Thursday, August 02, 2007

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar + 17

The Duggar family has grown by one more! Baby, Jennifer Danielle, was born this morning to be welcomed home by her 16 brothers and sisters.

I didn't realize until today that this Christian family, who I first saw on a Discover Channel Special, was from Arkansas. What I first thought, as I watched the special last year, was, "I'd lock that man in a shed in shackles if he came near me, if I were her." Then I watched as this amazing couple, with their love of God and family, handled a routine day that I'm quite certain (with my homemaking skills) would make me run screaming for the men in white to take me away. Their organizational skills astonished the heck outta me!

It wasn't so long ago that large families were the norm, but these days, with all of the various birth control methods available, it's rare that you see, or even hear about, so much voluntary procreation by one couple.

My mother had 7 brothers and sisters, my father was 1 of 12. My father's mother raised the majority of her children alone too, as my grandfather was killed in a bus accident on my father's 10 th birthday. Her older children helped with the farm and with the younger children after my grandfather's death but just imagine cooking meals, doing laundry, and everything else without indoor plumbing or all the fancy appliances that we have available today.

My husband and I also came from large families. He has 4 brothers and a sister living. One brother, older than him, died at age 9, and the youngest sibling, another brother, died in infancy. I am the oldest of 8, although my 5 brothers are half brothers. One of the 5, my brother, Roger, died several years ago in a car accident. I haven't seen the others in years so it's been different for me, not living together as one, big, family.

James was raised much the same way as it was decades ago with large families. As soon as they were old enough, they went to the fields to help make the living. They sharecropped and they all did their part to keep food on the table. The only one of them that never "shook a stick at a snake", by the time they were 7 or 8, was their sister. She is the youngest and the only girl.

Often as I raised my 2 daughters and my son, I felt as though I was walking a thin line and constantly tipping towards the insanity side of it, so I can't imagine the stress factor of raising 17.

15 comments:

Special K said...

I simply can't wrap my head around the people who choose to have such large families. I mean, who wants to live with that many people? Jesus!

I once saw one of those spoofed "motivational posters" that showed a family portrait with 14 kids in it. The caption said:

VAGINA: it's not a clown car

Cindra said...

I teach in a school filled with large families, but the largest family only has 13. Myself, I couldn't handle that many children, but I have found the families with lots of kids are usually well managed and the kids are wonderful.

PEA said...

That really is amazing in today's world to have so many children...and right after this baby's birth they were talking about having more?? Sheesh! lol My mom comes from a family of 16 and she says it was the older girls who took care of the younger ones while my grandparents were out working on the farm. I just couldn't handle that many kids..I had two and that was enough!! xox

Leslie said...

I spent a period of time being an only child and hated it. Not sure I could handle that many brothers and sisters though. How they can afford it is beyond me.

jazzi said...

I have a friend that has 10 kids, and they're doing just fine. What I think is amazing is the comments people make about them. I figure if they can afford it, what business is it of mine? I always wanted to have 4 kids; now it seems I sort of have 4. But I wish I could have had this 4th one around when I was a lot younger!

AndiePandie said...

I don't have anything positive to say about the Duggar family so I'm just gonna shush on that. LOL

My dad wasn't from a "large" family but big enough. Six kids, four boys and two girls.

Carmen said...

I came from Pea's blog to wish you a very happy belated Birthday! I hope you had a great day.
Happy Birthday!

T*mmy said...

I clicked over and read the story...I was amazed as no sooner has she been born that they are talking about having another...
I saw the special too...but how many more can she pop out? What is the record anyway?? He has to have a great job with lots of money I'm thinking...I know couples that struggle to keep two in shoes (us being one of those!) much less that gang of kids!
I was just thinking about my "empty nest"...but boy howdy theirs will be filled for many years to come I'm thinking....
:)

Virginia Gal said...

I've come from a small family, just two sisters. I really hope when I get married I have a lot of kids, I want a big family.

TRISH said...

To answer one of the questions, the father is a state employee. I watched a little of the special, and I don't necessarily agree with the older kids being "assigned" a younger kid to help take care of. Kids need the chance to be kids..and not have the adult responsibility of taking care of a child.

Joan said...

I missed your birthday, shame on me. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRENDA!!

Janet said...

Hi. Just found your blog. Sounds a lot like my father's family. He was the oldest of nine, and they had a family farm where the kids all helped out. Not only that, but they helped raise a couple of cousins, and after their nine were grown, my by-then widowed grandmother took in several foster children. She loved children and farming!

Brent said...

I've read all the obituaries of officers killed in the early 20th century, survived by their wife and 11 children. OMG!!!! We have three and there is not a sane day in our lives!! We are running here and there!!

Mary Lou said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOL KAT!!! LOLOLOLOL

Phyllis said...

I cannot imagine......nope.