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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?


next: Help Your Kids Say No to Drugs
50 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bukika Holmes September 14, 2010, 12:17 PM

The root of the problem is that most people live by the standards of the world instead of God’s word. As a result, most people cannot comprehend their actions. The word of God says to be fruitful and multiply not stop at your convenience. God opens and closes the womb so He determines each life. He knows what each life needs and because He owns and knows all, He is not confined by the lack of resources and economy on earth. He is the source of everything so their is no need to worry about what will be eaten or drank because He knows what is needed and when. Too many of our youth are slothful so doing some chores will only give them a sense of responsibility and accountability. God does not need your help with determining the amount of children the Duggars have nor how they will take care of them. It was already written and determined long before the earth began. Our part is to encourage, pray, trust and obey what is commanded. His job is to provide, guide and protect. Let’s everyone stay within our responsibilities and the world will flow much better.

Give me a break September 14, 2010, 12:23 PM

Look at your facts, please. The line “she stands to have another bout of pre-eclampsia”… ACTUALLY many mothers have pre-eclampsia during their FIRST pregnancy and have healthy pregnancies after that. While she will be more prone to developing the condition again, she is not “for sure” going to develop it. AND if you look at her past pregnancies she developed pre-eclampsia with the first set of twins (WHAT?!?!?!) and had 14, yes I did the math, 14 healthy pregnancies after that (one of which was a twin pregnancy which also makes you more prone to develop pre-eclampsia)! I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to your opinion about how many kids they have and whether or not you think they should have more kids. You just need to make your comments about this family based on fact. No, I don’t believe she should have more because (as you said) they are going to be really old and wont get to see all of their grandkids. However, just because Josie had problems and Michelle had a difficult pregnancy doesn’t mean she is guaranteed to have problems again. With my first pregnancy, my kidneys shut down and they had to do an emergency c-section. My little girl’s intestines were twisted and she has had to have multiple surgeries. When I got pregnant the second time people made horrible comments (like the ones made here and on other websites about this family) saying that I was bound to have the same problems and I should not be allowed to have more because it would kill me and the baby. Hmmm… he is 2 now and I had no problems with that pregnancy and he had no problems after birth. My mother was told, after my brother was born with a cleft palate, that she shouldn’t have any more kids because the next would have worse “deformations”. I have no health problems other than pretty bad eyesight (which most Americans have). I’m not comparing my mother’s 2 pregnancies and my 2 (so far) to Mrs. Duggar’s 17… However, I wanted to point out that just because she had problems with one pregnancy doesn’t mean she will have problems again. As for “they are overpopulating the earth” at least they don’t rely on government help, like most American families who only have 1 or 2 children. Their kids are very well mannered so I say populate the earth Duggars!!! We need more well mannered people in the world!

Pamala September 14, 2010, 1:24 PM

I’m more concerned for her health. This last time she had some serious issues, which is why the baby had to be born so early. To me it’s a risk. Not only to herself but to the child she will be carrying. I know they leave things up to God, but God was wonderful and provided us with birth control options. I mean seriously what part of your child being seriously ill and you potentially dying screams that God wants you to have another child?

This only difference this time which may make it so that she won’t have an issue is she has waited longer than is typical to try again. Typically she would have been pregnant by the time the little one was 3 months old. She hasn’t done that. So she may have actually given herself some time to recover.

I’ve always thought she was a bit insane to not let herself recover. But whatever. Like someone said, her older daughters take care of the children, so if she were in fact to die from pregnancy at least they have the older ones around.

D. September 14, 2010, 1:35 PM

It is their bussiness what they do. Not ours……… No matter how many children they have it is no ones bussiness but their own. Would you want it to become a practice for the American govermant or society for that matter to decide how many children You should be allowed to have?

Emily September 14, 2010, 2:08 PM

First of all, the Duggars never said they are TRYING for another baby, they simply said they would welcome one, if it happened. Second, the Duggar children seem to be well-mannered, faithful individuals with strong values and morals. Brainwashed? No, I call that integrity. Most kids these days are brainwashed. Society brainwashes our kids about what to wear, how act and talk, and what to believe. Our children are becoming weak and are sometimes lost in the sea of confusion in America now.I am only 21 years old and graduated from the Public School system not long ago and I am appalled at modern youth. Most young people these days spend their time watching inappropriate television, texting who knows what, and thinking about sex, drugs, and alcohol, instead of focusing on education, being active in their community, or building a work ethic. I see many more disrespectful, lazy, spoiled, whiney kids these days than polite ones. I wish more parents disciplined their children and instilled lifelong values in them, like the Duggars have. Honestly, I feel we should only try for as many children as we can financially, physically, and emotionally care for, but God truly has provided for their family so, perhaps their strong faith has paid off. I don’t agree with trying for more and more, but if it happens, who are we to judge? They are probably more thrifty and frugal than any of us, and I bet they contribute more to the world than many dead beat single children out there. I am inspired by their unwavering faith and hope in rough times. I am still young, comparatively, to most of you, but I am NEVER sending my daughter to Public Schools, in an attempt to spare her of some of this “brainwashing” that happens nowadays.

SML September 14, 2010, 3:24 PM

Say what you will about the Duggars; after all everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I’m not into having 19 children myself but have no problem with what they’re doing. I’m also not super religious but I can understand their personal convictions and why they choose not to use birth control.
If those kids were abused, if they were poor and living off everyone else then I would take issue but that just isn’t the case. Their kids are educated, polite, have a good sense of humility and compassion for others. They are caring and work together so well as a team. They respect each other and their parents.The older girls enjoy their siblings and the roll they have in their lives as roll models.
As a parent I am in awe at what a well adjusted family they are and so in my curiosity read their book. Turns out they have been supporting themselves long before TLC showed up by being careful and smart with their financial choices. To never have taken out a loan and to have such a large and prosperous family before TLC is very admirable!
Yes they are against TV in their own home and who can blame them? Turn on the tv and just see what kinds of things our kids are exposed to these days such as sex, violence and and just people behaving badly in general. It’s refreshing to see a show like the Duggars and feel that not all kids need to grow up watching tv. They do the TLC because they believe that it’s a way for them to get out the message about how God plays a positive role in their lives.
Currently I’m watching Party Mamas on tv and am appalled at the attitude and disrespect of this couples only child who is about to get a 25,000 birthday bash. She won’t grow up to be a very good adult or citizen. She will be selfish, greedy and entitled…just what we need more of in this world.
Seriously to all the Duggar haters, look around in the world. There are babies left in garbage bags, children left tied to a crib for days while their mother is out doing crack, teens who started having sex before they were even teens. Look around, I really don’t think they are raising a horrible family full of resentful abused mistreated and neglected kids.

XXXX September 14, 2010, 3:27 PM

They look like a bunch of robots.

SS September 14, 2010, 4:59 PM

It bothers me when people say that it’s ok since they are financially independent. I don’t think that should be the deciding factor. There’s no way any two parents have enough hours in the day to give the necessary time and attention to this many children (note: I didn’t say they don’t have the capacity to love this many kids, they do, just that each child requires more time than they have no matter how hard they try).

I don’t believe that just because you can get pregnant that God wants you to. Lots of teenager girls could get pregnant but should they? I would have taken that last pregnancy as a sign from God that enough is enough. Michelle will not only be risking the next child’s life if she gets pregnant again but she’ll be risking her own. Leaving all those children motherless would be such a waste.

These parents seem like loving people and the kids seem well-adjusted. I do object to the “buddy system” where older children look after the younger ones so much. I think being a teenager is hard enough. Having to be a parent, too, isn’t fair in my opinion.

To me it’s not an age issue but a health issue. For that reason I hope she does not get pregnant again.

Kathy September 14, 2010, 8:03 PM

I just wonder if they are seriously considering the risk that they face with being in their forties and already having one premature baby due to Michelle’s preclampsia if it is truly wise for her to get pregnant again, the risk to herself and the baby is pretty great and I would hate for something to happen to Michelle because what would happen to her 19 kids.

caroline September 15, 2010, 2:32 AM

I think 19’s too many, but if the only reasons are that they’ll be in their 60s when Josie’s 20 and the mother passes off the kids to others to raise- then there’s a whole lot of older moms out are doing the same thing only without 19 kids. I know plenty of women who are trying to conceive after 40 (mainly using IVF) and have no intentions of staying home with the kids, but passing them off to daycare, nannies, babysitters.

At least the Duggars are involved with their kids. I know far too many women who will not let parenting get in the way of their careers.

gg September 15, 2010, 3:07 AM

Do people have nothing better to do then worry about the Duggar’s! Look in the mirror and fix your own life before you criticize them about their choices and beliefs. Knowing the Duggar children are “our future” is certainly much more comforting then the bratty, spoiled Gosselin kids or welfare, mentally challenged Suleman kids. At least the tax payer is not paying for the Duggar children nor are the children being raised by Nannies or grandparents!

Anonymous September 15, 2010, 3:13 AM

Small minds discuss people. Great mind discuss ideas!

Mary September 16, 2010, 7:54 PM

I may be wrong, but Jim Bob held some sort of state office, didn’t he? So isn’t their health care paid for by the state now? I doubt they have private insurance that they just purchased and pay for on their own every month. They do not own THAT much commercial real estate. So, the tax payers pay for the health care and whatever other benefits he receives from the position he once held. Every one of those kids receives a paycheck from TLC, as well as Grandma & Cousin Amy. Oh, and don’t forget that other family and their 10+ kids as well.

Steph September 18, 2010, 4:35 PM

I don’t really care about Michelle’s health, the family’s financial situation, etc. What bothers me is that it’s the oldest girls who are essentially raising the kids. Michelle has said the babies are “hers” for the first year, then (presumably upon weaning) they’re “partnered” with an older sibling. Who is then responsible for the day to day responsibilities of the younger one.

So really, Michelle’s just having the babies. The older kids are the ones raising them.

Me September 19, 2010, 2:01 PM

Ana - Before you say someone else is “about as dumb as bricks”, maybe you should take some grammar lessons and learn the difference between “their”, “there” and “they’re”. :)

REALMOM September 20, 2010, 7:57 AM

I luv this family. They have well behaved children and they shop resale to use up the waste we all leave behind. they make there own soap and they are homeschooled. I mean the people who speak really mean things and pass judgement on the duggars are just jealous of them. How could you hate this family. they don’t have any problem children that’s reeking havoc onto the community and they are teaching their children to be caring, loving and helpful. We need so many more of these parents.

Anonymous September 21, 2010, 7:56 AM

Obviously “ME” is a loser

G September 21, 2010, 6:05 PM

They do it for the attention, and it’s really disgusting that the Duggars act like women are on earth to have 20+ kids. They are really selfish and delusional to start.

And the older kids seem to do all the work raising their siblings, and that’s wrong, no matter how many people want to make excuses for it. I don’t watch TLC because they are giving them money and enabling this.

GM September 21, 2010, 6:08 PM

Laura how would crime “disappear” if everyone was like them? You don’t think their children are going to have problems down the road? They certainly will have a lot of problems, starting with if you have 18 siblings you get very little one on one time with your parents, not to mention the older kids are already “parents” and do nearly all of the raising. Ridiculous.

JMH September 22, 2010, 11:46 PM

I cannot believe the amount of people on this site that hate the Duggars. The only reason that I can even come up with is the world is so rooted in evil that they cannot stand to see good. I can’t understand how people can put down a family that loves one another, loves God, is compassionate, doesn’t just take, but gives back to others, as mention also many times Michelle and Jim Bob support their family they are not in the welfare lines draining the system. It has been stated several times that the older children are just enslaved and that Michelle doesn’t do anything… Has anyone actually thought if Michelle and Jim Bob aren’t raising their kids, how have the kids learned to survive, children who do not have involved parents, are out of control, in trouble and defiantly not at home. Also if the older girls are so miserable why is it that the two girls that are of age are still at home, I know most kids that don’t like their home life are out that door as soon as they are 18. Also there is a son that is of age, he’s still there. Why is the buddy system so wrong, a family that helps each other sticks together, and loves each other? All these children have a work ethic one that I hope to be able to teach my children not mention they are so shellfishes. Michelle may an older mom, but what about all the women who decide that partying, sleeping around, establishing a career is more important, then they finally decide to have children, and they in turn spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to conceive and then most end up having health problems, and the babies in turn also have health problems etc, so should those women not have babies? Like I said in the beginning our world is no longer comfortable with truly good, loving families, dysfunctional families and corrupted families are now the norm, and everyone knows that, so when a good family comes along people want to tear it apart so that they don’t feel bad for themselves. I am saddened to think just how far the world is from God, that one family who isn’t afraid to spread and live his message, that we must sit and tear them apart all because the world loves darkness, and is afraid of the light of God which shines brightly through the Duggars.


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