Parenting, it seems, is a pursuit that everyone has an opinion on – and no one is shy about sharing those opinions.
From breast-feeding or bottle feeding, crying it out or cuddling to sleep, cots or co-sleeping, smacking or naughty stepping, nursery or nanny, every stage of parenthood, so it feels, brings with it another should or shouldn’t.
And it turns out that even one of the world’s most famous men – David Beckham – isn’t immune to the circling vultures of criticism.
What’s surprising though, is the part of his parenting that he’s been hugely trolled for online.
Earlier this week he posted a photo on Instagram of him kissing his youngest child, seven-year-old Harper, on the lips.
It was an adorable photo. Taken at the ice rink at London’s Natural History Museum, he sweetly captioned the image “Christmas is coming… let’s go skate.”
Some of the responses though, were surprisingly stern.
“She’s your daughter… why are you kissing on her lips…?” wrote one.
“That looks wrong,” typed another.
In what world is a father kissing his child “wrong”? I kiss Sonny Jim dozens upon dozens of times a day on the lips. It took him a while to master actually puckering up, but now he has, he’s quite a fan of dispatching kisses too. Me, his daddy, his teddy, Thomas the Tank Engine, the bath, his sock… we all come in for bouts of kisses.
It’s the most innocent, lovely, loving impulse he has. And I’ll keep on kissing him until he demands I stop, tells me I’m embarrassing him, and probably wipes it off with his sleeve. (That will be a sad day. I hope it’s a good few years off yet!)
And I’m fairly confident that this isn’t weird. Or wrong. Or odd. And yet there’s a group of people who feel so strongly about it that they’ve trolled Beckham.
Honestly, it blows my mind a bit!