Carlee Beanear is not your average mum.
She lives in Texas with her three kids, aged 6, 4, and 18 months, but rather than going to work at an office, she’s a full-time earth mother.
Carlee started doing yoga after suffering post-natal depression when her first child was born. She decided to try something new when her second baby was born in the hope it would help with her mental health.
Her skills have clearly been well-honed, and you’ll now find her Instagram full of snaps of her doing handstands and showing off flexibility that most of us could only dream of.
While she’s defying gravity, Carlee often breastfeeds her youngest. She says it’s less about making a statement, and more about doing something natural and necessary, while giving herself some me-time in the process.
‘As far as breastfeeding yoga goes, anyone who has breastfed knows that it is a 24/7 dedication,’ Carlee tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I believe as parents it is our duty to make that time for our self because we can not pour from an empty cup.
‘Breastfeeding yoga has helped me combat postpartum depression and has made my breastfeeding journey free of any bumps in the road, such as mastitis, worry of lacking in supply, getting over those first few weeks of tenderness, let down control and the stresses of being needed around the clock – to name a few.
Carlee says she thinks ‘no one should be ashamed of feeding their children or teaching their children however they feel called to.’
However, there was an incident recently that people found a lot more controversial than feeding her children while doing yoga.
The internet erupted in criticism after Carlee posted a photo free bleeding, with her children hugging her leg making it appear that she was bleeding on the kids’ heads.
Some people called it ‘self-important’ and ‘unhygienic’, although there were some that praised her for destigmatising periods. This was the photo in question:
It was later removed by Instragram after a number of reports.
Carlee said about the image: ‘No, my children were not bled on, they simply took a second to give me a hug. There were many women who were empowered by this reminding and many more who found me through the hate…
‘Having a healthy monthly cycle is a blessing that not all women have. Celebrating life includes the moon cycle!
‘Getting time to practice alone is hard to come by with 3 kids in the house who all have a yoga journey of their own, and I love including them because yoga teaches the best lessons of life.
‘This is the blood they came from and after birthing them into my husband’s hands, we all have a great appreciation for it.
‘I take time each cycle to be grateful that I can bleed and I incorporate it into my yoga practice to honor all of the women who have it and those that can not.’
It’s definitely true that ‘period-shaming’ exists. It’s taken this long for tampon and pad companies to stop using blue fluid in their ads, for goodness’ sake.
The question lies in whether it’s our own prejudices that make us recoil so quickly after seeing images like Carlee’s. For a lot of people, it didn’t seem to matter – they just thought it was flat-out gross.
However, Carlee says she’s not mad at the people who’ve criticised her for her decisions. In fact, she says she understands the reaction but wants people to look past their initial feelings and analyse why they’re reacting that way.
Carlee also thinks that many of these reactions are a ‘cry for help’ and she’ll continue to try and spread her message of love and acceptance.
Okay, so it certainly wouldn’t be what most of us would consider a standard activity with our children. It’s not exactly a day at a soft-play centre.
Perhaps, though, given the horrors of the world at present, a child seeing some of their mum’s blood or getting fed in an unusual pose isn’t the worst that could happen.