Every mom needs a mom squad, for more reasons than one. A good member of a mom squad will hold your purse while you're dealing with stroller issues, will babysit so you can have a shower... and will have your back when you're feeling judged. You know who needs a decent mom squad? Ginger Zee. The ABC chief meteorologist recently struggled through a pretty nasty bout of social media mom-shaming during her stint on Dancing With The Stars. And while Ginger Zee managed to tell the breastfeeding haters to step off, she was clearly in need of a little mom-therapy during a taping of People's Mom Talk.
Zee, the 35-year-old first time mom to four-month-old Adrian Benjamin, spoke with some other celebrity moms during the People segment about her attempt to block out the backlash. It seems some fans were upset when she appeared on DWTS so quickly after the birth of her son, and while Zee tried to ignore the critics, she found herself checking social media sites to see what people were saying. “I’m embarrassed to say this, but in a way, I let other people’s opinions weigh on me,” Zee told the panel of celebrity moms, who were quick to reassure her.
In response, Selenis Leyva of Orange Is The New Black (and a mom of teen daughter Alina), told Zee, "Girl, you’ll get over that real soon!”
Luckily, the generally sunny Zee was quick to call out the haters and stand up for herself. “I got one the other day [saying], ‘How can you not be breastfeeding?'" she said. "I was like, ‘First of all, how do you know what I’m doing? You don’t know what I’m doing!’”
Whether or not a mother breastfeeds, for how long, and how publicly, has become a hotbed of judgment in recent years. And with the advent of social media, it seems celebrity moms are taking some of the biggest hits when it comes to breastfeeding critics. Back in March, singer Adele called out breastfeeding critics who made her feel terrible about the difficulty she had breastfeeding her son, "All I wanted to do was breastfeed my kid and then I couldn’t and I felt like, 'If I was in the jungle now back in the day, my kid would be dead because my milk’s gone.' Imagine how that makes me feel. It's not funny."
Now Zee too is fighting back against breastfeeding backlash. While Zee used a breast pump to feed her son on the set of DWTS and relied on husband, NBC News correspondent Ben Aaron, to do his share, she was very clear about the struggles she faced in an interview with Parents, saying,
I swear there are times when I question whether it's all going to happen! And there are of course times when I need more coffee. But with the baby, my awake life is suddenly very different. I kick into high gear.
The good news is, Zee was able to rely on her celebrity mom panel for some words of encouragement (which is what we moms are supposed to be offering each other all the time, right?). Orange Is The New Black star Alysia Reiner is mom to seven year old daughter Livia, and she had some beautiful insight to offer Zee about the breastfeeding backlash.
“It’s hard as a working mom, and what I have found is that all moms just want to do it right and just want to feel like they’re doing the right thing," Reiner told Zee during the People segment. So the stay-at-home moms might have their opinions about you, just because they want to feel like they’re doing it right — just like you want to feel like you’re doing it right.”
Which is just so true, right? Everyone wants to feel like they're doing right by their kids. But that doesn't mean we have to tell someone else they're doing something wrong. Hopefully Zee knows that there are plenty more people out there who are ready to support her than criticize her again.