Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Did the Duggars Have 17 Kids for the Free Washer and Dryer?

After all I learned about search engine optimization at BlogHer, I just felt I needed to share this story. So I’ve mentioned before that a very long time ago, I posted here my opinion of Jimbob and Michelle Duggar – for no actual reason, I was just thinking about them that day. I’ve also mentioned that I get at least half of my google visitors to this site as a result. It’s amazing how many googlers are looking for these people.

So, as you may have heard, Michelle gave birth to her 17th child and I had ten times the number of page views as I usually do on that day. Ten. Times. Not exaggerating. And it wasn’t even planned or anything, as I didn’t know anything about SEO back then.

But now that I know, I’m thinking of dropping Michelle a line and asking her if she’d consider weaning her “buddy” early this time around and give Jimbob some sex already – so she can hurry up and squeeze out number eighteen. Hey, I need the Google hits – help a sister out.

Oh, I know – that’s not nice. But it’s much nicer than the things many of my commenters say about them. Although Louis did say that “it would be nice if all women would just stay home and have children and let men support them.”

Um – nice for whom, Louis?

And then there are the people who say they hope the Duggars get struck by lightening or something (which you know I don’t approve of – Dear God, I do not ever wish anything bad on anyone else, net even the Duggars. Amen.)

But my favorite is someone who is clearly young, and clearly has never had children. She said, and I quote, “I’d have 17 kids if I got a free washer and dryer too.”

To her I will go out on a limb and attempt to speak for all motherkind when I say, Sweetheart I would throw myself in front of a speeding locomotive for the two kids I’ve got, but all the free washers and dryers in the universe would not convince me to have 17 of them.

There are all kinds of reasons someone might have 17 children – if she thinks God requires it, if her husband wants to and she can’t refuse him, if she feels fulfilled by doing so, if try though she might she just can't seem to figure out how that whole "birth control" thing works, if she’s mentally ill, etcetera. But no woman would have 17 kids in exchange for a washer and dryer. Ever. Logistically speaking alone, it’s much much easier just to pack up your 4 kids and go to the laundromat. Not to mention how much you have to go through to get to that point – as in how many years she had 13 or 14 or 15 kids and no free washer and dryer even to help her out.

This comment got me thinking about the dumb things people who don’t have kids say. Well, everyone says dumb things I guess, but I know that my friends who don’t have children do not understand what it is like to raise children. They believe they do, but they don’t. I know this because I’ve been a person without children. It’s different. It’s not the same. You do not know what it’s like if you haven’t done it. And one day this commenter will be at home with her three kids and she’ll think to herself, Oh my God what an idiot I must have sounded like saying that on the internet!

But that’s okay. I’m sure she’s not really an idiot. Just another person who’s attempting to speak to an experience she’s never had. Everyone does this on various topics all the time. In fact, I’m in the midst of an argument with a journalist who has accused me of doing so. He’s informed me that I am very very wrong - nay woefully ignorant, in my belief that journalists and the media affect public opinion, and I should (and I quote) “do my research” before I attempt to debate the topic with him.

Ahem.

(Research being done – and so far I’m still correct.)

So in the spirit of research and having an informed opinion, I'm offering a free washer and dryer to anyone who wants to have seventeen kids. Any takers?



24 comments:

radical mama said...

So... what you are saying is that having dogs is NOT the same as having children? Pfft!

*eyeroll*

As a mom of three, with mostly childless friends, I cannot wait for the day when I can say "I told ya so." I should start stashing confetti and whistles for the occasion.

Melissa said...

Okay, okay, so not for ONE free washer and dryer-- but how about for a free washer/dryer combo PER KID? Would you do it then? Or how about for a free laundress? (launderer? whatever, someone to do the wash for you.)

And who's giving out these household appliances as birth incentives, anyway?

rivergirlie said...

her pelvic floor must be unspeakable! mine's bad enough after the twins.

OmegaMom said...

Not even for a free chateau in Switzerland would I ever consider having 17 children. In fact, the very idea makes me run screaming into the night ("Agggghhhhhh!"). Not to mention the slightly problematic issue of being too old and very, very barren.

Kit said...

How about a free washer, dryer, maid, au pair, nanny, housekeeper, cook and an extremely large house in a beautiful place...maybe I'd go for it..except I'd have to have started at twenty so it's too late...plan foiled!

annie said...

Well, math is not my strong point, but somehow I think for the price of raising seventeen kids one could OWN an entire laundromat AND be making some spare change to boot.

SUEB0B said...

I can't speak for the Duggars' experience as parents, but I can speak from experience as a child: no one wants to be one of 17. Every child deserves a bigger slice of parental attention than that. The only was this scenario works is when the older children start fulfilling parental roles, and that isn't fair to them, either.

ktjrdn said...

hey, I can't find your email address. I saw your comment over at her bad mother's and wanted to let you know the pet insurance blog's owner's name. I met her too and she was wonderful. Laura at blog.embracepetinsurance.com

landismom said...

Ahem.

Hell no!

Although my grandmother (who had 12) always said it gets easier after five...

Staci Schoff said...

Landismom, I've heard similar from friends who have 6 or 7. But I'm just going to take their word for it! ;)

Amy in StL said...

Um...No. I think there's a reason that most people my parents age were one of 7 or 8. Maybe it is easier, but when do you find the time or energy to have the 17th after you have 16 other people in the house? I'm with SUEBOB in that I think it's not fair to ask the older kids to parent the little ones. There's a difference between watching after them and parenting them and I'm thinking 17 is waaay on the parenting your siblings end.

Anonymous said...

My Dad grew up as one of 17 kids. Yes, the older kids parented the younger ones but my grandparents instilled in them a devotion to the family and each other that is still amazing today. With that many kids there was no such thing as "women's work" or "men's work" - everyone had to pitch in and they did so. Growing up I saw the adults in my family work together and I never learned to be limited by gender roles. That has been extremely empowering and I am grateful to my family for raising me this way.

Sandy D. said...

Dear God, not for a washer, dryer, microwave, minivan, or winning the lottery.

I am amazed at the interest in this family, and the number of comments on your previous post. I can't figure out why people are so fascinated by it all. Then again, I don't like "reality" tv shows, maybe they are like watching that?

KrisUnderwood said...

Having any more than ONE child is enough for me.

Washer and dryer set or not, I'd have to say....no.

I don't think there is anything in the world you could offer for me to do that.

Mary Tsao said...

I once wrote a post about Michelle Duggar, too, and my hits were crazy last week! How funny. But the comments... It seems that everybody's got an opinion about that woman. Even me. ;)

I, too, am amazed that she can physically do what she's doing. If I were her, my uterus would be down around my knees and that would not be pretty.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine having that many children. How can you get everything done in the day and spend quality time with each one?

Science For Kids

Anna said...

Heck, after two kids they just raise themselves, right?

Well, just in case that ISN'T true, I'm stopping at TWO!

Anonymous said...

After reading this article all I could think about is how most people with children aren't qualified to have children. yet this author wants to make it seem that having children is somehow a promotion to a state of "understanding" versus those who have no children and are "ignorant". There are many people without children who would make better parents than many people with children. sometimes the simple fact of not having a child shows a restraint and measure of control that most people would benefit from having. i whole heartedly disagree with the author's opinion of childless people versus people with children, and if I require research to prove it then I simply say "look at American children". A group that consists of mostly overweight, out of control, spoiled kids who's parents are saying "this isn't my fault, its his/her nature". Its unfair to judge those who don't have children as being ignorant when most people with children fall into that same category, possibly even yourself Ms. Schoff. I only pray that when you go home your child is sitting there reading a book and abstaining from soft drinks because you taught them to rather than sitting in front of a myspace screen, with a bag of chips and a coke, chatting with some unknown person because you have yet to take control.

Anonymous said...

The Duggars remind me of the Amish. They have litters of kids like that. And then twist the system so they get all sorts of benefits, from free medical care, to every other sort of social free care if needed. If a child gets sick, they are up at CHOP pronto (in Phila)...getting top care, all paid for by guess who? you and me. It kinda annoys me. That mother on the Duggars acts like she is completely brain dead. The father too. Hello REALITY.

laterain said...

1) to anonymous above--if you watch the duggars' tv specials, there's absolutely NOT a "no such thing as women's work/men's work". It is abundantly clear that the duggar women are in the kitchen (the twelve-year old does all of the daily laundry--well, okay, maybe she's fourteen by now) while the men sit around and play chess.

2)to be fair, duggars don't use any social services, as I understand it. HOWEVER, if they actually WERE Amish or Mennonite or something, I could handle their hair and clothing. but no. they are their own made-up brand of Christianity. They have church in their living room (think Andrea Yates).

3)To Staci--I also wrote a post about the Duggars on my blog . . . not so flattering, and of course I get the "why do you hate God's chosen people?!" comments quite often . . . but it is also the single most-viewed entry on my entire blog (which is just over a year old). (I use wordpress.com, so I don't have access to Google Analytics, but they offer a similiar feature) This kind of bothers me . . . I love my blog. but if I die tomorrow, I want to believe that people cared about something I wrote about that MATTERED, not this one rant that I wrote one day in a frenzy of annoyance and horror. So yes, I'm glad for the traffic to my blog, but it bothers me to no end that this is WHY I get the traffic.

And I just wish I could find a way to get that many people coming to my blog to read about the stuff I really care about, like racism and white privilege (not that the Duggars aren't relevant to that discussion, either!)

Anonymous said...

there has to be something wrong with her and unfortunately for her husband, i think he's gotten sucked into it too. she has a narcissistic personality and a martyr syndrome. the older daughters and sons have got to be going crazy. they don't have their own rooms, are always doing chores and raising the younger ones, and the mother just keeps having more. they never get a break. and they're in a rural area so they cannot run away. i cannot even imagine. they must feel like they live in prison. it's worse than prison actually.

dang007 said...

do these idiot know how to used a condom? over populated the earth , global warming, not green. These idiot are a piece of work.

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Anonymous said...

"As a mom of three, with mostly childless friends, I cannot wait for the day when I can say "I told ya so." I should start stashing confetti and whistles for the occasion."
This post is 3 year old. The modern world can't wrap its heads around those not wanting children. I think the ones with children who complain about the ones without are dissatisfied with their lives. I see how some people treat their kids and wonder if they really wanted them in the first place.
I don't need children to complete make existence or make it worthy. DId u think maybe they are those truly happy with no kids?