'At first, I shamed her, too': Canadian TV personality defends Meghan Markle from parenting critics

Elizabeth Di Filippo
·Editor
Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Jessi Cruickshank. Image via Instagram/JessiCruickshank.
Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Jessi Cruickshank. Image via Instagram/JessiCruickshank.

Recently, a smiling Meghan Markle was photographed with her son Archie on a hike near her new home on Vancouver Island. While it offered royal watchers a glimpse of the Duchess looking relaxed, happy and very west coast in Lululemon leggings and Kamik boots, she still couldn’t escape her online bullies.

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Photos of the Duchess, holding her eight-month-old son in a baby carrier received criticism, with many “parenting experts” doling out an unwanted helping of mom-shaming and advice.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

“That baby looks like he’s about to fall out of that thing,” one person wrote. “Will this woman ever learn how to carry that kid?”

“Does anyone notice that it’s much more important for her to have her whole face smiling at the camera than having Archie settled in the correct position in the carrier?” another commented.

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Many cruel commenters said Markle was “not a natural” when it came to motherhood.

“Someone needs to do a welfare check on this family because Meghan Markle does not seem right,” one particularly hateful person added. “Look how the strap is falling off her shoulder. Baby is not secured and not protected.”

Luckily, the Duchess’s supporters stepped in to defend the Sussex family — including television personality Jessi Cruickshank.

The “New Mom, Who Dis?” host took to Instagram to share a side-by-side photo of Markle and Archie and Cruickshank holding her twin sons, Diego and Rio. Although Cruickshank empathizes with Markle, she admits that her initial reaction was to pick apart how the royal was carrying her son.

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“Meghan Markle was shamed for carrying her baby like this. At first, I shamed her too - I thought, ‘Don’t you have a million nannies? Can’t someone help you with that?’” the former “MTV Canada” host wrote. “Then I realized, she is a new mom, figuring this out like the rest of us. I have unintentionally held my baby in much worse positions in the carrier...and I didn’t have dogs or armed guards or paparazzi to deal with. My babies were fine, as is hers.”

Cruickshank, despite knowing it’s wrong to judge the way people parent, acknowledged that it’s a common and sometimes unconscious way women manage their own insecurities. Ultimately, she explained, the only way for moms to rid themselves of their own feelings of inadequacy is to offer support to one another.

“We’ll only start feeling better about ourselves as moms, when we stop judging others,” Cruickshank added. “When we look at this picture of Meghan Markle and say, ‘Isn’t it great that she’s out enjoying nature with her baby?’ When we tell a mom friend or stranger at the park that she’s doing a great job. When we are honest about our own struggles and failures as moms, and when we tell each other the truth about motherhood.”

The post, which has been liked by more than 16,000 people, ended with a call to action for women to help themselves by helping others.

“I’m trying to do better, let’s do better together.”

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