Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Am Number 20

In case you didn’t hear, which is probably highly unlikely being is was splashed all over the internet and TV the last couple days, The Duggar Family will soon be 19 20 and counting. 

Number 20 is in the womb.

Michelle Duggar is pregnant again and is due this spring.

I have actually revised this post a few different times because the words, they just weren't flowing right.  I am feeling a bit torn on this topic to be perfectly honest because there is a swaying dance between my beliefs on the subject.  And I feel that they might be viewed as somewhat contradictory but I guess that is ok.

Work with me here.

I believe that nobody should determine whether or not someone should or should not use birth control, how many children is the right number for them/their family or whether they should have children at all.  I believe that ALL children are a GIFT from GOD and should be celebrated no matter what birth order number they are.  However I also think there does or should come a time when a decision is made that a family is complete. 

In The Duggar families case, I have read that they do not use contraceptives and they have said time and time again that they will have as many children that GOD allows them to have.

But under the circumstances of her last pregnancy, I think that might have been a sign?  I don’t know if you remember, her last pregnancy, could have resulted in much worse circumstances.  As it is their little girl, Josie, was born premature, had months in the NICU and Michelle herself ended up having health issues herself during this time.  The little girl seems to have come out of everything unscathed and will be turning 2 here shortly but still. 

Maybe 19 was their magic number.

I know that some might say that if it wasn't "meant" to be then she would not be pregnant again, and again, I can see this side of the story too BUT even so. 

At what point, does one say enough is enough?

I just can't imagine what their household is like with so many children?  How can "they" care for so many children?  I think the answer is clear, they really can't which is why a lot of the older children "help out".  Which begs to question, who is "really" parenting the children?  Who is "really" taking care of the children?  I know they home school therefore they are physically with the children most of the time but are they really "with" them?

As an older sister to several brothers when I was growing up and around my younger brothers, not that I didn't love my brothers by any means, but I was still a kid myself and wanted to be a kid, not take care of my parents children.  With that in mind, as a mother with two older children and two younger children, I rarely ask them for help with the littles.  It is not their responsibility.  Not that they wouldn't help if asked and not that they don't love their siblings whole heartily.  But rather they are kids and need to be kids.  The Duggar family says that by having the older ones help them it is teaching them responsibility which I agree but it is also most likely creating some underlying resentment too that although may not be apparent now; it will probably likely manifest as they get older. 

I know some might say that as long as they can support them let them be.  And again to a point, I agree, yet even if you have the means, with each additional child you bring into a family, the costs increase drastically.  At what point does the well run dry?

I don't know... but in light of her last pregnancy issues, I think they are pushing it. 

Although in the end who am I to judge?

What do you think?


  1. I admire the Duggar family for the fact they live debt free, that they are able to love that many children, and that they all do seem truly happy.

    However, if I were Michelle, I would be seriously scared to have more babies. Not only was the last pregnancy hard, but each year she grows older the risk of complications increase dramatically, for herself and a baby.

    I may not agree with everything the Duggars do, but I'm sure their children are much better off in so many ways than some other families that have one or two kids. We have to let them choose for themselves, just like we wouldn't want them saying we all have to have 20 kids each.

  2. Honestly, I agree with the Duggar's perspective on children. I admire them for sticking to their beliefs. While I think that #19 was a sign she should be cautious, I also think that they are blessed to be having #20.

  3. I agree with everything you said, I too think that children are a blessing, but I wonder at what point are you really parenting each child? I personally think it's globally irresponsible to have that many children. In a world where most don't have access to clean drinking water I can' justify the amount they must use just to wash their kid's clothes.

  4. I agree with Judy that of course we should not impose our beliefs on others as we would not appreciate other doing that to us. But, I don't sense that this is what you are saying. You seem to be grappling with the general logic (or lack there of) of the situation/approach to determining family size.

    I would agree with the points you make about this particular approach. Though these kids might be better off than some other kids that only have a few siblings (those in abusive homes, those with neglectful parents), it still doesn't mean that it is healthy for kids to be parenting siblings or doing an extraordinary amounts of work.

    Also, in regards to determining when your family is complete, I think that this philosophy is dangerous. If the whole idea is that God will determine this based on not using birth control and that this is being solely "left in His hands" to decide, then where does "trusting Him" end and common sense (which He designed us all to have) begin?

    Should a mom going through chemo continue to not use birth control and just trust that if God thinks it is unsafe to conceive a baby that He won't allow her to get pregnant during that time? The pressure that this approach puts on women to "prove their trust" and "give up control" is concerning to me.

  5. Unfortunately in this situation I do not believe it lies in the hands of God, this has to do with reproduction and what your body will allow.
    The Duggars could in fact go on to have another 10 children if her body allows it. It will be when her body chooses to no longer conceive.
    I think it is time to sit back and enjoy the healthy family you have been blessed with. I believe there is always more love to give but everybody has to make the decision to say enough.
    Her last pregnancy was definately a sign of her body saying "yes" i can do this but I am starting to have a hard time with it.

  6. I'd like to know how they afford health insurance for for that bunch.


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