Last week, Jessa Duggar posted a series of Instagram photos chronicling the various unclean items around her less-than-immaculate home.
For many parents of young children, the images in Jessa’s confessional slideshow no doubt made for a relatable sight:
The mother of two showed the world her appliances and mirrors covered in fingerprints, a bed piled high with laundry, even a mound of soiled diapers waiting to be taken to out to the trash.
For the most part, fans were supportive and took the opportunity to offer their own admissions about allowing their housekeeping habits to fall by the wayside in response to the demands of caring for toddlers.
But this being the internet in 2017, there were more than a few haters and shamers, as well.
“No m’am. You had ONE job,” wrote one follower in response to Jessa’s post.
“This is so disgusting. You spend the most time in your home. Take pride in it and take care of it,” commented another.
It’s certainly not the first time Jessa’s parenting has been criticized.
But while Jessa may have let the negativity roll off her back in the past, this time she’s taking a stand against the mommy-shamers.
“We all try to put our best foot forward and are most comfortable posting our ‘highlight reel’ for people on social media to see. I could’ve waited 24 hrs and posted pics of everything freshly cleaned and looking beautiful (the stovetop is sparkling, dust bunnies have been removed, laundry is folded, bed sheets are washed, etc),” she wrote in a lengthy posted on response Instagram.
“Certainly people would find no fault with that… but many may find fault with themselves. I didn’t do that for a reason. Reality.”
Jessa went on to address the specifics of her situation:
“Sometimes you find yourself with an 8-month-old who isn’t sleeping through the night, and you don’t care that your bed has spit up on it–you’re tired. Throw a towel down on it and sleep!” she continued.
“Sometimes you don’t want to wash the dishes right after supper because your husband is finally home from work, and there’s only one golden hour of family time before babies are tucked into bed and hubby has to start in on his college homework… and so you put off dishes until then.”
Proving that her sense of humor hasn’t been broken by the judgemental response to her housekeeping, Jessa added:
“Oh, and the diapers. Our diaper pail is currently outta commission, and I’m awaiting a replacement. Yeah, they were stinky, but I had them bagged up and out of the house before the pic of them was even posted.”
Jessa concluded by summarizing what she had hoped to convey for the sake of her less receptive followers:
“My takeaway, and what I was trying to convey, was this: I could break down household tasks into manageable increments, with a few min here doing this, and a few min there doing that,” she wrote.
“And when it comes to quality time with kids, it’s really the same thing. It’s a few min here and a few min there. The point was not kids vs. house cleaning.
“The point was my heart’s goal to devote undivided time and attention to my kids– to make memories together each day, no matter what else I have on my schedule.”
“It’s all too easy for me to want to turn on Baby Einstein and get back to my project, and while that may be fine or necessary at times, it can’t replace pausing for moments here and there to give them a mama’s loving, playful, teaching, and engaging interaction.”
“P.S. We had a blessed day, the house was tidied right up, books were read, snuggles given, kids happy… and we all lived happily ever after.”
Wise words from a young mother who knows about the daily challenges of balancing priorities.
Watch Counting On online for more on Jessa’s parenting philosophy.