Maci Bookout from Teen Mom has made some controversial decisions

Teen Mom OG star and 16 & Pregnant alum Maci Bookout is arguably one of the most beloved MTV reality stars. Fans love the Tennessee native's confident attitude, mature approach to co-parenting, and her three adorable kids: Bentley Edwards, Jayde McKinney, and Maverick McKinney. What especially stands out about Bookout is how she handled ex-boyfriend Ryan Edwards' struggles with addiction, but though she may have a lot of reality TV fans, not everyone agrees with Bookout's decisions throughout the years. 

It's fairly common to see this TV mom battling angry fans on social media, particularly other parents who apparently think she should do a better job raising her children. We won't get into the nitty-gritty details just yet, but the backlash has gotten so intense at times that Bookout has been forced to confront her haters directly.

Ready to dive deep into the drama clouding this momma's life? Buckle up because it's about to get real as we examine Maci Bookout's most controversial decisions.

Maci Bookout's discipline tactics caused a stir

In between seasons of Teen Mom OG, Maci Bookout starred in an MTV special called Being Maci. The program aired in August 2013, when Bentley was 5 and Bookout was 21 — both transformative ages in terms of personal growth. This became evident when the reality star's son was filmed acting out while bowling with her friends, and she had to give him multiple warnings to wait his turn. Needless to say, the little guy was not in the mood to play nice, so the former cheerleader took Bentley to the bowling alley's bathroom to give him a spanking off-camera. Bookout predicted the moment would cause drama, tweeting (via Us Weekly), "I'm gonna catch a bunchaaa s–t for spanking Bentley . . . #parenting." 

Bookout did catch heat for her choice of punishment, and she pushed back hard. "I got spanked as a kid for being a brat when I knew better," she tweeted, "so questioning this is questioning my parents and I take offense to that." The star added, "If Being Maci showed y'all anything it's that no matter whats happened I'm still just BEING MACI. Nothing will ever change that #beingmaci."

Maci Bookout received hate for her drinking

It's pretty common to catch Maci Bookout or her husband, Taylor McKinney, being filmed with a drink in hand, and fans often call the Tennessee resident out when she's caught relaxing with a cocktail or beer. Remember the time she was reportedly spotted drinking at a concert just weeks after giving birth to her third child in 2016? "Didn't you just have your third kid 2 weeks ago?? Stay home. Parent," one fan tweeted. Another quipped, "Maci is ALWAYS drinking."

Bookout decided to address the booze backlash in her 2017 book, I Wasn't Born Bulletproof. "While obviously I don't condone excessive drinking, having a beer — or even smoking the occasional cigarette — does not warrant a call to Child Services, and it does not make you a bad mother," she said.

It's worth noting that Bookout has witnessed her ex, Ryan Edwards, experience the heartbreaking effects of addiction, and she's chatted with addiction specialists to help her navigate co-parenting in the context of substance abuse. Whether you agree with her decisions or not, this momma certainly has some experience dealing with this sensitive topic. 

Is Maci Bookout too harsh with Ryan Edwards?

It's no secret that Maci Bookout struggled with Ryan Edwards after they split following the birth of Bentley in October 2008, but the realities of life as a teen mom and her relationship with Edwards have grown worse in recent years. 

In 2018, she got a restraining order against Edwards for allegedly threatening to shoot her husband, Taylor McKinney. Many fans have commended Bookout for protecting herself while simultaneously supporting Bentley's relationship with his dad, but others think she's too tough on her ex. The teen dad has fanned the flames, complaining during the reunion episode of Teen Mom OG (via CafeMom): "What is affecting my relationship with Bentley is Maci. I don't know what she tells him about me, I'm sure some of it's probably not good. Then she goes on TV and says whatever she wants."

The main crux of the drama appears to be that aforementioned restraining order, which makes it more difficult to communicate with Bentley. "She keeps saying he hadn't reached out to her but he legally can't," one fan wrote on Reddit. "So I don't get what she wants. I don't blame her for wanting him to stay away after he threatened them but don't force him to stay away and then complain he hasn't reached out."

It's complicated for sure, but hey, at least Maci Bookout and Taylor McKinney can find solace from their haters in their gorgeous home.