The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sympathy for mom Britney

New York, May 25: (AP): Britney Spears. She’s so easy to make fun of. Even her song titles conspire to mock her: Oops, She Did It Again! But the latest headlines about America’s most maligned mother are evoking a new sentiment from fellow moms.

Almost tripped and dropped a baby' PLEASE, they’re saying. What mom hasn’t' Give the girl a break!

When little Sean Preston entered the world last September, the event only intensified Spears’ fame, as celebrity births do nowadays. But unlike, say, Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow, Spears had a way of appearing maternally challenged. First it was the sight of baby on Mom’s lap in the driver’s seat. (OK, that was bad.) Then, the accidental tumble as he was lifted off a high chair. Next, the car seat facing the wrong way in the convertible.

Not good, the celebrity mommy patrol said. We’d never do that.

Until... the almost-baby-dropping incident.

Suddenly ' and there’s nothing scientific about any of this, mind you ' but suddenly, it seems fellow moms are doing something a bit surprising: defending Britney.

“The woman just can’t get a break!” says Lenna Janick, a mother of two in Ijamsville, Maryland. “I mean, I’m not gonna say that I love her. I don’t know if she’s a good mother or not. But she’s human.”

And as all moms know, “baby bobbles” happen all the time. Luckily, says Janick, news outlets weren’t watching when she walked into a door years ago holding baby son Timmy, whose head hit the door jamb. Her other son, Alex, once fell off the bed as a baby. (Both are fine.)

The media also mysteriously missed the moment when Stacey Thaler, an actuary in New York, was sitting on the edge of the tub holding her 2-year-old son and fell in, with the toddler.

“If someone was watching me 24/7, I’m sure they would find any number of things I’ve done that would be questionable,” Thaler says. “Almost dropped my kids' Definitely. Raising kids is hard ' no one can really stand in judgment unless they’re much closer to the situation.”

Thousands of mothers apparently agree. Last weekend, the website asked readers whether the media “has gone too far in its portrayal of Britney Spears as a bad mom.” In a figure that surprised the editors, almost 10,000 people answered. The results: 75 per cent said yes, 25 per cent no.

“I think this last incident is the tipping point,” says Janet Chan, editor in chief of Parenting magazine. “I’m not sure this means Britney Spears will be in every mom’s Hall of Fame. But this one caused them to say, ‘Hey, now we’re picking on her.’”

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