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Mother defends decision to have her children on a leash: ‘I’m never tired of protecting my girls’

A mother has defended her decision to put her children on a leash and explained how this choice keeps them safe.

Alexis, who is the parent of two daughters, shared a video on TikTok last month of her child on the leash while at a store. Her clip was a response to a viewer’s comment on her parenting habits, which read: “Are you not tired of living this way?”

The video showed the mother putting a pink leash around her wrist before attaching the other end of it to her daughter’s hand.

The toddler continued sitting in a shopping cart with the leash around her wrist while her mother looked through the store’s shelves. Alexis proceeded to add more and more items to her cart, with the leash around her wrist.

In the caption of her post, Alexis hit back at the initial criticism she received and explained why she uses the leash.

“I’m tired of the world being this way but I’m NEVER tired of protecting my girls. I’m okay looking like a crazy mom,” she wrote. “As long as my babies are safe…and thanks to everyone I freaking love this thing.”

As of 9 March, Alexis’ clip has more than 12.9m views, with TiKTok users in the comments praising her choice to use the leash.

“Idc what anyone says, I’m doing this. Call me crazy but I will always be a protective mom first,” one wrote.

“Moms get shamed for everything they do, no matter what,” another added. “Do what you need to do to keep your kids safe in this crazy world.”

@alexishealth

Replying to @bkoji445 I’m tired of the world being this way but I’m NEVER tired of protecting my girls. I’m okay looking like a crazy mom. As long as my babies are safe 🥰 and thanks to everyone I freaking love this thing❤️#momsoftiktok #dadoftiktok #protectyourchildren #protectyourkids #awareness #alexishealth #beawareofyoursurroundings #shoppingwithme

♬ original sound - Alexis

A third said: “So people are blaming this mama for trying to protect her child?? Pls. We are tired of living this way. But mamas will do whatever it takes to protect.”

Some viewers and fellow parents questioned Alexis, one of which wrote: “I’m a mom & I get it. But also you don’t want to shelter your kids too much. You can let them learn & grow without hovering over them so much.”

During a recent interview with Today.com, Alexis, who’s based in California, specified that she uses “Lehoo Castle Toddler Leash”, which also comes with a backpack harness for the leash to be attached to.

She confessed how some of her traumatic experiences as a child ultimately encouraged her to buy the leash.

“I was sexually abused at age eight, so I have always been hyper aware of people around me and potentially dangerous situations,” she said. “When I became a mom, those feelings were amplified.”

Alexis also noted that before she had her two daughters, who are two and six, her husband wasn’t a fan of leashes. However, she said that he later had a change of heart.

“He said: ‘Kids aren’t dogs’ but now, as a parent, he understands and doesn’t care what people think,” she explained. “What happened to me as a child has also opened his eyes.”

The Independent has contacted Alexis for comment.