A mom on Instagram is dealing with backlash after she posted a heartfelt message to her son that took a turn for the weird. Mommy blogger Katie Bower shared a picture of her 6-year-old son to wish him a happy birthday (normal). And then the mom proceeded to tell the world that her boy was her "least liked' child on Instagram because his photos don't receive as many "likes" as his siblings. So, she asked if the internet could "do this right" and like his birthday post (not so normal). Well many across the internet saw her message—and were outraged, telling the mom that it's inappropriate to judge her kids by how they perform on social media.
The drama started after a post Katie wrote went viral, but not for the right reasons.
Katie runs the popular Instagram account Bowerpowerblog, which has more than 53,000 followers. The mom of five typically writes parenting lifestyle posts and shows off pictures of her adorable family. But earlier this week, the mom made a major misstep when she wrote a post to honor her son's sixth birthday.
The post started out sweet.
The mom first shared some typical mom love and wrote that her son is a "cuddly" little guy who is "one of the most helpful and sweet hearted little boys."
But then things got weird when Katie explained how she was concerned that her son's pictures never got as many "likes" as his siblings.
Speaking of her son, Katie wrote that "Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside." She explained that his photo doesn't get many likes or comments and that "from a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there."
Why wasn't he more popular, she wondered. Was it the Instagram algorithm? His shorter stint as the "baby" of the family? What was she doing wrong, she wondered.
She then asked her followers to like the post because "my Munch deserves alllllll the likes." She later clarified that she wrote the post so that if he were to ever see that his posts didn't perform as highly as his siblings' he wouldn't feel bad.
But the damage had already been done, and online people tore the post to shreds.
"What a human disgrace of a mother," wrote one person.
Another person questioned whether the 6-year-old would really "need to see the numbers" on his Instagram posts.
Even Chrissy Teigen got in on the action.
According to BuzzFeed News, Katie responded to the backlash in a series of Instagram stories that have since expired. In them, she explained that she made the post to document "personal growth for me." She said she wanted to realize that it doesn't matter if her son's posts get fewer likes on Instagram.
"I had to learn that the likes do not reflect much to me," the mom explained. "That I had to choose that, because I work with brands that tell you the opposite. I read an article about how to grow your Instagram that tells you the opposite."
Katie added that she knows people don't understand her intentions because blogging is a "weird job" and defended her assertion that she worried about her boy's self-esteem because "kids are smart, y'all."
"Kids know there's likes on photos and it's very human nature to compare. So for me, my personal growth journey is teaching my kids it doesn't matter," she continued.
But perhaps the backlash got to be too much for the mom because she later deleted the post and explained in another Instagram Story that the "drama was out of hand."
She shared that she would read her son the birthday wishes her followers had left for him under the post and disabled comments on her account.
"Unfortunately," she said in her Instagram Story, "this is sometimes the way it goes with social media if you choose to be vulnerable and show something that isn't perfect about yourself."
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.