Store Manager Snaps Sneaky Photo of 'Childwearing' Mom & Blasts Her on Facebook

babywearing momBabywearing is a trend that goes back to the beginnings of human history -- turns out there weren't a lot of Graco strollers in the Bronze Age -- but it's only recently seen a resurgence in popularity. But is there an age limit to how old a child can be before she's too big to be carried this way?

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The manager of an Icing jewelry shop in Florida certainly seems to think so, as she took a photograph of a customer shopping while wearing her 5-year-old daughter on her back ... and then posted that picture to Facebook alongside some derogatory comments.

Mother Erica Kalnins didn't think much of it when she put her 5-year-old daughter on her back to take a stroll through the local mall. Her daughter wasn't feeling well but still wanted to look at some bracelets, and so the back carrier seemed like a natural solution. But she was surprised when, while browsing Facebook some time later, she came across an image of herself and her child from that outing. The image had been taken by the manager of the jewelry shop and posted to her personal page, and then been further shared back and forth across the social media landscape -- attached to the manager's words criticizing Kalnins's childwearing and accusing her of making her daughter "helpless." (The manager has since been dealt with by the Icing corporate office, although the company has declined to say whether or not she's actually been fired for violating a customer's privacy this way.)

More from The Stir: 14 Things Never to Say to Babywearing Moms

Unless you have some kind of magical X-ray vision, just looking at a child in a carrier does not provide you with enough information for you to make a value judgment about whether that child is entitled to be carried. The store manager couldn't have known at a glance that Kalnins's daughter was under the weather, just as she couldn't have known whether she'd been out shopping with her mother for hours already and had gotten tired, or whether she had juvenile arthritis or some other chronic condition that would make walking painful. For that matter, maybe cramming the child into a carrier is just a convenience for the mother, who might need to run a quick errand once in a while without stopping to answer a million 5-year-old questions, or having to tidy up after a kindergartener's inquisitive rampage through the earring aisle.

Anytime you feel the compulsion to criticize a parent for an innocuous parenting choice, stop first and ask yourself: Is this doing any actual harm besides annoying me personally? It's fine to be annoyed by other people's parenting, as long as you keep it to yourself. Carrying an older child is a harmless choice, especially when you don't know the circumstances behind it. In fact, if I had to make the choice between the two moral perils of "childwearing a 5-year-old" and "taking a picture of a stranger and her child without their knowledge or permission and then posting it on my public Facebook page to trash them behind their backs," I'm pretty sure I know which I'd pick.

Check out the nasty post:

Would you say something to a parent babywearing an older child in public?


Image via 10News

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