Thursday, February 5, 2009

Now on to the Duggars

I can't jive with the Duggar family, either. My reasons are very shallow.

I don't watch the show because I find myself screaming (inside) "Stop having kids already!! Jim Bob, for the love of God, please leave that poor woman alone!"

First of all, can one mother care for all of those children? The older children have had adult responsibilities put upon them because of the parents' choices. Doing chores and helping around the house is a good thing for kids. But should it be on the kids to do all the laundry, all the cooking, all the cleaning. I get the impression that the kids handle the chores so mom can be fresh for her dates with dad. And they are serious about their date nights!

And who, pray tell, gets up in the middle of the night to feed the always-present infant? I suspect the older kids are on night-bottle-duty because Michelle and Jim Bob have to sleep sometime.

OK, home schooling. I was a teacher can one person home school all of those kids? Its a full time job to teach one subject or one grade level, much less fifteen kids of different ages while caring for toddlers and infants. I can't understand how even a mediocre effort is possible. And yet, the kids seem well-spoken and admirably polite.

My neighbor pointed out to me that Michelle is now in her forties and the odds are much greater that she might have a child with Downs Syndrome. Being educated people who have already been blessed with many healthy children, I wonder if that risk puts any weight on their heart.

I know that there was a time when agrarian society made large families more practical. But that time is long over and I don't get it in this day and age. Religious explanations don't add up for me either, because in my interpretation, God wants us to have quality over quantity in our family structure.

In fairness to the Duggars, they do seem to be a nice family. I like their soft-spoken humility. Obviously to them, more is more.

I see a family that big and I think, having SO many takes away from your ability to do for the ones you already have and clearly love. Health care, higher education, the occasional dinner out...geez! Makes my head spin.

Example: I did a quick estimate in my head and came up with $2000/day...that's how much it would cost to take a family of twenty to Disneyland. Per Day! Can you imagine? OK, so maybe they don't place the same value on taking their kids to Disneyland as I do. Or maybe they do want frivolous things and that's why they do the show. Or maybe they do the show just to put food on the table, and in that case, what about families like the Duggars who don't have a show?

In fair disclosure, I come from a big family. There are seven of us kids. I have no ill-will about being from a big family. I liked that our house was never quiet and there was always something going on. Our family vacations were modest and still wonderfully memorable (usually road trips in our VW pop up van -- sweet.) But I always knew that I would never want more than 2, maybe 3 kids.

I guess my background makes me especially critical of the Gosselins; I am a product of public schools but not public assistance. And they're so shameless about soliciting the handouts. Oh, they could do it on their own, with sacrifices that they are not interested in. And if we're comparing apples to apples, both families make a living in the same way.

So back to the Duggars and a show that seems to glorify having all the kids God and a body will allow. But, what about the hardships? Can they do even one "real" episode where preteen daughter throws a hissy fit because she can't have the latest jeans that everyone else her age wears. Or fifteen year son old tells mom and dad he's going on a date so they'll have to watch their own kids tonight. Even the Bradys got out of line every once in a while. How about the episode where mom reveals she has to use adult diapers after all those babies. Again, I say, there's no reality in these so-called reality shows!

One last note, a blog called Tom and Trix Plus Six does a great parody of both shows complete with avatars. And I thought I was too involved...


Terra said...

I tend to consider myself "up" on whats out there, but I have completely missed this one and let me just say I am GLAD. I know a family with 6 kids and they want more and the theory is (and I quote) "once your in it, your in it right?" - I have to admit, I am a little to selfish to have anymore than my two lovely girls, I knew shortly after my second that there was not enough of me to go around (fairly) so no more me. Self limitation right?

Very fun to read though! THANKS.

PS (Shelly is back from her trip over at Simply Persnickety and on a mission to help us all again!!)

chacha said...

I first laid eyes on the Duggars back when they had the special on I think TLC where they helped them finish the huge house they were building (like the Gosselins, they are taking TV/media money), and I was horrified. The woman has some screws loose.

At one point, the interviewer asked her something like "What's your response to people who say 16 (that was the tally at that point) is too many children?" and her response was "Saying there’s too many children would be like saying there’s too many flowers."

Wow. I'm an only child, but my dad is one of 8 and when there are that many kids you are definitely pushed into adulthood way earlier. He didn't get much help (he paid his Catholic high school tuition himself). Sure, there are benefits to learning independence at an early age, but I don't see how you can paint this pretty "flower" picture when kids end up becoming, essentially, "parents" to their younger siblings.

jenjen said...

I know!!! I think it is crazy! I mean, I am all for a big family, but that is just ridiculous! There is no way those children are getting quality time with their parents.

I will have to check out that last link. It sounds funny! Have a great day!


Mother Hood said...

You have some great points! When I wrote my post on "J&K+8 vs. The Duggars" I was only addressing the fact that I'd rather my kids watch the more peaceful amd respectful Duggar Family than the smart mouthed and chaotic Gosselins. I didn't have the energy to post on each set of issues these individual families have.

Honestly, I can't even go there. It's too time consuming. But I will say this about the Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle were on birth control pills when they first got married. This info is on their website.

They learned that the pill can cause an abortion, if you do get preg. while on it. They decided that this fact goes against their beliefs. I think that's fine and dandy. I understand and respect that view. However, there are other forms of birth control.

Jim Bob needs to be snipped or Michelle can get her tubes tied. No more babies and no more fear of a contraceptive causing an abortion. This "quiverfull" belief is a bit extreme and I do believe there are a whole slew of issues with this concept.

Mother Hood Out.

Aggie2percenter said...

Is his name really Jim Bob? Who'd a thought a guy namd Jim Bob would have 20 kids? Pure Whiskey Tango! But who am I to judge?

Angie said...

I had never heard of this family... I don't watch tv and kinda live in a bubble, but I went over to their website and it's pretty interesting.

Here in Utah people have a lot of kids. It's really common to have 4-6 kids and I know or have known families with 10 or more. I say as long as they can afford them all and aren't living off the government, then it's up to them.

I myself think it's crazy, but everyone has different limits.

Courtney from mommie blogs said...

okay, I have to admit, I totally watch the duggar's. I actually enjoy the show. And I have no idea why! It drives my husband crazy.

do you think they will have more?