Sometimes, you just can't win.
Kim Kardashian West seemed to anticipate the immediate backlash that she received Monday after posting a photo of herself with her two youngest children, son Saint and daughter Chicago — but even she probably underestimated the extent to which mommy-shamers picked at every aspect of the picture.
The photo shows Kardashian West, 37, dressed in a bright pink velour tracksuit, holding 2-year-old Saint’s wrist with one hand and carrying baby Chicago, 9 months, with her other.
“Missing my babies!!!!!” she originally captioned the shot.
Not long after Kardashian West posted the sweet family photo, however, critics were quick to call her out for what appeared to be a blue pacifier in Saint’s mouth, claiming that she was harming her little one by allowing him to continue using a pacifier at his age.
“Children shouldn’t be using a pacifier past age 1, it’s recommended that they don’t use one even after 6 months,” one such comment read.
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The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star amended her original caption with a note directed at those who questioned her parenting skills.
“P.S. mom shammers (sic) it’s not a pacifier, he’s eating candy!” she added to the original caption. Rather than, well, pacify angry parents, however, the addendum actually ignited new criticism, with users expressing their disappointment that Kardashian West was feeding candy to her 2-year-old.
Despite all of the backlash, however, many of Kardashian West's fans came to her defense, telling haters to stop shaming a mother who was trying to do her best.
“Omg I can’t believe all the opinionated perfect mothers,” one user wrote. “If it’s a (pacifier), so what, if it’s candy so what! Your kid, do you! They all grow up and become great people! My babies had a (pacifier) until they put it down and ate candy occasionally and both are great young adults! Get over your perfect parenting falsehoods.”
Another user defended Kardashian West’s right to do whatever she saw fit. “She should be able to post the picture of her children and not have to panic and defend herself on how she wants to parent,” the fan wrote.
Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children's behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.
The shaming didn't end with the pacifier/candy — several commenters turned their attention to baby Chicago, who is barefoot in the photo.
“Baby Chi should be wearing at least socks since it looks kinda chilly,” read one comment.
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This is far from the first time Kardashian West has been criticized for her parenting skills. In 2017, Kardashian West caught flak from mom-shamers who called her out for strapping her then-18-month-old son Saint into a front-facing car seat. (In the state of California, children under 2 are required to ride in rear-facing car seats unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is taller than 40 inches.)
“What people didn’t know is that Saint is now the weight and height requirement to sit forward-facing,” Kardashian West said in a video later on. “Saint actually weighs more than North, if that is believable.”