Duggar family featured in People Magazine

06/09/2007 at 07:32 PM ET

The Duggar family, who became well known after a series of documentary television shows on TLC and Discovery Health, are featured in People this week — giving a glimpse into their lives, for those that have not seen the TV programs. Jim Bob and Michelle expect their 17th child, Jennifer Danielle, on July 27th.
 
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Thanks to CBB reader Megan for the scans.

Click the extended post for more, including a numbers rundown –Michelle has spent 133 months pregnant, and has had 13 natural birthsand 2 c-sections.

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FILED UNDER: Babies , Kids , Multiples , News

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teagan on

johannah and joy anna??

faith on

Her uterus has got to be screaming!!!!!!!!!

Emily G on

I love love love this family! I have seen them on TV and they are just the most down to Earth, sweet, loving family! I wish them all the best!!

lis on

I agree, Johanna and Joy-Anna are a bit close for my pronunciation..

Rachael McKenzie on

Call me crazy but I think that’s nuts! I’ve never seen the show and imagine they are nice people, but really?! How on earth do they afford all that?

willa t on

well it’s wonderful they’re so happy! they do seem very sincere and down to earth on their show. it’s a lifestyle i don’t relate to, both from the parenting perspective and from the level of consumption, but it’s their choice and one that’s not made very often.

the names i completely don’t understand. you’re right, teagan– but you fogot there’s also jana! but i suppose those three are probably the least of the confusion.

New Shoes on

Along with Johannah and Joy-Anna, there is also Jana. It’s just one syllable shorter.

Goodness, my mother can barely keep our names straight, and there are only four of us, and we have very different sounding names.

ruby on

watch their shows and you’ll see! you gotta check out mama’s hair, the boys’ matching collared shirts, or the daughters’ dresses. they’re almost amish-like.

Edited to remove name-calling.

sarah on

Johanna *might* be pronounced ‘Yo-hanna’ as I knew a baby with that same name.

Anyways, I like this family I grew up the exact same way and dressed just like them so it’s neat to see a family like this getting attention.

Elizabeth on

I think to have that many children, with the world as overpopulated as it is, plus not being able to give SEVENTEEN children the proper attention needed, is deplorable. I find these ultra-conservative Christians repulsive.

Posh_Fan on

Teagan, thats what I was about to say….arent they nearly the same names?

Heather on

I think that while they may believe they are doing good by having so many children, its only going to hurt the children. I’m just waiting for the day when you find out that one of them lashes out. It can’t be always peaceful in happy in the Duggar household. Its tough for parents to give proper attention to two children let alone nearly 20.
My only qualm with their lifestyle is that all the children are home-schooled according to a specific teaching style (per what I learned from a TLC special on them). With that many children, they need to socialize with other kids in order to maintain healthy relationships and a balanaced life!

Brandi on

Say waht you want, but I would rather they have all the kids they want and take care of them the way they do than have all these teenagers and other women who cannot care for their babies continue to spawn.

If you watch their shows (which I have seen all of, I think) you see that they are conservative, but they are debt free, and care for their children completely. Each kid is homeschooled, but plays two instruments and participates in family activities fully. Their teenagers seem a little sheltered, but that’s not the worst thing that has ever happened.

The names…that’s another thing. I find them fascinating, though not how I would want to live.

sarawara on

Ruby, that was rude and uncalled for. If you don’t support them then fine, say it tactfully and keep the name calling to yourself.

Every family is unique and different in lots of ways: some kids have 2 moms, some kids live with half siblings, step siblings and adopted siblings all in the same home. You need to have more tolerance.

What is important is that children are loved, nourished, sheltered, clothed, respected, educated, and free. These children are all of the above.

This is not for me, but being Christian, conservative, Amish, and having bad hair is not a crime.

dawn on

It amazes me that people seem to have a problem with this family because they are very conservative. Yet just the other day there was the article about the 17 year old actress from whale rider having her baby. Most of the comments I read then were positive talking about how beautiful the picture was. Granted the picture was beautiful but there were not a lot of comments about a 17 year old having a baby. Why is it that people have no problem judging this family? At least they aren’t asking the tax payers to pay for their life choices.

seosinger on

I actually had the opportunity to meet this family at a homeschool convention. They are such nice people. Really normal. They have a different view about why someone should be considered beautiful (beauty is from the inside out). Those are some of the best, most joy-filled children I’ve ever met, which means that they definatly get enough love and attention. Also, a lot of people just assume that homeschooled children are not socialized, but the truth is that most homeschooling parents take care to make sure that thier children are in many social situations. I have several friends who were raised with the same kind of value system in the home, and they never rebelled. Its just a matter of the parents not giving them any reason to rebel. Children rebel against their parents because the parents don’t live by the same rules that they attempt to govern the children by. And FYI Ruby, they are certainly not freaks. Try not to be so judgemental, dear.

seosinger on

Also, Elizabeth, whoever told you the world is overpopulated is deceiving you. Just drive through Kansas or Montana, honey.

dana on

Dawn i’m pretty sure people do have a problem with Keshia having her baby at 17.. but also she can support it and she doesn’t have 16 others little ones to take care of.

My problem with the Duggers are that they have to many kids…i agree with the person who said about overpopulaton.. maby 3 or 4 kids but 17… I’m a Christian.. but i have a limit on how many kids i will have.. i know they say kids are a blessing and they will take as many as they can get… but damn 17 kids.. her body is dieing inside from all the pressure and pain.. and i hope that this is the last kid for them…

i do with the duggars would update there style.. the wife needs a new haircut.

marcia on

So much for no nasty commenting, Ru – by.

After witnessing the beautiful response of the Amish people after that horrific school shooting, being compared to them would be considered a high compliment in my book.
Love the website but you were asleep on this one comment Danielle.

Sarah’s note: I’m actually the one who handles comments, not Danielle. Yes, that one snuck by me and I apologize. I edited the name-calling out, and it should appear in that form soon.

seosinger on

At least we live in a country where they are free to make that decision for themselves, right?

Molly on

sarawara: fat ditto.

I am a liberal agnostic Bay Area hipster, but I admire this family. There is no evidence the children are anything less than well-adjusted. Each Duggar clearly takes joy in their role within the family.

About the negative comments on homeschooling–statistics show that 90-some percent of homeschooled adults’ opinions align with their parents’, so I doubt you’ll be seeing any major rebellion from any of the Duggar children. And homeschool groups–where kids take extra-curricular classes and just hang out and have fun–are numerous, especially in regions with high homeschool rates (like Arkansas). So I wouldn’t worry about the children being appropriately socialized.

I imagine that any parents who happily have 17 children have figured out a lot of the petty problems and inefficiencies that trouble most families, whether it’s hot tempers and selfishness, or just laundry and cooking. I hope that my future 2-3 child, well-coiffed, school-going family can run as cohesively as theirs does.

seosinger on

Beautifully stated, Molly!!!

Loralee on

Who should decide how many children people have or don’t have? As long as they are taking care of them and supporting them it is none of my concern. I don’t understand judging other people’s choices.

Helen on

Just drive through Kansas, Montana, Ohio, etc. if you think this planet is overpopulated! There is all this land with nothing on it but crops, livestock and mines. Think of all the housing developments you could fit there instead of useless things like food and fuel! It’s not like we don’t make enough of all of those things already to take care of the world.

J.J. on

There’s nothing wrong with having this many kids, although to be honest, I get the feeling sometimes that the Duggars are purposely having babies for media attention. Every family is different with unique lifestyles. The Duggar family has their own ways and techniques in raising their children, so don’t dare say that they can’t raise that many kids, because they have found a way to do so, and it’s never impossible. I seen the shows, and to me, they are doing a good job and all the kids are happy. If they couldn’t handle it, it would definitely show. Yes there are some disadvantages to this scenario, but hey, it’s their family, let them live how they want to live.

seosinger on

Very sarcastic and uncalled for, Helen. Yes, there are a lot of farms, mines, ect, but I also know many, many families who own 50 to 100 acres of land just to own land. They don’t farm it or anything. 17 children are not going to run anyone out of room. It shouldn’t even be an issue.

Annoynomus on

Loralee, ITA! I also want to point out that we don’t actually know what is or isn’t going on with Michelle’s body. Maybe she ISN’T “dying from the inside” as one commentor said. Some women’s bodies can handle multiple pregnancies better than others.

Jen on

Helen, I hope you were being sarcastic.

sigh on

What, no “baby collection” comments? How odd.

Holly on

I must say I do think it is wonderful how they manage to be debt-free!!!

Also, as far as i’m concerned, she could have 100 babies because they pay for their babies themselves…NOT WELFARE!!! How many women continously pop out babies they cannot afford?

HOWEVER, I cannot help but wonder if the kids ever have time to “just be kids”…

Julia on

I saw one of their shows on TLC and I thought that these were the best behaved children i had ever seen. It could have been the magic of editing or something but they seemed like very well-adjusted children. I was surprised that so many people had a problem with this. There are so many people out there not having children on purpose that this probably evens out. It’s their own choice and if they want to do it and are doing a good job no one should have a problem with it.

ht on

wow, so many negative comments. Maybe the kids are a little bit sheltered since they interact mostly with each other, but in the overall picture this is a big happy family and its evident that the children are loved.

Some of the comments are very mean and unwarranted. There are worst things in life than a big family with 17 kids. In other cultures, its not uncommon to have large families. My parents are from vietnam and my mom had 11 siblings while my dad had 10.

It doesn’t hurt to have enough tolerance for two.

Mary on

What, no “baby collection” comments? How odd.
Posted by: sigh at Jun 9, 2007 11:31:37 PM

Good one, sigh. Apparently that’s only reserved for Angelina Jolie (notice they never include Brad because they can’t seem to work up enough hate to call him a baby collector). The comment usually has it’s roots in racism but since all the Duggar children are white and are the biological children of their parents “collection” doesn’t apply. *rolls eyes*

Like Brad and Angelina, The Duggars can have as many kids as they wish. Only they know what’s best for their family.

val on

I dont agree with having this amount of children. It is a very unfair and cruel burden that these two people bestowed on the earth and all its natural resources. We are already overpopulated as it is by several billion people, with most of the world (many of those innocent babies and children) eating out of garbage cans and yet we’re allowed to breed like rats like this? Doesnt anyone ever think of the consequences as a whole?

Jill on

Mary you are wrong, and should really think about what you are alleging before you speak, believing that BRAD and Angelina are baby collectors has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with the fact that they are baby collectors. They act like children are little spoons or piggy banks people collect from their travels abroad. At least the Duggers children are their own biological children and they are not seeking them out ala Brad and Angelina (I doubt people would consider Brangelina collectors if their brood were all their biological children). The Duggers have also been together for over 20 years and are not a new Hollywood couple who within the first years of their relationship adopted and or had three additional children.

Personally I think the Duggers have way too many children but at least they, and not a bunch of nannies, take care of their children. These people have devoted their lives to their children and bringing them up in a stable homelife and not dragging them around the world.

And if anyone is guilty of racist views Mary it would be you for your allegation that the only reason the Duggers are not considered collectors is because they are white.

Nicole on

To each their own, but I find it hard to believe these children are all getting the individual attention and love they deserve. There aren’t enough hours in the day for that. She lets it be known that the older kids help her take care of the younger kids. An older sibling can’t always take the place of mom or dad…

Alexandra on

Someone who watches the show, please answer the following question:

How do they afford this? I understand that the cost of living in Arkansas is fairly inexpensive because I once lived royally there on $26,000 a year right after college. But how do they afford a large home, groceries for 20 people, etc.? Clearly, they must be frugal and savvy but is that enough for all of those kids? Do they have family money? Does one of the parents make millions? Thanks!

sarah on

wooo!!!! I didn’t know this would become such a hot debate!!! I think its wonderful that the Duggars want to have children, for media attention or out of pure love, they make it work, I would only be so lucky to make my 2 child household work as smoothly as theirs!!! I applaude them for keeping it together, AND speaking of the hair on Mom Duggar, how does she manage to keep it long with all those children? My first reaction when watching the show was to make fun of the clothing and style and all that, but whats the point, its not the clothes that makes the person.

Annoynomus on

Jill- I wish people would stop calling Brad and Angie baby collectors! They are NOT baby collectors! Personally, I DO think that, like Mary said, comments about Brad and Angie being baby collecters ARE rooted in racisim. People don’t exactly discuss the fact that they are racist, if they are. And you, in fact, ended up supporting the fact that it is racisim yourself, by pointing out that if Brad and Angie’s kids were all their bio kids (and thus white kids), they wouldn’t be called baby collectors.
It is obvious that they don’t treat their kids like spoons or piggybanks, because they love them very much and give them the love and attention they deserve, just as the Druggars do with their kids. And for the record, Brad and Angie DO have nannies, but Angie stated in a recent interview that they only use them when neccesary. She said that she and Brad definently want to be the ones raising their kids!
Anyway, I support both the Jolie-Pitt and Druggar families, and I, for one, am not going to decide for them how many kids they should or should not have!

Lark on

In regards to money… they are very frugal but the parents both worked about 2 full time jobs the four years before they had any children which gave them starting money, they also do a lot of investing in property and other such ventures in addition to the dad’s job which if I recall correctly is as owner and and manager of several gocery stores? I’m not sure on the last part

brodie on

how does this family have anything to do with brad and angelina? this is a family that have lots of children and they are happy to do that. why do people comment on how many children a family should have? i come from a large family and we are all happy and normal so why should having a large family be a problem in other peoples eyes? i dont get why some people think its their right to make nasty comments on issues which have nothing to do with them!!!

Leishk on

seosinger, are you really suggesting that the world is not overpopulated because Kansas and Montana have empty land???? Honey, get yourself a passport and TRAVEL the world immediately!!! Try India, China, Europe, Africa, South America or heck even New York will do!! Just get out of that Kansas = The world mindset before it’s too late.

Mary on

At least the Duggers children are their own biological children and they are not seeking them out ala Brad and Angelina (I doubt people would consider Brangelina collectors if their brood were all their biological children).
Posted by: Jill at Jun 10, 2007 1:13:59 AM

Thank you Jill for proving my point. My momma always said if you give someone enough rope they’ll hang themselves. smh

Kelly on

FYI – A little bit of fact for all of you, maybe to help you form your opinions. The Duggars are part of a conservative evangelical Protestant Chhristian movement called Quiverfulls. One of the distinguishing viewpoints is to “eagerly receive children as blessings from God, eschewing all forms of contraception, including natural family planning and sterilization”. They also heavily encourage homeschooling and homesteading in rural areas.
Most of the families featured in the TLC program Kids by the Dozen are also Quiverfulls.
Jim Bob Duggar, the dad, is a former local politician (Arkansas House of Representatives), and is currently a real estate agent owning several commercial properties in his area.

millie on

63 loads of laundry per week? Do they think about how much energy and resources they use? What if we all decided not to use contraception and each family had a dozen kids?

Char on

It’s interesting how many people like to scream about “reproductive choice” and “my body, my choice”, and all that jazz- but have NO problem being incredibly judgmental about a someone who’s made a different reproductive choice than they prefer.

Oh, and for all the overpopulation worriers – the average woman in Europe has 1.7 children, the average woman in America, 2.1. I don’t think a few 19 member families here are going to break the bank. The countries that are overpopulated tend to be Third World countries, such as many African nations where the average woman has 7 children. Most of them can’t afford to feed them, sadly. Save your outrage for them, or better yet, channel it into working towards education and other forms of assistance for them. Not people like the Duggars who clearly have their situation under control.

r9lee on

there should be a stats for number of hrs in labor!!!! i’m curious but it must’ve been hella painful @@

Chris on

Wow 17 kids, respect for the mother lol !!! That’s a lot ( too much for me lol) but if they can afford it and take care of all of them, why not… It’s their choice so we shouldn’t judge them. I’ve never seen the show (not broadcasted in my country) but everybody says that it’s a happy family so we should be happy for them and not criticize. I don’t see the problem with large families when it’s possible ( money speaking), sometimes large families are the happiest, well that’s what I can see in my country.

Lynn on

Val,
If you’re so worried about innocent babies eating out of trash cans throughout the rest of the world then why don’t you direct your comments and your actions towards their parents instead of towards a couple that CAN provide for all of their children’s needs. If you accused those women in 3rd world countries of “breeding like rats” like you did the Duggars I’m sure people would be all over that saying your racist. If it’s not okay to say that about one group, it’s hypocritical to say it about another.

If all the people who couldn’t afford to provide for their kids would stop having children, then population wouldn’t be an issue. Which is why worldwide birth-control education is so important….so that people who want and can afford 17 children are able to have them and people that want and/or can afford zero or just one child are able to do that….then the whole population thing wouldn’t be as big of a deal.

emma on

63 loads of laundry!!!!!!! 63!! sixty three!!! OMG i moan about doing 3 loads a week!
I’ve watched their shows over here in the UK and have always found them to be really honest good people, i wish them well, if i had the funds and resources and a willing husband i wouldn’t mind popping out a baby every year (well maybe not EVERY year) children are the biggest joy life has to offer (i’ve only got the one at the moment). I loved that comment Michelle made in one of the programmes:

‘saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers’

how lovely!

KBaby on

Seventeen kids and not one of them has any special needs, ADHD, ADD, autism, etc. Amazing. The parents have great genes. (or could we start a debate about genetics vs. environment?) Best wishes to the Duggar Family.

Hilde on

Oh, seosinger, do you really think that the world isn’t overpopulated just because there’s some free land in the US Midwest?

That’s funny.

Anni on

I think the Duggars are wonderful people. How fantastic there are people like this, raising beautiful, healthy, bright, loving, selfless, respectful, and well adjusted children.. no matter the number! In this day and age, where children are being neglected all over the place, physically, emotionally, and sexually abused, volleyed back and forth between divorced parents, and taught me-me-me, me-first, rudeness, racism, and on and on, THE MORE people there are, like the Duggar’s that have large families, with full-time mothers at home at the helm, nurturing, and guiding, loving and leading, THE BETTER!

If more parents gave their older children more responsibilities in the way of helping tend to younger siblings, learning all that goes into caring for a child, there would be far less teen pregnancies, guarrenteed, and less need the ridiculousness of Day Care centers IN HIGH SCHOOLS!

Sam on

I don’t know these people at all, so i have no clue how they take care of all their children.If they manage to keep them all happy, I can only praise them. I’m myself the youngest of what is considered a large family (we’re 9 siblings). We were not the richest family but we never lacked a thing: always had a roof, food,health care…The only thing I ever suffered from was loneliness (but I guess it happens even in smaller families).
I remember a time when we (large families) were badly seen because people thought our parents didn’t take care of us properly.One of the most upsetting story was when we were renting a big appartement, just above a bank.When we arrived, each time there was a bank robbery, the cops would ring our bell and ask how parents where we were when it occured…Now years have passed and those who know our family generally congratulate my parents for having raised such a family, as no one of us has ever had a problem with justice, most of us have a job,and we’re among the most conscious voters.

Once again I have no clue how this family does it, with 17 kids. But I just hpe they’re all happy and that each child realise how unique they are.

Melissa on

Vagina: It’s not a clown car.

Anna on

Michelle on a typical day in their lives:

http://www.duggarfamily.com/faq.html

I found this quite an interesting read…

amy on

First of all if anyone has done any research on the Duggars, you would see that they actually lost their first child to a miscarriage and it was very devastating to them, this is why they are so gung-ho on being blessed with as many children as god will provide them with.
I believe a person can have as many kids as they want, as long as they are healthy and provided for and not living off my tax money. (Does this sound sarcastic? It’s true. I know people who have had more kids just so they could get a bigger rent allowance from the government.)
As for their money, I believe that Jim Bob Duggar used to be a state senator or something,and for the house they saved money by doing most of the work themselves, that’s why it took three years to build it.
For having that many kids, all of them seem to be amazingly smart, well-behaved, and organized. Check out any documentary on the MacCaughey family, who have seven kids, and you will see HER kids are completely out of control.
Kids like the Duggars might seem a little strange among the teenagers in tube tops and with their pants hanging off, but kids like that are the ones who grow up to do amazing things, and maybe just might change a piece of the world. Kudos to Jim-Bob and Michelle.

Rachel on

I agree with those who were concerned about overpopulation. The world can barely sustain the enormous amount of people on the world as it is and families insisting on having 17+ children aren’t helping.

Anna on

Has nobody considered that having the big ones take care of the little ones is child labor?
Those older children did not ask to be put in the work force as nannies.

heather on

To all of those posters who think this family is just wonderful and great, how would you feel if EVERYONE had this many kids?

The Duggers survive heavily on the support of others. They may not draw welfare, but they have neighbors that come to help clean, do laundry ect. Thier homes and cars and diapers are donated to them. They are not in any way self sufficent. They are having yet another baby that they can’t support themselves. In my book they are no differant than a teenage parent having a baby they can’t support.

I could go into exactly what a ‘quiver full’ philosophy does to women, and how the older children are treated as mini mommies, or thier life philosophies, but I don’t have to.

The fact is that they keep having babies that they can’t support and get away with it because they make a good story and the media helps them with this. It is very irresponsible.

Penny on

I, too, have watched the TLC special programs about the Duggar family, and find them to be a wonderful tight-knit family. The older children enjoy the privilege of being good role models for their younger siblings. And as for socialization, one of the TLC shows focused on the family’s vacation, where the children got to stop at many cool places to learn about manufacturing, agriculture, natural history, pop culture, etc. I, myself, could never handle the pressures of having such a large family. But the Duggars are the kind of people that make it work with what seems to be minimal effort. It just comes naturally to all of them. I only wish that more families had that kind of love and devotion for one another. The world might be a more pleasant place if that were the standard instead of the exception.

Jen DC on

When I first saw the Duggar family, I disapproved as well. But then I got over it. One of the things that changed my mind is that they are debt free. They pay for everything *in cash*. That’s unheardof in America today. The second thing was that even though they had over a dozen children (I think they’ve had four more since I first heard of them) each infant and toddler had time with his/her parents as well as being placed in the loving care of an older sibling as a younger sibling came along. This, to me, does wonders for both the older child and the younger child. The older child learns responsibility for an infant/toddler; and that infant/toddler learns innumerable lessons from that older child just by being with them. This will probably keep the older Duggars celibate until they marry, seeing how difficult it is to dedicate time to someone so small and so needy.

The other thing that changed my mind about them is how happy they seem with their lives. Yes, their haircuts and their clothes as well as their rural lifestyle are not for me. But it seems to be working for them. They are not abusive – unless the cameras are missing that – and everything seems to be running well over there.

They probably also get money being part of TLC’s shows.

As far as overpopulation goes, yes, the world is overpopulated. But that would apply to anyone having any children at all. Every human being has an impact on the world and its resources. Should everyone with a child now be judged accordingly? Should everyone be forced to adopt? I personally don’t plan to have children for a number of reasons and there are a few more like me. I would think that because the Duggars eschew a lot of the other world-effecting choices they could make, they have struck their own ecological balance.

ava on

In regards as to how they manage financially, they have also had their new home declared a “church” so that they pay no property taxes on it.
So I do believe that they are indeed working the system.

Kate on

If they aren’t the ones supporting them — if they really do depend on donations of diapers, cars, and houses (oh my goodness) — then I do think they’re being irresponsible the same way I think teens having baby after baby on their parents’ dime is irresponsible. I think that’s what it comes down to: are you depending on others to feed and clothe your child? If you can’t keep those basic needs met on your own, then you should reconsider adding more to the bunch.

I’ve seen the shows and the family seems nice and it was refreshing to see children so un-Paris Hilton-like. So kudos to them for that, but if those children were raised on the expectation that people will just give you houses and cars when you need them…that concerns me.

I find it weird that people are comparing them to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (who, to be honest with you, are not my favorite people, but I feel the need to defend them here). Four kids doesn’t put them into freak territory. Especially four children they can MORE THAN AFFORD. I don’t know how anyone can complain about their three adopted children — all of whom will now have the chance to go to a regular school, get excellent medical care, eat well, play, and eventually go to college. That’s all stuff they wouldn’t have done if they stayed in the countries where they were born. I’m not sure how much the actors depend on their nannies, but it can’t be more than the Duggars depend on their older children. More than anything, that is what concerns me. I have younger siblings, and I think every older sibling knows the feeling of having to watch over someone else, the responsibility of it. It’s ingrained — not matter what you do, you keep an eye out on them. But it’s one thing to do that in a general sense (in the park, while visiting at grandma’s, while Mom and Dad go to a movie, etc.), but it’s quite another to have that natural responsibility turned into something akin to a job. The oldest few children are probably more skilled at basic parenting than most new moms and dads. And that’s not exactly a good thing.

I wish them luck because there’s no going back now.

Lauren on

I have very mixed feelings about this family and agree with pretty much everyone (except those claiming the world is not overpopulated, which is an extroadinarily uneducated statement to make), if that makes sense. I have seen the Duggars on television, and the children were extremely well-behaved and appeared to be happy. That said, I ultimately agree with Heather most of all. The reality is that if they were turly self-sufficient, they wouldn’t need to have a website and television specials to expose themselves to the world. Do you honestly think they do those TV specials amd magazine spreads for free? They are making a profit off of exploiting their family while simultaneously straining to appear self-sufficient. That is nothing to be proud of imo.
They may not be on welfare, but the reality is that they ultimately cannot give every child the love and attention from Mom and Dad they are entitled to. Just the fact that the older kids are buddied up with the younger ones and expected to care for them on such a grand scale (since when is a 17-year-old a qualified teacher?) shows that the parents can’t do it all themselves and are turning their kids into mini mothers and nannies without their having a say, no matter how much they try to convince everyone of the contrary. They may be genuinely nice people and the kids may or may not complain, but they are living in la la land in terms of relating their family to the outside world. Honestly, I’m inclined to think that’s why the Duggars insist on all the kids being home-schooled: they don’t want their kids to know that people live differently than they do and that there are teens who aren’t expected to mother their siblings. If the Duggars are really so inclined to follow the word of God, one would think they’d heed to the words of Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Heather on

Ehh. I’m pro-choice. To me, that means people can make the choice to have 17 kids. Yeah, they may be straining natural resources but I’m guilty of occasionally throwing away a water bottle instead of recycling it and I run my air conditioning too low sometimes. Whatever, it’s not for me but I don’t care what they do. I do think that their kids don’t seem to have much socialization outside the family, though.

I do have a question though. Someone mentioned that their group shuns all contraception, including natural family planning. Does that include breastfeeding? Because breastfeeding delays ovulation in many women. I’m just wondering because of the spacing of her children. They’re really close together. Of course I don’t even know that she breastfeeds, but most conservative Christian groups do.

Hilde on

Why is being debt-free so special? I know lots of people who are debt-free. I’m quasi debt-free. Go me!

And, the Duggars ARE supported. Their home was declared a church, because they indeed hold religious meetings, the church pays for diapers and things like that. They receive money from those TLC documentaries. Neighbours help (they stated it themselves).

Hey, I’d be SO debt-free if I lived like that!

I’m sure they are well-adjusted, joy-filled, badly-clothed but still wonderfully-behaved children – none the less, Jim Bob and Michelle are terribly irresponsible.

melissa` on

being from montana i do enjoy the smaller population.. under a million and all this land!!! that is what agriculture does to ya!! cows and crops do take up a bit of the millions of acres though

as for the family… to each their own.. 4 is enuff for me and i love that mine are all healthy and happy, oh and i would like to add that we do enforce child labor laws in this house as well.. i expect help from my older kids with my younger kids…and GASP i also expect a bit of help around the house and the yard..

hope you all have a great day!!!enjoy the flowers and give the kiddos a hug or 2!

Lacey on

I would like to point something out to all the people who say that Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar cannot properly provide for their children or give them enough attention. Jim Bob and Michelle follow finance (based from the bible) program and have been able to save enough money to ensure that ALL their children can go to college as well as buy a new home, stock a pantry with food every month, and buy cars for the older kids. They do shop at thrift stores for the clothes, but I don’t see anyhting wrong with that. I shopped at thrift stores growning and still do. Some of my fav items are thrift store bought.

And as far as attention for each child goes. Michelle is really quite good at time & child management. She has great system where each older child takes one (or two) of the little children and help them with their chores, do their homework, and with their music lessons. Also Michelle manages each to end her work each night and have bible study with the kids and read two bedtime stories(boys in their rooms and girls in their’s).

I think she does a great job and she probably spends more time with her kids than a working parent. Let’s face it, family isn’t really top priority for most people nowadays. No offense to working mothers.

Deborah on

I have seen the show and let me tell you this family is more organized than any family I have see with 2 kids. The wife homeschools ALL of the children and they built their own home with the help of a friend who is a contractor and their kids.

Each child plays and instrument and has chores. Again you can’t say that for some lazy kids that sit on their butts and expect everything from their parents.

They do go out for dinners (although not often) and they go on family vacations.

And one more important piece of information THEY OWN NO MONEY TO ANYONE. Every thing they buy they pay cash. They have no mortgage, no car loan, no furniture debt. They have all the money set aside for the university/college education for each child.

I’m sure more than we can all say. The family is very business savy and they have bought properties, sold them and made alot of money.

I think if they want 50 kids as long as they can support them and not ask anyone for handouts then what is the problem. Hey there are people with 1 and 2 kids sitting on their butts waiting for the welfare cheque to come in and then their kids end up on it as well .. thinking it’s a right of passage.

I don’t care when they do.. these kids are well dressed, have manners, help their mother out and are respectful of their parents. I think in all the shows I say I NEVER once say a kids get out of line or back talk to them.

I think whatever they are doing they are doing it very good. We should all learn from them.

Hilary on

I find it incredibly wrong that these people continue to reproduce child after child when there are thousands of wating children in the United States alone, not to mention in 3rd world countries. A passion for a large family is fine to a point – everyone is entitled to their own lifestyle choices provided they don’t harm anyone else, but wouldn’t you think, being the *Christians* these people claim to be, that they would want to use that passion for family to do some good in this world? Try welcoming in a little one who otherwise wouldn’t be given many chances in life? Not that I think, at this point, a child would be much better off in that church, day care, parade, over crowded house, but the way they continue to reproduce child after child, not stopping to consider all that needy children, tells me they are selfish human beings who only think about themselves.

Ashley on

I may be able to answer the food question. I noticed the labels of the food they brought in when they were grocery shopping. The exact same products and labels are used at a low-cost grocery store called Aldi. They have them in Indiana, and I’ve seen one in Pennsylvania. I don’t know how many there are around the US, but we shop there occassionally when we’re a little short on money.

KARA! on

I absolutely love this family! They are gracious and honest enough to let cameras and media into their home.

They just seem so HAPPY. I can’t imagine what there is to criticize about this family! They are moral, cheerful, and hard workers. I love hearing about them and feel inspired by them.

Morgan on

Whats the big deal about the amount of children in this family? They arent on welfare or using state resources. Heck! They arent even going to public school! The size of there famil should be of no concern to anyone else buy them. They seem like a sweet, caring happy family with lots of love to give. They support themselves just fine so more power to them!

Pam on

I just feel bad for poor Jinger. There are so many beautiful J names for girls…but Jinger? What about Josie? Or Jade? Or Julia?

charlotte on

oh my goodness hilary, how judgmental!! they are selfish because they want to have biological children instead of adopting?! hello….the vast, vast, VAST majority of parents in the world the must be selfish in your eyes!

Marie Eldridge on

Congrats on the newest addition. My mom was born in the 1940′s and she has 12 sibilings. (1 died at birth). Your children are adorable.

Hilary on

I didn’t say all families who chose to have biological children are selfish..just the ones who choose to have an endless amount of biological children. Sheesh.

Annie on

Does anyone else think that 63 loads of laundry a week is a bit much? That’s 9 loads a day. For 18 people, each person would have to create an entire load every other day. I don’t see how that could be possibly be true.

Judy on

The name Johanna is pronounced Joe Hannah. All the children’s names start with the letter J.

I watched their shows on TLC. I was quite fascinated with watching the children help build their house. My kitchen needs remodeled and when my husband said that *we* can not do it ourselves I suggested we get the Dugger kids over here to help. (True Story)

IMO, they are a little too sheltered. I think the older kids should be able to get out on a regular basis and interact with kids their own age. They need to learn to relate to kids their own age who are not their relatives. It’s just my opinion. Everyone is free to raise their kids the way they choose.

Dee on

Just a note about the overpopulation thing. Governments in the west are actually trying to increase the number of babies that people have in developed countries. Overpopulation may be an issue but it is not a developed nation one.

millie on

Only in the Third World (no contraception, poverty) and in the US (religious and quasi-religious cults) could something like that happen. Their daughters are trained to be breeders like their mom, they’re not allowed to cut their hair or wear pants. I’m sure they’re told they won’t have any reproductive choice either. And everyone here is sooo excited about this family. Amazing.

Sentinel69 on

Phew…..5 is really enough for me…….

MommyX1 on

I absolutely disagree with the Duggars having this many children. I think it is irresponsible and ridiculous for many of the reasons that have already been discussed. But no one yet has mentioned Jim Bob and Michelle’s complete disregard for the safety of their children. I watched an show about them the other day, and they were going on a vacation. First off, if you cannot provide enough space and adequate equipment for each child to be properly restrained, you have no business taking them anywhere in a vehicle. As I watched them take their positions and begin their trip, I was absolutely appauled to see that only 5 of the kids were restrained at all. They were the ones in carseats. The others were moving and sitting freely about the RV as it was on the highway. I could not believe it. First off, not only is that illegal, but can you imagine if they were to get in an accident? They would likely be seriously injured or killed. Not to mention that the kids who were in carseats, were in dirty, ancient looking ones that were missing chest clips and the harnesses were completely twisted. And on top of that, they weren’t even facing the front, but to the side, including the infant seat which by law must be rear-facing. How on earth can parents with 16 children be so ignorant and uneducated about such an important topic?

Autumn on

I was talking to my cousin Lydia yesterday (who at 20 is second in a family of 7 kids herself) telling her about the Duggar family and their 17 kids, and her reaction was to hold her stomach and say “Oh no!” (She was even especially stricken with the fact that the Duggars’ oldest son was a year younger than herself!)

Personally, I think that although the amount of kids the Duggars’ have is their own choice, I think that they should allow their kids go off to explore the real world instead of just just being so insular all the time. (I remember reading in an article how the oldest kids were going to be pursuing degrees via correspondence courses alone!)

Anyway I hope that the Duggar kids themselves don’t end up having 17 kids each, or their really will be a population explosion!

Steffanie on

I would not choose to live thier lifestyle, but since they are not using government assistance, I’m a-ok with them having as many children as the want. Their choices do not affect my life or my children’s lives one bit. So even though, it’s not for my family, I say, more power to them!

seosinger on

If you read their website, it gives a profile of all of the children. They want to be nurses, firemen, missionaries, ect. I’m sure that when they grow up they will be giving back to the world far more than what they required from it as children. Far more than what most people give do now.

And as for the overpopulation, here is the opinion of Dr. Kent Hovind, a scientist,(he has a website) about the very subject, and from which I developed my statement. So much for “uneducated statement” Lauren. http://www.drdino.com/articles.php?spec=35

It seems that some people think that I’m just some midwest country bumpkin, who has never been outside of my comfy little box. The fact is, my parents were missionaries. I’ve LIVED in Africa, Chile, Germany, and Russia. I also went to China for two months one summer while in college. I restate myself, overpopulation should not even be an issue when discussing this family.

hoosierette2007 on

The Duggars follow a delusional preacher by the name of Bill Gothard. Check out his site billgothard.com and read his beliefs about child-rearing, marriage and “Christian” life. All of this comes from a never-married man who has a questionable past. He also touts home schooling which many right-winged fundamentalists adhere to.
The Duggars do annoy me more than other quiver full families, probably because they are pimping their lifestyle on TV for money and publicity. It bugs me. I admit it fully,
especially when you throw in their tax-exempt status. (I really do need to start worshiping Mighty Mouse and form my own home-based church so I too, can enjoy this little benefit) It just sickens me. They pimp themselves to a world that they don’t even approve of. How much more hypocritical can someone get?
I have a problem with a group of hypocrites who are pimping themselves on national TV…not only for the money because it is individual people’s choice to watch the show or not, and if people don’t want to watch, then they wouldn’t be on, but also the whole political aspirations of Jim Bob being furthered by this. So, it’s okay to appeal to the outside world of which they don’t approve, as long as it furthers their crazy aspirations? Either stick to the lifestyle and live it, or admit that they are a bunch of hypocrites. Other quiver full families don’t attempt to mainstream themselves. They know it’s their personal choice, don’t seek public approval, and just continue on.
I really have a problem with children raising children and taking care of the household, while mom sits around, cranking out the next one. I get NO impression that Michelle is a hands-on mother after those children hit 3mos. old. Once they hit that age she hands them off and starts working on the next one. It’s sick. The human body wasn’t made to handle it either. She’ll be dead by the time she’s 50, and her uterus will be gone long before then. It isn’t healthy, nor something to aspire to.
I equate teenaged girls doing all the caring for this family…laundry, cooking, caring for babies, etc.,……(while the boys run around playing)….. to abuse and neglect. What about these teenaged girls’ needs and desires? While I believe home schooling, done right, is a very good thing; the way these kids are being taught is an abomination.
They are receiving 1st grade level education which means they have no means of going out and making their own choices because they will never be able to survive in the “real world” with their limited education and lack of any marketable skills, which I also equate to neglect and abuse and also believe it has taken away their ability to choose another lifestyle for themselves. I do think it’s a form of brainwashing. By taking away the children’s freedoms, money, ability to make money, etc., (by not educating them properly), the parents effectively kill their children’s choices and abilities to choose another path (without considerable hardship, anyway)
I have no problem with the upholding of family values, customs, etc., but these kids choices are effectively their parents. They have no knowledge of life outside of their compound and their small circle of followers. And what they are being taught, even history wise, is grossly inaccurate. Their parents are doing them no favors at all.
Not to mention them being herded together like cattle in two bedrooms and bathrooms while their parents share a massive bedroom with all sorts of space and their own private bathroom……in a house where it is certainly feasible that they could have a little less of the sleeping on top of each other.
I also take issue with their tax-exempt status that they have achieved by labeling themselves and their home as a place of worship. And the subsidies they receive because of that status. So basically, it is my business how much energy they are using because I am subsidizing it…while I struggle to support my own three children.
Now if someone made the case that the Duggars are famewhores, I would join right on in. I’m suspicious of any family that needs to be on camera twice a year, especially since Jim Bob has political aspirations.
They are famewhores of a different type. They sell their family to the public, again, to subsidize their lifestyle and their little fundie church group. And to further Jim Bob’s career aspirations. A famewhore is a famewhore. Selling yourself and your family for any reason is disgusting. It isn’t any less disgusting for this ginormous family to do it. Also, it isn’t any less disgusting for them to do it to continue funding their own church.

Aileen on

To the ppl who are bashing ppl on government assistance..ok do you know how much your government shyts all over you working ppl!? I say, take advantage! Taxes, health care..all out of your pocket, so that some ppl who WANT children cant have them because they cant afford them. Thats immoral. Its obvious as humans we were made to reproduce! Its Gods gift, and some will never see that dream/miracle because of man-made laws! Thats bogus!

And to the ppl who say the world is overpopulated..do you KNOW how many abortions are performed each day, week, month, year..imagine if there were no such thing as abortion..there would be millions more ppl on this earth! Now thats alot, eh?

Char on

Well, I guess that settles it. Hilary is the arbiter of what constitutes an acceptable number of children. Better check with her before you have another one, to make sure it doesn’t fall under her definition of “endless amount”.

So much for “choice”, huh?

Southern girl on

Okay…I love this family. My husband and I have three children,and I have to admit, though we are not wealthy, it’s nothing for me to spend $100 on one outfit my 2 yr. old…In this world I think we get so caught up in the material possesions, myself included. As a Christian, I feel like it is not right, and I could be getting my children (and myself) much less and help feed starving children with the rest. After God, my family is first and they do get lots of love and attention, but like I said, we live in a material world and I hate getting so caught up in it. You ladies probably think I am nuts, but I have actually found myself feeling “jealous” of the Mennonite families I see in line at the grocery store. I picture how simple thier lives must be and think they are so disciplined…Lord knows those kids aren’t begging for toys and candy like mine are! Anyway, my point is, I think the Duggar parents are teaching thier children true Christian values and that is what matters, not how many children they actually have and it doesn’t matter if they have the latest designer denim and shoes…I think those kids truly love and care about each other and I imagine most, if not all, will become positive members in our society. In the Bible it doesn’t say you can only have “X” amount of children…so, if they want 27 kids, that is thier business, they aren’t asking anyone for help and are doing a real stand up job if you ask me. I say God Bless the Duggars!

sigh on

Ok, so I guess the “baby collection” screamers aren’t racist, they’re just anti-adoption? That’s so much better.

beth on

I am orignally from AR and have seen the Duggar family for years. I watched their kids play the violin trying to win votes for their dad and I’ve seen them all standing on street corners holding compaign sings.

I find them fasicnating and appaling at the same time. But the common question among my friends and I: “Which one is going to rebel”? haha. Our bets are on Jinger.

heather on

“To the ppl who are bashing ppl on government assistance..ok do you know how much your government shyts all over you working ppl!? I say, take advantage! Taxes, health care..all out of your pocket, so that some ppl who WANT children cant have them because they cant afford them. Thats immoral.”

- I sincerly hope that comment is a joke. I worked long hours through my pregnancy to put my husband through law school and make sure my kids have food and healthcare and anything else they need. My husband and I put ourselves through college. there have been times when we have had two job each. I didn’t go through all of that to help out people who think its MORAL to cheat the system. I worked hard for my family, and if you want one, then you need to work hard too. People who think like this must think that having kids is a cakewalk or something. Life doesn’t get any easier when you have kids, if you know you can’t handle it before you concieve, don’t go ahead and get pregnant and expect me to foot the bill!

Tammy on

I don’t care for this family, weird and more like a cult. The older kids have to raise the younger ones and have no life.

Natalie on

The problem with having 17 children is that no mom or dad can actually parent them all. The saddest part of watching that lovely documentary was the eldest children speaking so openly about not wanting big families as it seems they are already parents themselves. So sad to give up one’s childhood since your parents want to be selfish enough to always have a baby in the house. At some point, I hope they stop making babies and focus on loving and raising the children they have. You can tell there is a LOT of love in the family, but when is enough enough?

romie on

So let me get this straight, if Brad and Angelina decide to go the Duggars’ route and have a few more Shilohs they won’t be considered baby collectors but if they decide to adopt they are adding to the collection. Wow, that logic just blows my mind.

melanie on

I saw their tv show one time and I think Michelle is a wonderful mother. She’s so patient and loving. 17 kids, though?! Not for me.

Darcy on

I can’t believe some of the judgmental and intolerant (and also ignorant) comments that I am reading towards a family who seems to be one of the healthier families this nation has to offer. It seems like so many of you are looking for any reason you can find to criticize the Duggar family, and much of this criticism seems quite hypocritical.

For those who comment on the Duggars’ energy usage, especially regarding their laundry – I sincerely hope that you are doing everything YOU can do before you criticize others. If you have ever taken a long shower (one can get clean in just a couple minutes or less), left the light on when you weren’t in the room, turned on your air conditioning when it wasn’t needed, or drove less than a mile in a car when you could have just as easily walked… you should probably stop talking about this. Personally, I’ve done all of the above, and so I choose not to comment on others’ energy usage unless they are obviously being hypocritical in their own comments.

In regards to “child labor,” that is ridiculous. It is an attitude that is going to bring this country down, if we’re not careful. Where do you draw the line? I guess I shouldn’t ask my future children to wash the dishes, or vacuum, or do anything around the house. “They’re children, not in the workforce.” My gosh. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a future generation who thinks that life is all about them and they should only look out for themselves. The Duggar children are gaining a wealth of experience in how to care for children. And, contrary to what you may believe, I doubt that they are spending their entire life doing so.

And finally, about the question of whether the parents give their children all the love and attention they need. First of all, picking up your children from daycare to take them home and plop them in front of the TV while you wait for your spouse to pick up fast food so you can worry about your OWN needs does not translate into “love” and “attention.” There are many families with way less than 17 children who do next to nothing for their children, except buy stuff for them to make them happy. Jim Bob and Michelle’s lives are obviously dedicated totally to their children, so I have no doubts that they are providing for their children in every realm possible – physically, emotionally, mentally, even spiritually. I don’t believe the children would behave the way they do if they felt neglected by their parents.

Smileyme on

I don’t have any concern for her body, she wouldn’t keep getting pregnant if her body wasn’t able to handle it. From what I can tell none of her pregnancies have been high risk, she’s only had 2 c-sections, and all of her children are healthy. It seems her body is just fine.

Elizabeth… you think that they have 17 kids because they’re Christians? I really don’t think that that has anything to do with it… it’s just personal choice, or maybe the particular church they go to but not because they’re Christians.

keppa on

I have mixed feelings….mostly negative.

Yes, it’s wonderful that these children are all nice, kind, sweet, beautiful children. It’s nice when ANY children are like that, so I’m not sure why people are ga-ga over these children specifically….
Anyway, I do think that most of these children, especially the older ones, are probably subservient for their siblings. I don’t even really have a huge problem with that except for the fact that I don’t think children should have to be parents just because there’s too many children for the parents to do it alone.

Also, the 63 loads of laundry is in NO way environmentally ok. And if they do accept most things as hand-outs from others then they shouldn’t be praised for paying for everything in cash – because they really aren’t supporting their children solely by themseleves.

FINALLY….and here’s my main thing. If you are truly dumb enough to believe that there’s no such thing as overpopulation of this planet, then I am absolutely amazed. You should really go take a freshman level college course in Ecology and learn some facts before you talk out of your ass or quote some random Dr. I will never be able to understand the stupidity of the people on this planet.

Lauren on

“FINALLY….and here’s my main thing. If you are truly dumb enough to believe that there’s no such thing as overpopulation of this planet, then I am absolutely amazed. You should really go take a freshman level college course in Ecology and learn some facts before you talk out of your ass or quote some random Dr.”

Seriously. I learned about the basics of overpopulation in entry level Ecology. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that at the current rate we are depleting Earth’s natural resources, they will begin to disappear if we don’t change things. Apparently since my word isn’t enough to convince people, maybe National Georgraphic can do the job:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/eye/overpopulation/overpopulation.html

And if that still doesn’t convince you, seosinger, there are countless more websites and sources to counter your statement, not the least of which is a basic Ecology book.

Anna on

Darcy:
We’re not just talking about washing the dishes or vacuuming here though. This is taken from the family’s website:

“Each older child has a younger buddy or two that they help. “
[...]
“the older children help their buddies with their studies in phonics, math, violin & piano (J-O-Y- Jesus first, Others second, & Yourself last!).”
[...]
“Jill (age 15) prepares lunch & we all help cleanup.”
[...]
“Jana (Age 17) prepares dinner & everyone helps cleanup. We do another “quick clean” of the house after dinner & then have free time.”

http://www.duggarfamily.com/faq.html

Judging from the schedule, the kids don’t seem to get a lot of time for themselves…
Also, a 15-year-old has to prepare lunch for 18 people all on her own??

Angel on

I know the Duggar’s from way back. They are not what they seem. Everything that you see on TV is staged. Someone wanted to know who was gonna rebel. It has already happened.
Josh (the oldest) was caught molesting 4 of his 6 sisters plus a teenage friend of the family. They are not polite and well behaved. The act like wild animals and when they get in front of the camera they have been practing on how to act. They have no adult supervision at all. The older children care for the younger children while the parents are busy making another baby. They want to beat the Arkansas record. There is another family in Arkansas that has 16 children and they do not brag about it on TV or anywhere else.
The Grandma Duggar finds out that Michelle is pg again and immediately gets on the phone and calls the media. How’s that grab you.
They go on talk shows and do magazines articles for the money. Jim Bob himself has said that is the way that he supports his children. The love the public eye. They can’t understand that people make fun of them.
Josh confessed in church of his sins of prono, but the next day he was up to the same tricks. He finally confessed about his sisters after he was caught. Of course, Jim Bob and Michelle decided to protect him instead of the girls. Now I see a big problem with that. They have lied through their teeth about the whole situation and will continue to lie to get what they want and need. THEY ARE FRAUDS. FRAUDS I SAY. They need to be put away from the public eye and let them have as many children as she can carry. All she does is spit one out and hand it over to the older girls to raise. The older girls do all of the home schooling, laundry, cooking, cleaning while the so called parents are up stairs doing you know what. When they found that that Michelle was pg this time, the first thing that one of the girls said is “I’m glad that Mom is pg again so we can beat that other family”. Poor kids don’t know the difference. Of course Mary Duggar gets on the phone and announces to the world that #17 is one the way. The love offering pours in and the TV show’s keep on.
Back in December, they went to Chicago for 8 days to be on the Oprah show. Oprah found out about Josh’s dirty tricks and immediately stopped the show. It has nevered aired and never will. They did confirm this with Jim Bob and he had to tell the truth to Oprah. He was caught and he knew it. Like I said before, they are FRAUDS.I can believe that they still do interviews about their family. That’s how greety they are. They don’t work for a living. They live off of other people’s hard earned money.

Monaei on

Hooray for the Duggar family!! I have watched them on Discovery and am truly amazed at how loving, organized and disciplined that this family is. No easy feat! In today’s society we scream about people’s right to choose..but have the nerve to critize the choices the Duggars have made. Can we say HYPOCRITE?! I would rather a child be born to two loving parents who are debt free and will put a vested interest into the child than see yet another single teenage mother who is struggling to feed herself let alone a child.

L on

Ugh. These people again.

Do you know how many children in the world need families? If you have to have a giant family, at least do some good and adopt children with no parents.

I’ve seen some of these shows and I’m so sad for the girls. They are stuck doing all of the housework.

The older children all have a “buddy” to help throughout the day, meaning they basically are parenting the younger children. If they must continue to have children, they shouldn’t push them off on their older kids – that’s not their job.

Oh, and I believe I read that she stops nursing at 6 months so she can get pregnant again. They believe in having as many children as god wants to give them, but it seems like they must try to get pregnant. I’m not sure that anyone would get pregnant that often without trying.

Look at them! They’re all dressed exactly the same! Right down to their hairdos, the girls are alike and the boys are all alike.

I feel so sad for these kids!

Oh yeah, what they are is something called “quiverfull”. Having this many kids has everything to do with religion. They stopped using birth control because of religion, and then decided to have as many kids as possible because they think it is what god wants. Google quiverfull. Totally creepy.

Also, they follow Ezzo (Babywise) in their parenting. Meaning putting infants on sleeping and eating schedules from day 1, hitting babies if they crawl off a tiny blanket to teach discipline and other horrible things. Also google Ezzo. Also extremely scary.

Not to mention that, on her 15th pregnancy and having had 2 c-sections, her health is in danger. Her uterus could easily rupture. How irresponsible, that she could possibly leave 17 children motherless?

Irresponsible. That’s a good way to sum up how I feel about them.

God’s army. Fuh.

Donna on

The problem I have with this family is not that they have so many kids when they’re well provided for. Check out their website and Jim-Bob’s “Exhortation to other families.” He comes right out and says that all birth control is wrong and against God’s will, and that all families should be living this way. It’s fine that they want to have so many children – but don’t you dare “exhort” me what’s right for me and my family!!!

Heather on

L,
Thanks, that answers my question about breastfeeding as birth control. I’m sorry, but they’re full of crap. If they were really trying to “follow God’s plan” (and this is by no means bashing formula feeders!) she would breastfeed for at least a year. I don’t think formula feeding so that you can have as many babies as possible was God’s plan. You stop ovulating for a reason. So that you can naturally space your children.

And I agree about the Babywise thing. It seems incredibly unfair to make a newborn follow a schedule just because it’s more convenient for you.

Oh well though, as long as they love their children (it really seems they do) it’s none of my business how many they have and how they raise them.

Just trying to point out that they’re not really trying to please God by having so many children.

Annoynomus on

L- Why should we judge their choices? Obviously, adoption is not the right choice for THEIR family. As some other posters have said, the kids appear to be very happy and well cared for, so I’m sure that having to take care of their younger siblings is not having that much of a negative affect on them.
That said, if the Duggars HAD decided to adopt all their kids instead of having them, they’d probably be accused of being baby collectors, ala Brad and Angelina. It seems to me like the Druggars, like the Jolie-Pitts (in particular Angelina) can’t win no matter what they do.
Personally, I do think that 17 kids is an awful lot of kids for one couple to have, but that’s the Druggars’ choice, and I am not about to judge them or criticize them for it. Only they know what is best for their family, and besides, the amount of kids they have is THEIR business, not ours.

Annoynomus on

I also want to add that I am sure her doctors aren’t all that worried about her Uterus rupturing. From what I have heard, if doctors think a woman would be endangering her life by getting pregnant, they tell her so and advise her against getting pregnant. In fact, I think sometimes they tell them that they simply CAN’T get pregnant again because it would simply be too risky. Basically, we really have no idea what kind of shape Michelle is in. Only she, her family, and her doctors know for sure.

Sasha on

Oh. My. God. 17 children? While I have no doubt that all of their children are well provided, nourished, and loved, I do think that it is terribly irresponsible to reproduce like crazy.

So many people are saying, “Those kids are well-behaved and loved” or “They’re not on welfare” or “They could have 50 children! They’re all so well-behaved, it’s better than a teenager having kids she can’t provide for…” etc.

Look, we all know the kids are well-behaved and are taken care of. Especially now that the Duggar family has a deal with TLC, which should provide them with a pretty penny. And yes, this is America. Women have, and should have, the choice in how many children she has. No one here is saying that having 17 children should be outlawed. We’re saying it is irresponsible, and by plastering their family on national television and in print media, we the public should be able to voice our opinions.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but the world IS overpopulated. Just think about how many human beings the Duggars will eventually create. I assure you that if the children agree with their parents that birth control is wrong, which I’m pretty sure they do, since they seem to follow and believe everything their parents say, then can you imagine how many children each of them will produce?

Also, there is no way Michelle Duggar can possibly spend one on one time with each of her children as much as she should. There simply isn’t enough time in the day. Or the week. How is teaming each young child up with an older child a good thing? This may form close bonds between the siblings, and also teach responsibility, but it should not be used in substitution for a parent’s time and attention. Not to mention the fact that the older kids are probably deprived of socialization outside of their family because of their heavy responsibilities at home.

I know people will disagree, but I think it is important to have experiences with people your own age, that you are not related to, especially as a teenager. That means high school football games, dances, movies, dates, etc. It’s not like these kids will be damaged if they don’t get those type of experiences, but I think their social skills will be negatively affected. It saddens me to hear that the oldest children already plan to take only communication courses in college, which could further hinder their social skills.

I hope this child is their last.

Stacy on

To each their own. Personally I wouldn’t want this many children, but if they feel good doing this then so be it.

All I want to know is how the heck do they do it financially. I saw on one show that they paid cash for their house. I know they did all the building and stuff, but come on…7000 square feet had to cost them so money. Plus they put it a great kitchen and nice furniture!
We could learn a lot from a family like this.

Stacy

Natalie S. on

You all crack me up..you know really who cares how many children they have, as long as they take care of them and show them love..frankly who cares and apparently they’ve done a good job..hence all the kids. That’s just my opinion..so blah.

CeCe on

I really like this family but being pregnant for that long and that many times is crazy,but if she has no problem with it I don’ have one either.I wonder if they done are is she going to keep going so they can reach 20.If she keeps going to they have 20 she will 43 or 44 when she is done having babies.More power to ya.

heather on

“I also want to add that I am sure her doctors aren’t all that worried about her Uterus rupturing. From what I have heard, if doctors think a woman would be endangering her life by getting pregnant, they tell her so and advise her against getting pregnant. In fact, I think sometimes they tell them that they simply CAN’T get pregnant again because it would simply be too risky.”

- a million bucks says that if a doctor told her this, she would say that it was god’s will and get pregnant again anyway.

movebyleap on

Well, I’m speechless – except for one thing: how annoying must it be to have 17 kids whose names all start with the letter J?

seosinger on

Keppa, I guess you didn’t read the rules about nasty comments. I certainly don’t want to come on here and read that smut.

Now, to refute a couple of statements, from the point of an International Issues major and Scientific Ecology minor, leading scientists have been wrong before (they used to think the world was flat..haha), and National Geographic has printed false information so that the scientists submitting the information won’t look like fools (I’m assuming). There are many, many websites and scientist who agree with my opinion (that there are parts of the world with population problems, but not the world as a whole). For goodness sake, the AIDS crisis is decreasing the population of Africa by thousands each month! Sad situation (we should be more concerned about things like that than with judging a family whose children certainly won’t be contributing to the spread of STD’s). So, again, I restate my position, that this should not even be an issue.

Diana on

I think it is absolutely RIDICUOLOUS for someone to say that people that criticize Angelina and Brad are RACIST, I swear some people just love calling racism FOR EVERYTHING. I don’t care if someone has biological or adopted kids, I just think that its unfair to the kids to have them so close together.

I definitely feel this way about this family, (Just like I do about Angelina and Brad, although I think this family is much much worse, but I CAN see Angelina and Brad doing the SAME thing with the rate they are going)

I definitely would see it as much worse if someone could not afford to take care of their children.
The only thing that upsets me about parents having this many kids is that it just seems so unfair to the kids, the parents can not possibly give all 17 kids the attention they need, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

To the person that said take advantage of welfare because the government takes advantage, I sincerely HOPE you are kidding. I don’t care what the reason I personally do not believe that you should have a child that someone else should have to support. I plan to have 2 kids, I have thought that I would like 3, but have decided that it is probably not the best financially (even though we could still support them) I don’t understand the thinking that someone else should be responsible for paying for YOUR choices.

Ashley P. on

While they children do “seem” well-adjusted, I think it’s because it’s all they’ve ever known. What happens when they’re in the “real world” and realized all they’ve missed in life because they were homeschooled and had to take care of babies all their lives? I’m not saying homeschooling is bad, but children need social interaction other than their family (i.e. sports or dance) and it doesn’t seem like this family has that.

That’s great that they can afford their children, but I don’t think that a one-room, dorm-style bedroom is healthy for all the children to be together. All children, after a certain age, need their privacy.

Kelli on

I admire this family for the simple fact that they are 100% debt free with so many children. From the television shows I have seen featuring them; the kids are VERY well adjusted. They do get time to play and be kids. The family takes trips together (that must be fun). They seem like a very normal family; aside from the fact they have so many children.
I do not think it is anyone’s place to say they have “too many kids”. And I am sorry but the overcrowding comments are just ridiculous. These comments just make me think of China, last time I checked, they do live in the United States and can have as many children as they would like. At least they can take care of them; they are not relying on welfare or other forms of public assistance. They are raising their family on their own. Granted, I am sure that the TLC shows helped them somewhat.
My main point is just that this family seems very well adjusted and happy. I wish that people would stop the ugly comments and just let them live their life; they are not doing anything illegal.

kate on

For those of you who are concerned about overpopulation, you’ll be glad that China’s policy of forced abortions and sterilizations should more than make up for the Duggar’s 17. By about, oh, a few million?

Kelli on

Let me just add that it is SO annoying to read the comments that this family is “selfish” because they are having biological children instead of adopting. I seriously doubt that any country would even ALLOW them to adopt because of how many children they already have. And how in the world would it be better if they adopted??? It would still be another person in their household; more energy (as people have pointed out). No difference at all. I think that sometimes people just want to pick and find the negative aspect to any situation. If they did adopt, people would still be complaining about them over something.

Christine on

My dad has ten sisiters and four brothers, and I have three sisiters and three brothers. My son is two and we are expecting our next baby in another month. My husband has one sister and four brothers. He tells me he wants to have five children before he is thirty (we are 22 and 24) and my response is always “what if I get pregnant a sixth time?” There is nothing wrong with people who decide to have a large family. Somebodies got to pay for social security:)
There is nothing wrong with people who decide not to have kids. Its a personal choice.
I have an idea, lets pick someone from this list and let them decide for EVERYONE how a family should be “run” I’m sure that one way to live would be really fitting for everyone, regardless of personal choices, experiences, personality and all that. Umm, Hello….Communism anyone?

Aileen on

Heather my comment was not a joke. You are working hard I bet..and in the meantime while your at work doing work for SOMEONE else, your kids are missing their mom, time with their mom, and probably with someone else..who is raising them? I miss the old days when the dad provided for his family and mom raised them. Now because of “man-made” laws, children are the ones suffering! Thats why crime is so high, and has been rising over the past century. Mankind will be its own Armageddon. We will destroy each other. How many ppl have to die over money? I dont care about material things, or cheating the system. The “system” wont go with me to Heaven when I die. The “system” doesnt care about anybody. The government, the president, congress, judges..nobody cares about anybody cept themselves and their own families. The “system” doesnt know I exist, nor ever will, let alone them actually care what happens to me and my family.

TwinMom on

I don’t have strong views either way on this subject. If the family can handle that many kids, good for them.

I have my 6-year-old boy/girl twins and I would LOVE to have one more baby, but then after a year’s mat leave, there’s full-time daycare costs, not to mention the cost of diapers, clothes, etc., one more mouth to feed and one more kid to put through university someday.

I don’t think I could keep up with 17 kids. I have trouble managing all the activities of my two!

Stina on

I think every one of their kids arer super cute. And I think they are great parents. Had they been doing this 60 years ago, no one would have a problem with the number of kids they are having. But now its a problem. Blah! A family is ment to take care of eachother, and help eachother. To grow and learn together. And thats what they are doing. Good for them! Kids area a blessing! Good luck to them!!!

Honey on

For the people who say there is no overpopulation problem, and that there is lots of free space here in the US, I ask you: Would you let people from all the overpopulated parts of the world which can’t feed their growing population to migrate to the US? I bet not.

Anna on

My main problem with the way these parents handle things is that they seem to put way too much responsibility on their (older) children. As Michelle Duggar explains on their website, the older kids are “buddied” up with one or even two of their siblings. This means they have to make sure their “buddies” wash, brush their teeth, get dressed, etc. and they have to look after their schoolwork / teach them. This is of course in addition to household chores (two of the older girls do the cooking).
Yes, the parents have made a decision to have a large family, but they didn’t ask their children whether they basically wanted to be parents at 15 or 16.

http://www.duggarfamily.com/faq.html

Scarlett B. on

I would like to have a big family but when I say big I mean like 4 kids. Haha! If they are happy that is wonderful but goodness..that cannot be good for you. Growing up I was friends with one of the youngest of 10 children and the mother had to stop because her body couldn’t do it anymore. 17 children really is amazing but it’s kind of freak show. Know what I mean? The older children in the family of 10 were really embarrassed and resented their parents. Every baseball season it seemed she was pregnant again and they hated that. Their friends made fun.

FC on

133 months of pregnancy? That’s about 124 months, 10 plus years too long for me. 63 loads of laundry? Sheesh!

But besides that, I don’t agree with their views on no birth control, etc., or a few other things, but that’s not for me to agree with. I just wonder when the kids get to have some free time to themselves. Between the older kids taking care of the younger ones, the girls cooking/cleaning, playing violin and piano. (Couldn’t they choose if they wanted to play either, maybe something different?) I just want to know when they get to let loose and have fun once in a while. I just feel like the kids never asked for their parents to rely on them for so much, or for them to have so many children that’d need the children to help them basically co-parent. It’s no wonder the children are already voicing how they don’t want big families of their own. I don’t blame them!

Yes, they have a tight, well-oiled ship and structured lives as far as their family and household goes, but even the best ones have some kinks in there from time to time.

I just can’t imagine living in a family like that. *shrugs* More power to them for making it work the way they have, but I’m just…yeah…

Jessie on

WOW!! If they can make it work for them, more power to them. Who are we to judge them. We don’t live their life, raise their kids, take care of the family. They have every right to do what they want, just like all of you!

L on

Quote:
“Let me just add that it is SO annoying to read the comments that this family is “selfish” because they are having biological children instead of adopting. I seriously doubt that any country would even ALLOW them to adopt because of how many children they already have. And how in the world would it be better if they adopted??? It would still be another person in their household; more energy (as people have pointed out). No difference at all. I think that sometimes people just want to pick and find the negative aspect to any situation. If they did adopt, people would still be complaining about them over something.
Posted by: Kelli at Jun 11, 2007 11:59:36 AM”

KELLI! hello! “It would still be another person in their household”. Ummm, if they adopted a child instead of continuing to reproduce, it would add to their family but wouldn’t add to the world population.

Children in need of adopting already exist (I can’t believe I have to explain this)… so they’re already out there using energy and resources, albeit parentless.

You’re right that no country would let them adopt since they already have so many. Because, hmm… they wouldn’t be able to give each child all the time and attention they need and deserve?

Wait a minute… wouldn’t it follow then that they can’t give each bio child all the time and attention they need and deserve? Wow!

I suppose I should state here that I’m all for woman’s choice. To have children or not to have children. To have one or… seventeen? (Yes, I believe it is her right, but also so irresponsible.)

But the most fundamental thing that bothers me about this family is this: it is not Michelle’s choice. She is dictated by god to have as many kids as possible. Based on an extreme religious movement, which itself is based on some super faulty logic. They are raising their children, indoctrinating them, that they have no choice. That what god wants is for them to NOT choose, to let it happen and “receive” as many children as god wants.

Am I being super judgemental? Yes.

(You will also notice that I made no apology for it.)

S on

Well, since the world is so vastly overpopulated then maybe we should all stop having kids altogether. In fact, lets shoot for worldwide sterilization, at birth even, that way we never have to worry about overpopulation again. Better yet, we’ll hand pick the people who get to reproduce, everyone else gets sterilized.

I mean, seriously, there are worse things in this world then a family having 17 well-behaved, loving, intellegent, moral children. Get over yourselves already. It’s not “WRONG” just because you don’t agree with it. If you claim to be “pro-choice” then be pro-choice. That means any choice, the choice to not have a child, or the choice to have as many as you want.

Char on

“If you claim to be “pro-choice” then be pro-choice. That means any choice, the choice to not have a child, or the choice to have as many as you want.”

But see, that doesn’t work for people like “L”. If someone wants to abort an unborn child, then we must honor them and their choices, and it is a mortal sin to judge that choice for any reason. But OTHER choices, like the choice to have as many children as we want, are subject to scrutiny by people like “L”, who have declared themselves the moral arbiter of reproductive choice and what “choices” are acceptable are not.

I hope you are childless, L, and plan to remain that way forever. Otherwise you are an utter hypocrite. And I certainly would never suggest that anyone off themselves, but if you are so overly concerned about the strain on the planet’s resources, why are YOU still here? There’s nothing that gives you any more rights to live than any of the Duggar children.

lola on

I believe that it is socially irresponsible to have so many children. While it is great that they are a loving and close family, the levels of consumption for this one family is outrageous. With all the concerns of global overpopulation, global warming, etc., having so many kids is really quite selfish. JMO

Sasha on

“I hope you are childless, L, and plan to remain that way forever. Otherwise you are an utter hypocrite. And I certainly would never suggest that anyone off themselves, but if you are so overly concerned about the strain on the planet’s resources, why are YOU still here? There’s nothing that gives you any more rights to live than any of the Duggar children.”

Char, even though your comment is not directed toward me, I find it to be very rude and inappropriate.

“L” was weighing in her opinion, the same that you and everyone else is doing. At no time did she claim to be the “moral arbiter of reproductive choice”. She was not saying that she had more of a right to live than the Duggar children, like you implied.

It’s sad that adults do not even know how to have a debate. People always take things too personally and they don’t understand the difference between a disagreement of opinions and personal attacks.

Lauren on

“if you are so overly concerned about the strain on the planet’s resources, why are YOU still here?”

Alright, I’m all for letting people have their say and don’t typically run to the mods saying a post is out of line. That said, call me crazy, but wouldn’t suggesting that another poster commit suicide fall into the “nasty comments” category? That was undoubtedly the nastiest, most out of line comment I have ever seen posted on this site. I am stunned and disappointed that it even went through.

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