Ever since Jill Duggar returned from Central America back to her home in Arkansas in May 2017, she has been quite active on social media. From sharing cute photos of her two sons, Israel and Samuel, to posting lots of snaps with her *many* siblings, it's clear Jill is thrilled to have cellphone service again. But as amped as Jill is to be back on the 'gram, some people are finding her posts a tad problematic. Case in point: Jill Duggar's new photos of her sons have some fans upset. Apparently, a few parents think the snaps prove Jill is an irresponsible parent.
When you're a stay-at-home parent to young kids, it can be incredibly difficult to come up with new and fun activities to keep your brood occupied. Not to mention, many parents simply don't have the energy or time to plan thrilling adventures for their kids day in and day out. Sometimes, you just have to hand your child the iPad and be done with it. That's just life, right?
As for Jill, who is a full-time stay-at-home mom, there's a good chance she would agree with that sentiment. Most of Jill's outings with her boys are cute and simple — from hanging out on the family's front lawn to reading books, she typically keeps things low-key. And on Wednesday, Jill continued this trend when she decided to take 8-month-old Samuel and 2-year-old Israel on a trip to a Chick-fil-A located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"You know you’re a mom when...you walk 1hr. 10 min with both boys to get to a @chickfila," Jill captioned four snaps of herself and her two sons, according to Instagram. "We were enjoying some beautiful Colorado Springs weather while papa was busy with the rest of the team from church! #chickfilaplayground #longwalk."
Although Jill probably intended the post to be another fun look into her life as a mom, many people expressed frustration with the pics.
For starters, some fans questioned Jill about why Israel and Samuel were seemingly without sun protection during the walk.
"Those little boys need hats with all that Sun, especially Samuel," one person said, according to Instagram. "My son is almost 10 months, and i know those little eyes can't handle that sun."
"Where are the hats and sunglasses for the kids???" someone else asked.
Another person advised: "You and your boys need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun."
Additionally, people expressed concern about the length of the trip.
"Walking an hour w/out sun protection for fast food to serve the kiddos, by yourself, near the highway & fuel exhaust & you’re praising your mommy skills?" a fan ranted. "And your fans are praising your mommy skills."
"Did you make Izzy walk that far? An hour and change is a long way for a 3 year old," one person pointed out. "I hope he thought it was worth it. Sam was strapped in a car seat in the sun. Pin a medal on this great mom."
And one particularly upset commenter said:
Horrible absolutely horrible! That poor child is not only exhausted but hot, don’t you know what a hat is? And I don’t mean a tortilla a hat? And after walking that distance do you think a child that age will be hungry? No, more than likely you being a very naive parent will overload him with fluids and then he will vomit. Do your children a favor and take some parenting classes and please please don’t have anymore!
Other fans, however, pointed out that being outdoors with your kids is a good thing.
"I am a mama of 3. Ages 10, 3 and 3 months!! We live in Va and winter won't quit so on the rare warm days I bundled our kiddos up and we walk our town," a supporter argued. "Walk to the library. Grab lunch. There is nothing wrong with having your children outdoors, soaking up vitamin d and not being in front of a screen. Be safe and thank you for sharing your day with us."
Another person agreed: "I am missing what people are commenting about the kids looking miserable. Looks like the sun is directly in his face to me. Walking is great exercise. Walking in the sunlight is even better. Sun = vitamin D."
Of course, it's worth pointing out that a few photos can't sum up an entire day. It's totally possible that Israel enjoyed the trip, and that he just happened to look frustrated at the exact moment Jill took the pics.
The likely scenario here is that Jill was without a car that day because her husband, Derick Dillard, used it to meet up with his "team from church." And without any family or friends nearby to help, Jill probably thought it would be a good idea to walk to Chick-fil-A as an activity of sorts. Although some parents might argue that Jill could have done some things differently (sun hat, closer location, etc.), it's really no one's business how she cares for her kids. That being said, there's a good chance Jill is immune to all the fan backlash at this point — she did spend close to 10 years in front of TLC cameras, after all.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.