Mom Who Was Shamed for 'Ignoring' Her Baby Says We Shouldn't Be So Quick to Judge

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It is no secret that mom-shaming happens with depressing regularity on social media. In the case of Molly Lensing, ignoring the shamers was made impossible when a photo of her with her daughter went viral for the worst reason. Now, she's hoping to set the record straight about the entire incident and open our eyes to the true cost of subjecting moms to the wrath of the Internet gods.  


Lensing was in an airport with her infant daughter when a stranger took an unprompted photo and posted it without her permission to social media. Instantly she became the poster child for "mother who ignores child in distress because she's on her cell phone." 

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People commented mercilessly on everything Lensing was doing "wrong" as a mother. After months in which she endured shameless Internet trolling, the photo picked up steam again when someone reposted the image on Facebook accompanied by an Albert Einstein quote that read, "I fear the day that technology will take on our humanity ... the world will be populated by a generation of idiots. "

Christian Naniot/Facebook

In an interview with Today, Lensing has finally spoken out about what was really going on during the moment the picture was taken. (Spoiler alert: One photo doesn't tell you everything.)

According to Lensing, she and her daughter had been stranded in an airport during a Delta computer shut-down. Their flight had been delayed and rescheduled multiple times, leaving the duo stressed and exhausted after more than 20 hours of waiting. 

"Anastasia had been held or in her carrier for many hours. My arms were tired. She needed to stretch," Lensing said, explaining why her then-2-month-old daughter was on the floor. "And I had to communicate with all the family members wondering where the heck we were."

The mother of three also spoke about how devastating it was to be labeled a "bad mother" by countless unknown people on the Internet. Shortly after its original posting, the photo led a few people to discover her identity through Facebook. It was then that Lensing began receiving a barrage of messages on her personal account. While some were from people offering their support, many more were from trolls looking to berate her. 

It was then, Lensing admitted, that she truly felt the brunt of the invasion of privacy she experienced. "I absolutely feel as though my privacy was violated," the pediatric nurse told Today. "I had recently started working on a labor floor, and I was terrified of my coworkers or boss seeing the photo and comments and believing that I should no longer work with infants. Thankfully, this never happened."

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With her job luckily remaining unchallenged and her family by her side, Lensing says that the photo barely crosses her mind during her day-to-day life. It is only when the viral post goes through upticks in traffic that she is forced to deal with it mentally. Even then, she relies on her confidence in herself as a mother to see her through. "I ignore the photos and the comments and lean on those close to me, who know the real me," she said. "I am powerless compared to the Internet, and I know that I am the best momma to my girls and I know that I cherish them and am raising them the best I can."

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