We all want our parenting choices to be understood and respected, but sometimes people misunderstand. It happens to moms around the world every day, and this week it happened to Kate Hudson on a worldwide stage.
The athlesiure mogul, actress and mama of three gave an interview to AOL in which she was asked if her approach to raising daughter Rani Rose was different than how she's been raising her two older boys, 7-year-old Bingham and 15-year-old Ryder.
Hudson's reply was misunderstood and spawned many headlines stating that she's raising Rani as genderless. But that's not what she said. Her response was more nuanced and she wants the internet to know it.
Here's what she actually told AOL when asked if having a baby girl made her change her approach to parenting:
"It doesn't really change my approach, but there's definitely a difference. I think you just raise your kids individually regardless - like a genderless [approach]. We still don't know what she's going to identify as. I will say that, right now, she is incredibly feminine in her energy, her sounds and her way. It's very different from the boys, and it's really fun to actually want to buy kids' clothes. With the boys it was just like onesies … actually, I did pretty good with the boys. [Laughs] But with her it's a whole other ball game. There's some stuff that I'm like, "I can't do that to her, because it's so over-the-top."
After that interview ran many reports took her comment out of context and stated she was raising Rani genderless, and Hudson took to Instagram to clarify.
"Recently someone asked me something along the lines of, if having and raising a girl is different from boys," Hudson writes. "My response was simple. Not really. The whole click bait tactic of saying I'm raising my daughter to be 'genderless' is silly and frankly doesn't even make sense."
"I recognize some want to take a headline earnestly as if I have some new age method of raising my kids and I really do hate disappointing people but, I don't. I just try to raise my kids to be good people with the best tools to face this big crazy world," she explains (adding that if her kids grow up to identify as a different gender she's cool with that and would support them).
Basically, Hudson was misunderstood. It happens to moms a lot. It happens when we say we're doing "attachment parenting" and people make assumptions about what that means, or when we tell our extended family that we're embracing minimalism and some relative tells people we're not letting the children have any toys.
But Hudson's response to this whole debacle is great, and worth remembering the next time our personal parenting style is misunderstood. It's okay to correct people, and kindly inform them that they've missed some context, some nuance, some part of the conversation.
Kate Hudson stood up for herself when the internet version of the game telephone twisted her quote into something it wasn't. Our parenting styles and choices are our own business, but when people twist our words, it's okay to step in and set the record straight.