We first encountered The Duggar Family in the following Posts:
Here is a little bit of information from the MSNBC story I linked to in the lead.
"With two sets of twins, Michelle has gone through 15 pregnancies that ended in 13 natural deliveries and two Caesarean sections.I don't really want to see childbirth legislated, there are distinct limits to government involvement, but there are commonsense issues as well.
Both Michelle and Jim Bob — a former state legislator who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives — are real estate agents. They claim their family is debt-free, with the entire bunch helping to build their 7,000-square-foot home in Tontitown. And they are enriched by a devout faith in their religion.
The Duggars are followers of the evangelical Christian movement called Quiverful, which teaches that children are God’s blessing and that husbands and wives should happily welcome every child they are given. In fact, the Duggars' Web site, duggarfamily.com, quotes “Children are a heritage of the Lord” from verse 3 of the 123rd Psalm.
“We just let the Lord decide,” Jim Bob told Vieira.
“They are such a gift and we’re enjoying them so much,” Michelle added. “We would love more, and the power of the Lord took our faith to give us another one.”
The Duggars married in 1984, when Michelle was 17 and Jim Bob was 19. They held off on having kids for four years before Michelle ceased taking birth control pills to have their first child. After Joshua was born in 1988, Michelle returned to birth control but wound up getting pregnant anyway. Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage, which the couple attributed to use of the pill.
Michelle and Jim Bob decided to pray for as many children as God would give them. Within a year, Michelle was pregnant with the first of their two sets of twins.
Their large number of offspring has meant other large numbers for the Duggars. Michelle has been pregnant for 135 months of her life, with an average of 18 months between births. The family estimates it has used 90,000 diapers and launders 200 loads of clothes each month in a row of industrial-size washers and dryers.
Even though they go through three loaves of bread per day, they claim to feed their family for less than $2,000 a month. Transportation is facilitated by nine vehicles, led by a 21-passenger bus. They estimate that all members of the family have combined to work approximately 39,000 hours on their home.Each child learns to play both violin and piano. And for what it’s worth, when child No. 18 arrives, they’ll have enough kids to field two baseball teams.
Most importantly, there is a unique dedication to serve the greater good of the home and family. An older child will take on the responsibility of a younger sibling throughout the day. The children help prepare meals and keep to a steady home-schooling schedule. Group studies include materials from Advanced Training Institute International, a Bible-based education program for families.
To me the most important question of all is what kind of attention the children receive from their parents. I find it difficult to believe that these children receive the time they deserve from their parents. There is such a thing as being spread too thin.
Having the ability to do something is not license nor inspiration to do it.
I wonder about the finances. Maybe they're very lucky and able to afford this many kids, but it still makes me wonder about how many things they have to sacrifice to do so. Some of those are personal choices, but still..
And I wonder about the burden placed upon the older siblings. I believe that all family members should help out. It makes perfect sense, but I am guessing that the older kids have taken on more child rearing roles here than they should have to.
We're only children for a short time of our lives. Kids should have the opportunity to be kids.
What do you think?