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The Duggars -- Nineteen and Counting?!

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Guest blogger Christina Montoya Fiedler: You know those dramatic double takes that people do in the movies? Well, I may have actually done one when I was in the grocery store last week and saw a headline announcing that the Duggars are open to -- and considering -- having yet another child.

duggar family expecting 19th child
The whole thing is making me ask, "When is enough ... enough?" And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Let me first say, hats off to Michelle Duggar. She's an incredible woman, and most people couldn't do half of what she does in one day. I know I can't.

But consider this: The Duggars' nineteenth baby, Josie, was born prematurely and spent weeks in the hospital before she was able to go home and join her eighteen brothers and sisters. On top of that, she had a perforated bowel and digestive problems that threatened her life. At that point, most of America thought the Duggars would call it quits on their baby-making days. Not so.

Both parents are in their mid-to-late 40s. When Josie is 20, they will be in their late 60s. Sad to think, but they probably won't live to see many of their grandchildren, or be fit enough to wrestle around with their kids on the playground without some serious aches and pains. Is it even possible to attend emotionally to that many kids and give them the attention that each one needs as a unique individual? Most of us have trouble doing so with just one or two kids.
Image what it's like with nineteen ... or twenty.

And what about the social implications? "People think we are overpopulating the world," said Jim Bob in a recent issue of People Magazine. "We are following our convictions." Point well taken, Jim Bob, but is it fair to the children -- and to your wife, who stands to have another bout of preeclampsia and risk having a fatal stroke? What would you do as a single father of 20?

Yes, the Duggars might "want" to have more kids, but what will the quality of life be like for that twentieth child? Help me out here, moms. What do you think about the fact that the Duggars are openly trying for baby number 20?


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50 comments so far | Post a comment now
Matt September 14, 2010, 3:53 AM

We should take Michelle Duggar’s vagina and fill it with cement.

Leah September 14, 2010, 5:20 AM

Well when you just pop out babies and don’t actually raise them like Michelle Duggar you can have 30 and it wouldn’t be any more work for her. Her enslaved daughters, the REAL mothers, on the hand should probably be asked if they feel like raising anymore babies. SO sad -they are like showing off their child abuse.

cyndi September 14, 2010, 5:57 AM

The above two comments are offensive to me. While I myself question the wisdom of having another child in their case, they aren’t asking anyone else to support them. They also have some really great kids, so I don’t see that as a problem. This is still America, and they can have 50 if they want them—and it seems that they do. Would that all children were as wanted and well cared for as the Duggar kids!

Gwen September 14, 2010, 6:21 AM

Wow, everybody mind your own business. This is no different than someone wagging a finger at someone with one child and saying, “You’re not having any more?! Don’t you know only children are spoiled? You need to give her a brother or sister!” What’s it to YOU how many kids another woman has. And another point I always want to make: why is it SO shocking to hear that someone with 19 wants more?? “When is enough enough?” you say. From my perspective, once you have, like, 6, what’s another one? And another? Is 20 THAT much different than 19? Weren’t you the same people who were SO shocked when the Duggars had #16?

Edie September 14, 2010, 6:44 AM

I say as long as their supporting themselves, and are financially responsibe, leave them alone. They can have all the kids they want.

kait September 14, 2010, 7:00 AM

first of all, before you write an article about them maybe you should do a little research. they aren’t in their mid to late 40’s. Jim Bob is 46, Michelle is 44. That to me is early-to-mid 40’s. That means when Josie is 20, Michelle will be 64 and Jim Bob will be 66.
Now, if you are willing to give Michelle Duggar control of your uterus, since you seem to want control of hers, by all means, judge away.

mamabear September 14, 2010, 7:10 AM

all i say is its there life, if they want more so be it. from what i have seen they are a wonderful family, heck i wish i could do half the things they can do. it may seem crazy to push out so many kids but that is not up to us to say enough is enough. i find it amazing how well all her kids are health wise and how caring all her kids are with other people. their family is so full of love and faith. lets stop looking at how many kids they have or want to have and learn to treat others they way they treat others. some of you could learn a thing or 2 from this family!!

Amy September 14, 2010, 7:18 AM

they kinda make me sick. they don’t learn… when your babies come earlier and earlier and have to be in NICU cuz they are months and months early your body is telling you that 19 is enough!!! step off the baby train and just enjoy the kids and grandkid you have

Anonymous September 14, 2010, 7:22 AM

Nobody can really raise children completely on their own. When there are that many, you’re definitely going to need help doing the work and paying the bills. The Duggars seem to manage financially by making their kids live their lives on TV for our entertainment. They also must have had lots of help paying for the health care of their premature babies and Mrs. Duggar’s time in the hospital.

jenny September 14, 2010, 7:34 AM

Although I do agree with some of your concerns, I also know that Michelle will only have another one if her doctors think it is healthy for her and if God sees fit. I think the fact that they live by God’s expectations and not the worlds expectations really throws people off. However, God is providing them with what they need to care for these children then they are blessed. Every family has to do what is best for them and what they believe in.

Laura Lybrand September 14, 2010, 7:35 AM

Cyndi and Mamabear - Amen to you. If all children turned out as smart, self-confident, self-disciplined as the Duggar children our school/crime problems would disappear. May each of the Duggar children be as wonderful parents as their own and May God continue to bless this terrific family!

Laura Lybrand September 14, 2010, 7:36 AM

Cyndi and Mamabear - Amen to you. If all children turned out as smart, self-confident, self-disciplined as the Duggar children our school/crime problems would disappear. May each of the Duggar children be as wonderful parents as their own and May God continue to bless this terrific family!

Jonathan September 14, 2010, 7:41 AM

The Duggars just happened to have three older girls who have taken on the role of mothers/nannies. I wonder what Michelle and Jim Bob’s life would have been like if they had had older boys instead? Would they be so ready to have as many children as possible if they’d not had these girls to take on the parenting role?

Anonymous September 14, 2010, 7:51 AM

Would that all children were as wanted and well cared for as the Duggar kids!

Apparently that poster is about slave labor and having children raised by their siblings. The Duggars are a cult!

Julia September 14, 2010, 7:53 AM

heck i wish i could do half the things they can do

If you pimp out your kids for money and have your daughters raise all your babies, clean your house, educate your kids while you just pop out more babies you could do all the stuff they do.

They are the BIGGEST hypocrites -they talk about the evils of television and yet that’s how they make their living.

Ana September 14, 2010, 7:58 AM

“If all children turned out as smart, self-confident, self-disciplined”

Sorry, but those kids are about as dumb as bricks - have you ever heard them speak?

And as for discipline, brainwashing will do that to you - they have no thoughts or opinions of their own. And the rhetoric they reiterate from their parents they have zero understanding of what it actually means.

The girls are just their to raise the children and clean the house until they are sold off to a husband where they will make more babies and clean a new house. It is comparable to child abuse.

Alana September 14, 2010, 8:22 AM

First off, I commend the Duggars!! They’re really nice people and have great kids. I’d actually like to meet them, they seem so welcoming.
With that said, I’m worried about Michelle’s & the next baby(babies’) health! I mean, her last one as everyone has mentioned had problems and came way too early. Being a mother myself, I honestly don’t know what I would do if one of my babies were early & had health issues. I’d want to enjoy them when we were able to being them home, not think about/try for another baby!
To each his own though. Let them do what they want. I think everyone can agree that we’d be more worried about the health instead of who raises the kids, their finances, etc. It’s not about that people! Can her body do it, carry any more babies? I hope her doctors tell her no more… I wouldn’t want to read about them actually losing a baby, that’d be way too heartbreaking.

K8 September 14, 2010, 8:32 AM

Well, statistically speaking, at least 4 or 5 of their kids will be gay.

Either way, my heart goes out to those kids…they don’t have a “mother” at all.

KS September 14, 2010, 9:13 AM

Although *I* would not make the same choices as the duggars have I don’t believe any of us can condemn these people without knowing much more than what we see on tv.
While I don’t agree with the amount of work the older children seem to be doing the flip side of that is the strong work ethic all of these children have when helping others during church missions. The helping spirit they all seem to have is one we need more not less of in this world.
Your article is a tad biased and not very informative though. Just because a woman has preeclampsia with one pregnancy does not mean she will then have preeclampsia with subsequent pregnancies. You can not condemn them based on having one premie. That is unfair, as is many of the comments posted here.
I may not agree with some of their parenting choices but at least the duggars are making choices. We would do better to actually condemn people who are doing things such as beating their children to death or condemning the child welfare system who allows abuses to happen over and over again. Having a large family is not abuse.

mbuzny@hotmail.com September 14, 2010, 10:27 AM

check out the new book coming out
20 and counting, on sale no


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