20 and Counting. Who Cares?


So the Duggars announced this morning that they are expecting Bambino Number Twenty.  I feel an obligation to address this, since Michelle Duggar and I are clearly co-club members.  You know, because they keep having kids because it’s God’s will, and we keep having kids because birth control is not our forte.  Same club, obviously.

I understand why the Duggars’ news is newsworthy.  I mean, who has twenty kids?!?  What I don’t understand is why people are so quick to get their panties all in an uproar about it.  Look, large families aren’t for everyone, but how do their (or my) reproductive choices affect you personally?  If a family is taking care of its own, is self-sufficient, and is not subjecting its offspring to neglect or abuse, then who cares?  You can say there is a larger picture that needs to be considered: the impact on the world, the environment, etc.  Well, I suppose if everyone were having ten or twenty kids, it would be a real environmental problem, but it’s a rare family that has that many kids in this day and age, and with all the bigger shit going on, like war and genocide and intolerance and poverty, I just don’t think that the occasional family that produces a larger than average number of kids is going to make a global difference.  Besides, like Michael pointed out to me as I wrung my hands over this latest fiasco incident blunder joyful event of ours, “You never know, maybe this will be the person who discovers a cure for cancer.”

Truth be told, I think twenty kids is extremely excessive, and I cannot imagine how her body can continue to withstand all this baby-making (I have doubts about my own body’s ability to withstand this latest stunt, and this is only number seven for me).  But where is the line supposed to be drawn?  Who gets to decide?  Whose business is it, anyway?  It’s easy to get all judgy about someone else’s choices, but those of us who are judgy need to keep in mind that plenty of our own choices are being judged (fairly or unfairly) by someone else.

I wish them well.

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13 Comments on “20 and Counting. Who Cares?”

  1. Diane Miller Sheets
    November 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    I absolutely agree with you 100%.

  2. Stacey
    November 8, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    I *want* to agree with you but there’s a huge difference between 7 kids and 20 kids. They’ll have almost three times as many kids as you! You can’t possibly give that many kids everything they need emotionally & socially & mentally, and that’s neglect in my book. I had a bunch more stuff but I think I need to put it all on my own blog. 😉

    • Lisa
      November 9, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      But see, Stacey, I have no doubt that there are people who think that seven kids (or six) is too many, and that they must not be getting everything they need from us. Who gets to decide? And it’s not like the Duggars 19+ kids are all little – many of them are grown already. Yeah, way too many kids for me, but I don’t feel that I’m in a place to pass judgment.

  3. Grace Friese Robbins
    November 9, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    SO funny that you addressed this today, because I had this exact conversation with a friend today, I mean why is everyone so tough on the Duggar’s? The octomom I get, I mean she is broke and alone and not in a place to raise one child let alone 14, but still, it isn’t our flipping business, let them do what they want if they are caring and good people taking charge of their family, more power to em!

  4. Kara Harrington Keenan
    November 9, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Quite frankly, the Duggars terrify me. They are part of a fringe religious movement that, if it had a chance, would convert the US to a god-fearing Patriarchal society where women would have little to no rights (look up Gothard and ATI and prepare to be scared). Their “be fruitful and multiply” is viewed as “breeding an army for God.” They aren’t raising their own children, they have built in Nannies/jslaves in the form of their oldest daughters who have been sheltered and not allowed to experience the real world. The Duggars are being held up by the media as a great example of family values, but I would want my family to have any of their values.

  5. Liz
    November 9, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    What annoys (I hate to use that word because I am in no position to judge) me is when people ask how she can give every child the attention they need. These kids don’t know any different than what they have now. Is there anything socially and/or mentally wrong with these kids? No. Do they feel loved? Yes. Do they appear happy? Yes. Then why is everyone so wrapped up in this? It’s really none of our business but it’s so fascinating. *sigh* this is just my view on the whole situation. Don’t get me started on their wardrobe/lack of dancing and pre-marital kissing/sheltering… KIDDING! 😉

  6. Jaida
    November 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I agree with you Lisa. I have to say though, I was surprised when I heard the news about #20. I really really worry about Michelle’s body. As I understand it, once you have pre-eclampsia your risk for developing it again is increased. It just seems wild that they’d be willing to take these risks. Plus, a little part of me wonders if she doesn’t secretly want to just retire the equipment and have her body to herself.

    Also – I love Michael’s comment about the potential for this new addition to change the world. What a sweet way of looking at it. Seven kids really isn’t that shocking, to me anyway. 😉

  7. Amy Heyde
    November 10, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I really agree. The choices the Duggars make have no impact on other people. If people dont like what is going on with the Duggars…dont watch their shows, dont read their books, and dont read the articles about them in the magazines….but for goodness sake…let them make their own life decisions. It is the two of THEM in the end that will live with the outcome…so I wish people would just stop with the whole thing!! It definitely hits a nerve with me. I think of the comments we get because we have a large family and I want to say…what is wrong with it…really? Im not having an affair, Im not a criminal, we support ourselves, my kids are well behaved, Im not doing anything that should get such strong opinion (if you ask me) but for some reason…# of children becomes everyones business once you pass society’s norm. Its BS!! I agree there has to be something bigger out there that people can put their energy toward!! Thanks for your post!

  8. Jen
    November 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    I am in no place to judge and from what I have read, the Duggar’s are able to live debt free and raise their family so yes, why is it anyone’s business and why are people beating her up? And this whole business about it being too risky for her to have a baby at her age and how the risks go up etc etc…REALLY makes me mad…there are risks at any time and at any age so I wish people would STOP with that. Lisa, can you imagine the media/uproar etc she would have if she actually had a child with DS at this point? Hmmmmm……

    • Lisa
      November 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      I know, Jen.

  9. tom may
    November 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Every family is different, beginning with a couple. How many kids per family? I don’t have a clue because its not my job.

    When we were homeschooling and my son was 7, had a man in the swimming pool ask me why my children weren’t in school. When I said they were homeschooled, his immediate response was, “What do you do about socializing…….?” Then he stopped and looked at the little 7 year old boy who had been conversing intelligently with him about a variety of subjects for more than 30 minutes. “Oh my, that doesn’t seem to be a problem with your son.” Every family is different.

    Another way of looking at it: If I know there is at least 1 person who loves me, wants to spend time with me, accepts me, etc., etc., then I feel I am supported. If I have 2 people like that, then I’m even more supported. If I’ve got 5, 10, 15 or 20 of those people around me, then I’m unstoppable even if my momma didn’t have a lot of time JUST FOR ME!!!!

    Although I was never part of a large family, one thing I have observed is that a family with 20 kids can be even healthier than a family with only 1 or 2 children. If the family (a team) is warm, loving, tight and supportive then living with 20+ people like that would be an absolute blessing. How do large families learn to get along so well when often 2 people can’t learn to get along well?

  10. Sam
    December 12, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Seems like a higher power has spoken and baby #20 has passed away in-utero at 19 weeks.

    • Lisa
      December 12, 2011 at 3:58 am #

      A higher power. Right.

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