It’s the photo that launched more cruel comments than you can possibly count. A new mum sits in an airport on her phone while her baby lies on the floor in front of her.
When someone first shared this image on social media, the keyboard warriors went wild. And the mean comments poured in.
Now, one year later, the mum who sparked one of the worst cases of mum shaming we’ve ever seen has spoken out about the story behind the image. And what she says shows why that this whole mum shaming crap has got to stop.
Seriously, take off your judgey pants and stop with the shaming. Enough is enough.
Because the harsh truth is that this cruel image could have been any one of us, caught exhausted and off guard.
It just so happens that, on that particular day, the mum shamers had it in for Molly Lensing, a mum of three young girls from Illinois. The baby is her youngest daughter, Anastasia, now a toddler. And the circumstances surrounding this photo are finally coming to light.
The story behind the photo
Molly and baby Anastasia were snapped off guard, without permission, in a split-second moment while stuck in an airport in Colorado. The pair were on their way home after visiting family in another city.
The photo appears to show a mum ignoring her infant while on her phone. It doesn’t show how the pair had spent almost 20 hours waiting in airports. Or how Molly had cradled her daughter for hours and hours and hours while waiting for a plane that never came. And how they both needed a break while Molly contacted her husband Nick to let him and their two other daughters know her plane was delayed – again.
We may see a baby lying on the airport floor. But, in reality, there is so much more to the story that a photo can never show.
Being a mum is hard enough without the judgement that goes with it
We are all quick to judge. After the photo started to circulate on social media, Molly received hate messages from strangers calling her a bad mum. She even started to worry about losing her job as a paediatric nurse over this one photo.
“I had recently started working on a labour floor,” Molly explains. “I was terrified of my co-workers or boss seeing the photo and comments and believing that I should no longer work with infants.
Thankfully, this never happened.”
“I am powerless compared to the internet”
One year later and Molly admits the whole escapade still causes her anguish. Most days she doesn’t let the photo bother her. But, some days, it does.
“I am powerless compared to the internet [but] I know that I am the best momma to my girls. I know that I cherish them and am raising them the best I can.”
No mother should have to go through what Molly endured. No mother deserves to have her parenting mocked, questioned and splashed across social media without permission. The next time you see a mum who may be struggling, try not to judge. There is always more to any story than what meets the eye.
Thank you Molly, for speaking out and helping us to put an end to this brutal business of mum shaming.
Check our previous article for more things people should never to say to a new mum.