Let me begin this blog by saying I’m generally opposed to criticizing anyone’s parenting unless they're clearly abusive or neglectful. Let me also offer a few disclaimers. I really think big families are great and admire those who have the ability to raise them. I’ll always mourn the two or three other kids that I would like to have had, if only I could stand the thought. I don’t project my own shortcomings onto others and recognize that not everyone requires an excessive amount of solitude like I do. Not everyone is selfish and shallow or as impatient as a bull on mating day like I am. I do understand these things, which is why I tend to respect people who make choices that differ from mine. However…
Why is the media constantly lauding Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as really great? What have they done that’s so wonderful? Created their own cult? Did Jim Bob secretly want to be a cult leader but lacked the charisma to do so, so he had to just create his own from scratch? These kids might as well be growing up in an orphanage for all the individual love and attention they’re getting from their parents. I don’t feel it’s my place to dictate how many children people should have, but I just think it’s disgusting the way this is touted as so lovely and holy. It’s neither!
Michelle says that each older kid is assigned one or two younger “buddies” to take care of. This is the kicker though, when there’s a newborn, she is the baby’s “buddy” for the first few months, until he’s weaned, and then he’s pawned off onto an older sibling (presumably so she can hurry up and get pregnant again and the privacy and ensuing fatigue that necessitates). I mean is there not something disturbingly reptilian about that? Could this really be “God’s plan” for human families?
The media is always lauding her as a saint because she “home schools” all of these children. First, home schooling (while a fine choice in and of itself) is used here as a method of keeping these children from interacting with anyone to whom they’re not related (hello, red flag????). Second, if she sends all her kids to school, she’ll be home all day with a baby, a one year old, a two year old, a three year old, and so on. Why on earth would she send the people who do all the laundry, cleaning, cooking and looking after the younger siblings for her to school all day?
I read a lot of “well if they can afford to feed them, it’s none of my business.” Frankly, I’m not that impressed that they’re able to feed all of them. I’d much rather help, financially, a couple with a small earning capacity who have a few children they’re trying to love and educate properly than be happy that I don’t have to “pay” for these people to hurry up and bring all these children into the world for their other children to take care of. How selfish can they be?
The most annoying thing is that after each baby, Jim Bob is quoted as saying that whether or not they have another is always left up to Michelle. Really?! So if she decides she doesn’t want another one, are they going to commit the horrible sin of using birth control or is Jim Bob going to keep it in his pants? I highly doubt Michelle has any real choice in this matter, but to “leave it up to God” until she dies. It certainly wouldn’t be consistent with any of the other nonsense they spout if she did. By the way I’m not assuming she’s a “victim” here, she very likely believes as strongly as her husband does that this is what she must do.
I’m sorry, I wouldn’t bad mouth these people under ordinary circumstances, but I just can’t stand how they are portrayed as such saints when they're clearly sick individuals who collect children in much the same way a mentally ill old woman might collect cats. It’s just gross.