Meteorologist wins the hearts of viewers after bringing her baby on-air for forecast: 'I was very confident she was going to behave'
Talk about double duty!
Last week, meteorologist Rebecca Schuld gave viewers in Milwaukee an adorable surprise when her 13-week-old baby Fiona made a special appearance during the weather forecast.
“She’s prepared. She’s got one of her good thick blankies here for that cold weather that’s coming up tonight,” Schuld said during the forecast, which was streamed live from her home basement due to COVID protocols.
“I thought she could help me with tonight’s first weather that’s going to be plenty unpleasant, right?”
@RebeccaSchuld U and Fiona were on @WeekendExp with @SusanHendricks. Very exciting that @CBS58 and @cbs58weather gets national recognition like this from @HLNTV. 😊 pic.twitter.com/BhrQSbSYG8
— Alex Donovan (@AlexDonovan13) January 29, 2022
As Schuld explains to Yahoo Life, the appearance wasn’t exactly planned.
“I was just minutes away from having my next weather broadcast, and my baby had just woken up,” says Schuld, who had just returned to work from being on maternity leave. “I go over to my greenwall. I’m holding her and our producer is like, ‘Oh, your baby, is she gonna make an appearance?' I was very confident she was going to behave because she just took a long nap so I knew she'd be happy. I said, 'sure!'”
Video: Meteorologist Erin Moran brings baby to evening weather update
While the moment was certainly spontaneous, the meteorologist admits she felt slightly guilty about breaking the fourth wall with viewers.
"We're supposed to put on this certain face," she says of being a public person. "For a split second, I felt guilty about it and I don't know why. When I sat and thought about it, it's like, why am I guilty? This is real life. This is what everyone else is also doing. They work, their kids are sick, or their kids are crying in the background. It's always a challenge when you have kids in the mix, but that's what so many of us are doing everyday. So why are we hiding them?"
That guilt, Schuld explains, is something a lot of working parents place on themselves — and something she hopes her experience can help alleviate.
"It was this weird moment where I'm like, wait, why am I guilty? No, this is awesome," she says. "I am still getting my work done. And, yes, do I have to put a pause on it if there's something going on with the baby? Sure. But that's life, right?"
Thousands of viewers agreed, with many applauding Schuld's honesty.
Loved seeing @RebeccaSchuld on the air with her daughter, Fiona. Rebecca is working from home right now and Fiona had just woken up. They are so sweet together! #moms #reallife #cbs58 pic.twitter.com/oQDBdF0OsO
— Jessie Garcia (@CBS58ND) January 25, 2022
Crazy amounts of cute during this @cbs58weather forecast on @CBS58! She’s beautiful @RebeccaSchuld. #WorkingMom #WorkingFromHome #RealLife pic.twitter.com/Qrv4l0HQGY
— Nicole Koglin (@NicoleKoglinMKE) January 25, 2022
“This is an absolute privilege,” Schuld says of being able to work at home alongside her newborn. “If you have kids, you know how hard it is to be away from them. So to get done with maternity leave, and because of COVID, them wanting to keep some of us home, it gave me an opportunity to ease back into work life.”
While Schuld admits it’s hard to have a set schedule with an infant, she says it's a “blessing” to be a working mom who can excel at her job while working at home. She hopes more women and industry leaders will embrace that, as well.
“I’m able to multitask and still care for her and be there in her life,” she says. “Some countries have maternity leave for a couple of years, so you're really able to bond with the baby and help raise them instead of, you know, putting them into daycare and then missing milestones. She giggles now in the last couple of weeks. She is cooing and all these things that now I had been able to see because I'm here with her. That's the best part.”
“Why not work from home if we can utilize technology?” she continues. “Why do we have to be in the office? We've got everything here at home. We're doing the same work. And we're able to have a more enriched family life so to me it’s the best of both worlds.”
In addition to advocating for broader discussions about parental leave and working from home, Schuld is passionate about encouraging women to enter the science and technology fields, and hopes her story can inspire them to pursue those dreams.
“When I got into this business, this was a man's world. It really was,” the 20-year news veteran explains. “But now, especially in the last five years, I feel like it's getting more OK." She encourages others to find their courage, too. "Do it, because it's great! And why not? We can be anything we want to do. Anything we want to be, anything we want to do, we can do it," she says.
"Twenty years ago, I had no idea I would be a TV meteorologist. But it has been the greatest achievement of my life," she adds. "And every day, I'm still super stoked to get up and do what I love to do."