Military-parent-reuniting-with-child reunions are the viral videos we all love to watch—and cry from watching. The tears in the parent's eyes, the look of utter joy in the child's eyes—seeing this all play out can warm even the coldest of hearts.
People's reactions to the viral video of Air Force Staff Sergeant and mom Chelsey Speicher's reunion with her young son, after being deployed overseas for six months, should've been no different. However, because she's a mom—and in some people's eyes, mothers have to be the primary caregiver with their children at all times—some decided to shame her for her career choice instead, Scary Mommy reports.
On the Storyful Facebook page, several commenters criticized Sergeant Speicher for daring to leave her young child—even though military dads are deployed all the time without getting shamed:
"Why don't you stay home [and] take care of your husband and child? Someone else will be glad to take over. We don't need women in the military."
"Women belong home with their kids."
"Got her priorities wrong me thinks. Why would you join the forces if you have a child?"
"Children need their mother; otherwise stay single."
Um, what year is this again? And how about treating this woman with respect for serving our country instead?
The military mom's career choice wasn't the only thing commenters judged. Some also felt Sergeant Speicher didn't pay enough attention to her husband during the reunion."[I] felt sorry for the partner. She barely noticed him," said one user. Another wrote, "Husband sort of looks like a third wheel there... :("
Really? It seems like these naysayers totally missed the whole point of the video—capturing a touching moment between mom and child. Plus, the video was less than two minutes long. For all those commenters know, she and her husband had a long, sweet embrace after the camera was rolling. Just sayin'.
Although many women are still shamed for working, the backlash to the video reminds us that moms who choose a military career get shamed too, and it can be particularly cruel, considering the fact that they're sacrificing time with loved ones to PROTECT OUR NATION. It also exposes a terrible double standard: When military dads are deployed, it's accepted as part of their duty, but when military moms are deployed, people accuse them of being bad mothers—even though the children are likely being cared for by their dads and other family members as well.
After all, when was the last time we read about a military dad being shamed for being away from his family?
Yup, that's we thought.
This originally appeared in Working Mother