I am a fan of the Duggars. I admit it. I love this show. Don't know why I just do. I think in some ways they are seriously nuts. But in other ways I admire them so much. And if you are not familiar with them you can read about them on their website The Duggar Family. And of course their TV show on TLC "19 Kids and Counting". I am going to write this review on the two shows from last night and hoping you are already familiar with the show and the Duggar family :) I dedicate this review to my sister Kristen who asked me to write another review because she liked the one I wrote on Kate Plus 8. So this one's for you Kristen!
So if life wasn't busy enough for the Duggar's they experienced a very challenging situation last December when their 19th child Josie was born at 25 weeks. This seems to be the only complication they have ever experienced with a birth. Which I find amazing having had so many healthy babies. They have been blessed for sure! So now the Duggar's are working at trying to figure out all of the complications Josie may have and trying to keep their family together in one place which appears to be very challenging! They ended up moving their entire family to Little Rock, Arkansas which is like 3 hours away from their other home in Arkansas. I find it A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. that they were able to do this. I do think it is important no matter how big or small your family is to keep them together. Especially since Josie was going to have to stay in the hospital for so long. It made sense. But I won't get into that too much...they are fortunate they had the ability to be able to do that. They are known for their frugal lifestyle so it's always interesting to see how they manage their crazy household.
Tuesday night's episode chronicled them starting to move back to their Springdale, Arkansas home, with the hope that Josie is going to be able to go home soon. The funny thing is they really didn't move any furniture with them to Little Rock, it was really just the basic necessities. To me this still looked like a nightmare. But then if you are a viewer of this show doesn't most of it look like a nightmare at times? I think it takes a specially designed mother and father with a certain natural Prozac-like chemical infused in their bodies to be able to handle this type of family. I struggle with my two boys. They have 10 boys. But they are blessed with 4 or 5 older
nannies daughters who I feel like are the glue to that family! I mean don't get me wrong. I think Michelle Duggar is a sweetheart. She has a beautiful spirit about her. But I see her as being more of the baby-maker than the homemaker. Their daughters are amazing! They cook, clean, take care of the babies and they smile a lot. I need to get me an older daughter, to help around my house...but I digress...
The thing I do struggle with which was kind of shown on the show was the 18th child who is still a baby, Jordyn who was born in December '08, she is pretty much the same age as my Dalton. I can not imagine being away from my little baby for that long while caring for another little one. Obviously the older sisters and dad do a great job at filling in the gaps..they would have to I suppose. But I would feel like I'm missing out on so much of my other children by having so many babies back to back; and then to top it off with having a preemie with complications to care for. I could not be the mom to 19 children without
becoming an alcoholic some serious help. And on top of that the family home schools all the kids. These parents have some major patience! Obviously their faith and values plays a huge role in their decisions. As it does in our family...my husband and I just define our values and choices differently.
See if I were the Duggars, which obviously I really am not even close to putting myself into their shoes, I would struggle with wanting more time with my children on a one to one basis. It appears the children are all close to their mom and dad. But it seems a little less close than the relationship a lot of children have with their parents. I mean there is a lot of respect and obedience given to their parents. But when you lack 1:1 time with your children and rely on siblings to help co-parent you are going to lose that special bonding time. It's just how it is. Here's the other thing. Jim Bob and Michelle are also now grandparents! There oldest son and his wife have a little girl now! So I can only imagine that that relationship will be very different than most grandparents. I mean if you have 19 children and a couple of them are babies...chances are you may have trouble being the #1 favorite grandparent.
So last night part of the family moved back home and Michelle stayed back to wait for Josie to discharge from the hospital. She was eventually discharged and diagnosed with being lactose intolerant. The older Duggar twins Jana and John David left on a mission trip to Southeast Asia. I thought that was cool. I like that they encourage their kids to travel and serve. Do I think the children are sheltered? Not really. I mean most people who live in smaller rural areas are a little more sheltered, but Jim Bob and Michelle have really created a lot of opportunities for their large family to travel and the older kids have been to El Salvador, they've been around the south and New York City, Washington D.C. etc.. So I can't say these children haven't experienced different places.
Overall, I just find watching this show oddly soothing. Everything they do seems so peaceful and fairly well thought out. I do get ideas on things to do with my own kids. I think they are a very respectable family. They make having 19 children miraculously work for them! So when do you think they'll have #20?