A couple in San Diego, California, received an anonymous letter shaming them for raising their two young boys in a so-called tiny apartment.
Kelly and Mike Brüning shared a photo of the letter on their Facebook page with the caption: “Now.. this place just got interesting. We received this in the mail today ... not everyone in 92109 is solid. Sometimes harassment comes in simple forms.”
The Brünings live with their two boys, ages 2 and 4, in a two-bedroom condominium in the Mission Beach neighborhood, according to The Daily Mail. They have been there for nine years and are located just steps away from the beach.
Upon sharing the photo, the couple’s friends and strangers came to their defense.
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“Yes- completely dismiss this!! You are giving your kids a wonderful experience growing up on a beach!!!” one Facebook user commented.
“Oh boy. This person either doesn’t have kids or has kids that are in prison. What a joke,” another wrote. “Don’t worry about that idiot. They obviously don’t know you like we know you! LoveUBru’s!!!”
Another took a humorous response to the letter: “I think you are truly selfish and I volunteer to live in your house and you can live in my suburban heaven with no view and no peace and no serenity but a backyard and a park so that you can live a real life like unselfish parents do. I am kind and unselfish so I am willing to give of myself in this way. (Ok I'm a miserably jealous woman. Let your pure and wonderful life be your sweet revenge).”
Kelly Brüning, speaking with The Daily Mail, said she was shocked to receive the letter.
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“When I first read the letter I was home alone with the kids and my husband was in flight returning home from business,” she said. “I just was in shock and at first extremely upset trying to figure out who would have sent it. For a while I kept going back and forth from being upset to just really angry about the whole thing.”
After reviewing the letter, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Rachel Milstein Goldenhar said it is not uncommon for unsolicited advice to be given to parents.
“Unfortunately parents have been judging each other for thousands of years,” she told KSWB. “It’s easy to be a critic. It’s much harder to be a good parent. Part of parenting is that other people will judge your decisions. In parenting, it’s important to stay grounded and focused on what your goals and values are for your family and not focus on what others think.”
Kelly and Mike do not know who sent the letter, but they do think it is someone in their neighborhood.
“I would hope that he or she can now realize as long as a home has love and you provide opportunities for your children to flourish it doesn't matter where you live. And to not be so quick to judge others,” Kelly told The Daily Mail.