The Meddler

Mum still feels shame over last year’s viral photo

I don’t like the direction our society is heading in. In fact, I hate it. With a passion. I’m reminded how awful our new world order is becoming every day. And it’s not just the massive, horrific terrorism attacks that are triggering it – it’s also the smaller stuff I’m sweating.

Take, for instance, this photo. A person snapped this mum in an airport, and then shared it on the internet.

What was her ‘crime’? A male stranger took her photo when she was on her phone, as her baby daughter lay on the floor at her feet. He uploaded it to social media, labelling her an “idiot” parent.


It went viral. The mum was completely humiliated. She’s still suffering the after-affects, 12 months on.

And as it turns out, she wasn’t a neglectful mother as the snapper was trying to make out. Instead, she was travelling solo with her 2-month-old, and she had spent 20 hours sitting in airports.

“Anastasia had been held or in her carrier for many hours. My arms were tired. She needed to stretch. And I had to communicate with all the family members wondering where the heck we were,” she explains of the picture.

As a paediatric nurse, the mum-of-three says that after the photo went viral and attracted so much criticism, she was worried that a co-worker or boss would see the image and it would affect her job.

Fortunately, that never happened – hopefully, anyone with half a brain can see that she was simply a mum, being a mum. But she admits there are times when the image still haunts her.

In my view, I truly don’t think this mum did anything wrong. She has defended herself by saying she had been stranded at the airport for 20 hours, but seriously, even if she was only there 30 minutes… What’s so wrong about putting your baby on a blanket on the floor while YOU’RE RIGHT NEXT TO THEM?!

But what I want to know is this: why would a person take this photo, and think they should share it online? Where has our sense of privacy and common decency disappeared to?

We used to raise kids in a village. Neighbours and friends and even strangers would offer to lend a hand – in this situation, a kind good Samaritan might have offered to carry her bags or grab her a coffee while she attends to bub’s needs.

But now, we just take a photo of a mum’s perceived ‘mistake’ and publicly shame them for it.

Does anyone else find this as appalling as I do?