spencer, gave birth to a baby girl Alma on Jan. 24th. 

Rep. Jones, who also has a 2-year-old son named Anchor, took just a week in a half off before she arrived back to work with baby Alma by her side. She made the decision to return to work so quickly because no one else can vote in her place on the floor. "So if I missed votes, my constituents would be without a voice," she said.

Daycare wasn't yet an option since most don't take newborns until they're at least six weeks old.  Also, her husband Will wasn't an option to watch Alma during the day since he's a farmer and his job is too physically demanding and dangerous - due to farm equipment - for the kids to be around.   

Since returning to work, Rep. Jones and Alma have been pretty much attached. "I wore her a lot. She went to committee meetings, meetings with the Speaker and Governor, constituent meetings, and debates." Alma has made it pretty easy on mom and will often snuggle up in her Rock N Play for naps. "She's pretty laid back and quiet, but if she need something, she certainly lets us know. We've had so many people ask if she cries! Of course, she does, but she is really a great baby," said Rep. Jones. 

Rep. Jones said her colleagues were very supportive of her decision to bring Alma to work and would step up to give her an extra hand when needed. She said Alma even provides inspiration around the Capitol, "I think she's helped ground us all and remind us why we are there- for the future generation."

Like most couples with young kids, life is incredibly busy for the Jones family. "Sometimes you feel like you're just treading water." Even though it's busy at times, Rep. Jones hopes her story can inspire others. "I also hope I can serve as an example for women who are on the fence about running for office. I want other women to know that even if you have a young family, it's possible to do this. I think that's important."

At the young age of two months Alma is retiring from her days at the Capitol - at least for now. Now that she's fully vaccinated she'll be heading to daycare Monday.