Ever since actress Julia Stiles welcomed her first child, Strummer Newcomb Cook, with husband Preston J. Cook back in October, the world had gotten just one glimpse of her L.O. -- a sweet shot of his hand in hers that was included with the birth announcement. That is, up until late last week. On Thursday, November 30, the proud mom took to Instagram to share a sweet shot wearing her baby in a carrier. "I haven’t worn a back pack since middle school. Now I have a front pack. #jujube #tulababycarriers,” Stiles captioned the image.
In the grand tradition of celeb moms being slammed for just about every move they make, commenters flooded Stiles' account to criticize the way she's wearing Strummer in the photo. One jaw-droppingly cruel example: "Your caption, Julia speaks volume about your parenting skills, the way you compare your child to books to some sounds you’re emotionally detached to your newborn. Lacking in motherly instincts of a new mom to her first born. Everyone expected to see you with both arms wrap around your baby, cuddling the child like it’s precious. Not like books where you don’t have to support it with your hands."
Thankfully, others shared words of support, like one commenter who wrote, "I can't figure out what's wrong with this pic? Baby looks pretty comfy to me, postioned correctly, as long as his airway is not compromised, all is fine. Congrats on baby!" Another said, "LOVE THIS! For those that don’t UNDERSTAND and haven’t ACTUALLY carried a child in the womb......this is HEAVEN to a newborn! They’ve spent the last 40 weeks in this position.....it feels NATURAL to them! ROCK ON MOMMA!"
After facing the flood of positive and negative comments, Stiles shared a second post with a response that's winning cheers from moms everywhere. Alongside a black and white image of The Clash, the 36-year-old wrote, "It was brought to my attention that in the previous photo I am not holding my baby correctly. Wow, I didn't expect that. What was supposed to be a shout out of products I like, suddenly becomes an invitation to comment on my baby, and my ability as a mother. That's the internet for you, the carnivorous plant from 'Little Shop of Horrors.'"
She went on to explain that this isn't how she normally wears him out in public: "I was trying to keep much of my son's image private, including, I guess, his little feet. And it was just a photo taken at home, not how I normally carry him around. Thanks for the concern, anyway. Yes, Mothers, always read the safety instructions. But also, Instagrammers: instead of writing snarky comments about a 5 week old, try dancing around your living room to a Clash record. It's way more fun."
Props to this strong, outspoken new mom for facing down her shamers with a perfectly on-point response! It's also heartening to see that the supportive comments outweigh the negative ones. Being that all parents are continuously navigating an array of decisions or moves that could be considered controversial, the last thing a new mother needs is cruelty and finger-pointing. Instead, how bout we try kindness, an open mind, and maybe even cheerleading? That's what will undoubtedly go a much longer way.