Reality TV stars are forced to come to terms with having their choices picked apart by complete strangers. As frustrating as it might be, it's just part of the gig. However, once these stars become parents, naysayers have a tendency to take their criticism up a notch — as one Counting On family recently experienced. Earlier this week, Kendra and Joseph Duggar had a date night one month after welcoming their newborn baby, daughter Addison, and while many people were happy to learn the couple was able to enjoy some time together, others chose to critique their decision.
As a refresher, Joseph Duggar is number seven in the lineup of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's 19 children. He and Kendra (Caldwell) tied the knot in September 2017, and have since welcomed two children together. Their first child, Garrett, was born in June 2018 and on Nov. 2, Kendra gave birth a baby girl named Addison, officially making her and Joe parents of two under 2.
Fast-forward to today, and it's been just over one month since baby Addison was born. Recently, Joe and Kendra decided to go out for dinner together sans the kiddos. The Counting On couple marked the occasion by posting a photo of themselves via Instagram. "We so enjoyed our date night. First time out with just the two of us since sweet Addison arrived!" they captioned a snap shared on Dec. 4." It feels so strange not carrying a diaper bag and a car seat with us everywhere. Thank you @thecaldwellfamily for watching the littles."
No big deal, right? Except for some of their followers, it was.
The majority of Instagram followers opted to share words of encouragement with the parents of two — commenting on how nice they looked, or effectively saying, "Good for you!" Unfortunately, other followers couldn't believe they left their newborn.
One particularly critical person wrote, "I don't know how people can do that. I'm a breastfeeding on demand mom. And I'm not pumping for a date. If a relationship cannot evolve to include the baby's needs, it wasn't strong to begin with."And she wasn't the only one. Another Instagram user replied, "I completely agree. You have to put your child's needs first." Yet another person wrote, "I agree, babies start stretching it out about 5-6 months. A solid marriage can handle waiting that long."
Thankfully, other fans stepped in to defend Kendra and Joe for taking some much-needed time to themselves while their children were under the care of family members. "They are not ignoring the child's needs by going out. The kids are being watched by family," one Instagram user replied. "If you do not go on dates when your kids are newborns that is fine but some people do and that is completely fine too. Do not put other parents down for doing things differently than you." Another follower chimed in with, "Hey I have an idea.... It's none of your business if they go out on a date." (Well said!)
Here's the thing: Kendra already noted that it felt "weird" to be on a date without her babies. Chances are, she already had some inner mom guilt going on because, let's face it: Moms tend feel guilty about everything. (Even when they shouldn't.) I'm sure these judgmental comments did nothing to help.
Besides, Garrett and Addison were with Kendra's family. And if Kendra is breastfeeding, she likely left expressed milk — or timed the date just right so that Addison was fed right before they left. Because, you know, she's already been through all of this with her first child.
So can we just not with the mom-shaming? It probably took a lot of preparation and energy to have everything lined up for Kendra and Joseph to even have a date night. They should be able to enjoy it — and share a quick photo — without Instagram users writing negative comments. Kudos to Kendra and Joe for making time together as a couple a priority.