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 once...how 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...
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