TLC’s Counting On, aired it’s 10th season premiered recently and during the premiere, Kendra Caldwell, who married Joseph Duggar in 2017, confessed that she felt like a failure in her marriage and like a “horrible wife” because she didn’t adequately meet the goals she’d set for herself about the type of wife that she wanted to be. If you’re someone who feels a little guilty because you neglect your spouse from time to time or because you prioritize yourself before them, you might be shocked to find out the reasons that Kendra stated for feeling like a failure.
During the premiere of the show, Kendra goes on to explain “I think I had expectations that I would be able to make all the meals the first year of our marriage and that I would be able to clean the house [and] go with you to work…” Kendra made this confession during a family game night hosted by her in-laws and OG Duggar reality stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, so it’s possible that the confession was made because she felt as if she wasn’t living up to the Duggar family expectations of what a wife’s role in the house should be.
Hubby, Joseph, had no issue chiming in and agreeing that his wife didn’t meet his expectations either. The couple had their first baby 15 months after being married and Kendra is currently pregnant with their second child. Kendra further explained that having a baby and caring for a young child had more of an impact on her marriage and her ability to be a “good wife” than she could’ve imagined. Kendra then vowed to improve going forward.
Everyone has their own set of beliefs and the Duggars are known for being old school in their thoughts of a woman’s place in the home. Setting aside their conservative beliefs, what’s perhaps most disheartening about this confession is the lack of empathy for Kendra and her journey as a new mom. Becoming a mom is one of the hardest things that a woman will go through. While pregnant, you may be coping with a host of symptoms that make it difficult for you to get through the day and after having your baby, you’re learning to survive on just a few hours of sleep while anticipating the needs of your baby.
It’s common for wives and mothers to feel as if they’re failing at some point in time. The demands of work plus family can be overwhelming and if often feels as if something or someone is getting neglected. While we may have unlimited love for our family, time is our most scarce resource. Additionally, new moms already feel like failures because they’re learning as they go and the last thing that they need is to have extra failure dumped on them. It's taken many years for women to talk about their struggles as new moms rather than hide them and this confession feels like a step backward rather than forward.