Saturday, June 1, 2013

Repost: How do the Duggars find time for 20 kids?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Nov. 9, 2011

I make a general effort to avoid knowing much about the so-called stars of reality television, but since I'm not completely oblivious to pop culture, even I have heard of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

They're the Arkansas couple who have become famous for supporting their incredibly large family on the paychecks they receive from the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting." The Duggars have just announced that Michelle, 45, is pregnant with their 20th child.

Twentieth. The mind boggles. Well, my mind does.

The Duggars are considered to be "Quiver Full," a movement among some devout Christians who think their faith calls them to eschew any efforts at birth control and to have as many children as they are biologically capable of having. Their youngest child, who is not yet a year old, was born prematurely after a difficult pregnancy. Their eldest child is already married and a father, but all the others live at home.

I, on the other hand, am so busy with one child that even the prospect of raising two seems daunting. I can't imagine 20 rugrats. During the past year, I've done quite a bit of genealogical research, and I think even those of my ancestors who raised large families of up to 11 children would give the Duggars the side-eye and whisper, "You know, that's a little extreme."

How do the parents even remember all the kids' names? Do they get individual time with each child? Obviously, Jim Bob and Michelle find time to be alone, but how in the world do they manage that with 20 kids and get enough sleep? Do they secretly live on one of the planets where there are more hours in the day?

More power to them, but I don't think I could do it.

How many kids would you have had if money and time weren't issues?

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