Baby Number 18: An Early Christmas Present for the Duggars
The Duggars, the Arkansas family featured in the series “17 Kids and Counting” have just had an early Christmas present: the arrival of their eighteenth child, their 8th girl. Jordyn-Grace Mikaya was born on December 18, and weighed in at a healthy 7lbs, 3oz. Yes, that’s right, they already had 17 children, thus the name of the weekly show about their lives. With the birth of Jordyn-Grace they now have 10 boys and 8 girls.
The oldest child of the Duggars, their son Joshua, is 20 years old. Michelle, the mom, is 42 so she gave birth to her first child when she was 22 years old and with 18 children this means she has been pregnant most of her adult life. Apparently she’s had, on average, eighteen months between births. All I can say to this is, “Wow!!!” I am flabbergasted; I have had four children and in my mind that is a lot of kids. I can’t imagine having 14 more on top of that.
When I first saw the article about the birth of number 18, I thought to myself that these people are absolute nutters; after all, in this day and age what would possess you to have 18 children? You don’t need them to farm and losing them to disease is highly unlikely due to our knowledge of health care now so why would you want to keep on being pregnant? What about the cost of raising all these kids? Well, the Duggars claim to be debt free. They are frugal and say they can feed all 20 of them for under $2000 per month; I guess bulk shopping helps keep prices down too.
I was tempted to make disparaging remarks about this family and felt myself being annoyed by the fact that they support the family by being paid to take part in all kinds of TV shows that put their lives in the faces of millions of people weekly. After all, what kind of life could you have when you have TV cameras following you around all the time. I have, however, taken some time to look at some of the video of their appearances on various shows and read some of the articles available on the internet. I looked at their web site and the rules they have set down for the family to follow. I found out something about who they are and how they view life. Although the number of children that they have is something to which I would never aspire (4 kids is enough for me, thank you very much) other parts of their lifestyle definitely inspire me. In fact, just thinking about how they live brings tears to my eyes. They appear to be a family full of love and care for each other. Their older children appear to be loving and respectful of their parents, each other, and the world in general. Their young children are well behaved little girls and boys. It is not an easy feat to bring up children, teens and young adults who respect their parents, each other and the world when you have only a couple of children, never mind two baseball teams worth!
It will be interesting to see how their children progress into lives of their own, separate from mom and dad. Will they have huge families too? Who knows, but it appears that the Duggars faith in God has lead them to where they are now: a huge family who loves and cares for each other. I am sure that their children will continue on in life with their beliefs and that with the upbringing they have had they will continue to love and respect each other and that when they grow up, get married and have children of their own that love will be passed on. I certainly hope so and wish them all the best in their lives to come.