A mother of two who called out those who criticized her for "babying" her 4-year-old son has gone viral.
Caitlin Fladager, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, made the comments in an Instagram post last weekend, responding to people who she claimed disagree with the way she treats her young son.
"I’m constantly told I need to let him 'be a man.' Or let him learn he can’t cry. Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s a load of s***," the post, which now has more than 16,000 likes, read.
Fladager went on to say that the 4-year-old will "always be my baby," adding that her treatment of her children is about teaching them valuable lessons and showing them support.
"I am teaching my kids that their feelings are important. That they can cry when they are upset," the post said. "That they can call on me anytime, and I will come running with arms open. I’m teaching that to both my daughter and son."
I’m so tired of being told I “baby” my son. Ever since I had him, he’s been a momma’s boy. Now, with him being four, he gets hurt? He runs crying for mommy. He’s sick? He wants all the mom cuddles. He’s overtired and fighting his sleep? I’m climbing into bed with him until he calms down. I’m constantly told I need to let him “be a man”. Or let him learn he can’t cry. Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s a load of shit. He will always be my baby. I will always validate his feelings. I will always kiss his boo - boos better. I am teaching my kids that their feelings are important. That they can cry when they are upset. That they can call on me anytime, and I will come running with arms open. I’m teaching that to both my daughter and son. So, I will ignore your judgmental looks. I will ignore you telling me I baby him too much. I will ignore you telling me I need to “toughen him up.” He is my child. He is not “weak” or less than for showing emotion and needing me. I am raising him to know men can cry too. Men can have needs too. Men can get overwhelmed too. Maybe if tearful little boys were comforted instead of shamed, we wouldn’t have so many men struggling to emphasize with emotions.
A post shared by Caitlin Fladager (@caitlinfladager) on Oct 18, 2019 at 4:34pm PDT
The mom told "Good Morning America" that her son is "naturally very attached" to her, a tendency she credited in part to the many times she breastfed or held him as a child when he was crying. She also noted that she's taken steps to help him gain independence, such as sending him to preschool for six hours a day, three days a week.
Still, the mom was steadfast in her belief that there's nothing wrong with letting her son express his emotions.
"He is my child. He is not “weak” or less than for showing emotion and needing me," Fladager's post stated. "I am raising him to know men can cry too. Men can have needs too. Men can get overwhelmed too."
Plenty of Instagram commenters seemed to agree with the sentiment, with many showing their support and sharing words of praise and encouragement for Fladager.
"THIS!!! So so so true!! We need to teach our boys that it is okay to feel, to cry, to have emotions," one commenter wrote.
"Thank you thank you thank you! You’re dispelling so many myths on what a ‘good mom’ is," another posted.
Fladager told "Good Morning America" she was encouraged by the reception.
"I was happy to learn I'm not alone," she told the program Tuesday. "It makes me feel like I'm going in the right direction."