Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Nice Round Number

Praise God.

In his infinite wisdom, he's decided to bless the Duggars with yet another child.

This makes number 20.

Maybe they'll stop now, since it's such a nice round number and all.

One could hope.

I have so many ways to go on this one.  Try to follow my disjointedness if you can.

First, I have more kids than most people, so I'm really not one to sit and preach about the overpopulation of the Earth or how big our carbon footprint is or how we have to drive giant cars or any of that. (Though we own a super low emissions Honda and do live in Boulder County, so if you happen to watch South Park, you now are wondering if we also like the smell of our own farts.  The answer is yes, of course.)  I'd even have more kids.  But I would draw the line WAY before 20.  So there.

Second, there is something to be said about the fact that they support all those kids on their own without any assistance from the government.  They have reality television junkies to support them.  Of course, they parade their herd around on TV like it's totally normal and healthy to produce enough children to staff a restaurant.  I take issue with anyone who exploits their own children on reality shows, and they are no different in that respect from the parents on Toddlers and Tiaras in my eyes.  Bet you didn't see that comparison coming.  ;)

Third, it's always bothered me that the division of labor in their family puts a LOT of parenting responsibilities on the older children.  I've got a lot of kids, and I make them work around the house, but I don't expect Aidan to parent his younger brother except for the designated time I schedule with him a day.  It's weird.  And it's robbing those kids of a normal childhood to some degree.

Fourth, their last baby had serious health issues.  Mom developed pre-eclampsia and had to deliver the baby very premature.  You would think that everything they went through with that experience would have told them to stop.  That 18 healthy children and one very sick one was enough.  But no.

God decided they should keep going.

And, according to Jim Bob, they "didn't want to stop on an odd number".  Yes, that is an actual quote.  I wish I was making it up.

The thing that bothers me the most about this situation is that, at it's core, it's an issue of choice.  They make it seem as if all these children exist only because God wanted them to produce them.  Hmmm, not exactly.

They chose to have sex plenty of times, obviously.  Plenty of couples successfully practice natural family planning as a method of birth control.  You don't have to rely on modern science to prevent pregnancy, but you do have to make the effort.  ;)  How they even find time to have sex, I'm not sure.  Probably has to do with the fact that they aren't the hands-on parents in the house.  The nannies older kids are.
And this was taken a few kids ago...
They choose not to prevent pregnancy.  It's not God choosing here.

It's them.

Which is fine.  Whatever.  Just stop acting like there isn't a conscious human choice happening.

The fact that she can even get pregnant and carry most of her babies to term after all the abuse her uterus has taken is an anomaly.  Most women's bodies simply cannot do it, not that many of us have tried.

I hope, for the sake of this family, that her pregnancy is uncomplicated this time.  I hope that they stop, having settled on their "round number".  I hope that maybe the younger kids will live at least part of their childhoods without having to be parents to their siblings.

I have to wonder sometimes.  Having suffered through infertility myself, and knowing many friends in that place, situations like this one frustrate me.  I have a hard time believing that God would really choose for this family to have more kids than they can reasonably parent, but leave countless others without even one child.

I am not at all convinced that God has anything to do with it.

This isn't about any divine choice.  It's about a couple that simply cannot get enough.  And that, my friends, is the real reason the Duggars are about to have their 20th child.


  1. Thank you for this. The fact that they put so much responsibility on their older children drives me crazy. I don't even have cable TV so I don't watch the show, but I've seen it a handful of times at other people's houses and it drove me bonkers. As for the even number thing, wasn't two a good enough even number for them? Or 10? Or 18? Seriously. I hope this is it for them.

    Totally random, but I was looking at your labels column and I only now realized all of your kids' names start with "A." Haha, I'm slow. Maybe that can be your connection to the Duggars, haha.

    And what kind of car do you drive? I'm going to have to trade my Versa in before the new baby comes, so I'm looking for greener/more gas efficient models that will hold 3 car seats. Ha.

  2. We have an Odyssey. Made the leap to the super sexy sliding doors a few years ago. It's a V6, but runs on 3 cyl most of the time in economy mode. Don't be afraid of the minivan. LOL


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