26 August 2015

Careful When Criticizing Honest Mothers

Before anybody post anything in social media, they better learn the whole story first otherwise, they will only put themselves and their company in an awkward position.

This is what exactly happened a few days ago after Erica Kalnins received a startling message from her sister-in-law.

"She said, 'I think there is a picture of you on Facebook,' " Kalnins said.

The 31-year-old was flabbergasted to discover that a Facebook picture of her and her daughter while they were strolling Citrus Park Mall in Tampa, Florida had gone viral.

The photo featured the mother of two carrying her 5-year-old daughter in a baby carrier strapped to her back while shopping in an accessories store called Icing. She was also pushing a carrier with her 1-year old kid.

"Actually, we just stopped because my daughter wanted some bracelets. She was excited but she wasn't feeling well so I said we'll stop real fast so I put her in the Tula on my back," Kalnis explained

The picture was accompanied by derogatory comments from the person who uploaded the photo.

Mindy Domingo
The post read in part: "This is the kind of ignorance that gets passed down to kids and [people] enable their children to be independent. This girl is at least 5 but [you] don’t see in this picture is the 1 ½ yr old in the stroller."

The post was created by an Icing manager, according to a company statement.

"I got really upset," says Kalnins, who asked the poster to remove it. She says she never got a response or apology and the woman's Facebook page appears to have been deleted.

"It's not acceptable to be photographed while I am shopping at a business with my 5-year-old – and bash that person and post it on the Internet," says Kalnins, adding that her 1-year-old daughter was also with her at the time in a stroller.

"My daughter does not have special needs, but what if she did have special needs?” she adds.

"I've worn both of my children, and I'm not going to criticize someone not using a baby carrier," she says. "As moms, we have the same goal – to raise them with love and compassion – and we should not judge parenting style."

Within hours of the original post, Kalnins says scores of moms across the globe reached out to the stay-at-home mom, who is also a photographer.

"They were sending me pictures of them and their kids – wearing their child in a carrier – and they are saying they are behind me and there should not be an explanation," Kalnins says.

A few days later, Citrus Park Mall was visited by more than three dozen outraged moms who marched to Icing to say that no one should criticize them for carrying their babies on their bodies. Kalnins says another sit-in is tentatively planned soon.

"We went to Icing and walked through the mall to show 'I'm not a weird mom to be wearing my kid,'" Kalnins said. "It's become really popular these days and they were showing my support."

The Claire's-owned franchise did release a statement regarding the incident via social media.

"We were appalled by the views expressed by an Icing Store Manager on her personal Facebook account, and her actions were a significant breach of conduct that we take very seriously," Icing wrote on Facebook. "Her personal views in no way reflect the views of Icing, and we have taken the necessary appropriate action with the individual."

As for the store manager, nobody knows where she is only that she used the name “Mindy Domingo”.