A jewelry store manager found herself under heavy fire after she posted a photo of a customer on her Facebook page along with a caption criticizing her decision to carry her daughter in a baby carrier on Monday.
The jewelry store manager, who works at an Icing store at Citrus Park Mall in Tampa, Florida, was commenting on the mother's choice to wear a baby carrier. In the carrier was the mom's 5-year-old daughter; her 1-year-old child was in a stroller.
The post read: “This is the kind of ignorance that gets passed down to kids and [people] enable their children to be independent. This girl is at least 5 but [you] don’t see in this picture is the 1 ½ yr old in the stroller.” She also included an expletive to conclude the post.
The mother, Erica Kalnins, was surprised to find that a photo of her shopping at the Icing jewelry store had been shared so many times. She was able to recognize it immediately by her daughter.
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“It’s just completely unacceptable for someone to take what I did by shopping with my kids to turn it into something to cause hurt and pain,” the mother told WTSP (video below).
According to her, she has found a network of mothers and supporters all over the world.
“It has nothing to do with being a lazy parent,” she said, “it just has to do with us as moms wanting to carry our babies close because they’re not small for long.”
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To show support for Kalnins, two dozen mothers recently marched through the mall to show employees that they should not criticize them for how they carry their children.
“We want to educate people that it’s not a weird thing to carry your baby it’s totally normal," Kalnins said. "We like to carry them to have them close. We have both our hands free. It’s a common sense thing—and we can shop and they’re not destroying your store.”
Fellow mother Christy Scott wants to have the offending manager apologize publicly for what she did.
“If she’s able to go on her phone to take these pictures—this isn’t the first time she’s done it," she told WTSP.
Icing has since released a statement saying: “We were appalled by the views expressed by this Manager on her personal Facebook account, and her actions were a significant breach of conduct that we take very seriously. Her personal views in no way reflect the views of Icing, and we have taken the necessary appropriate action with the individual.”
Photo Credit: WTSP