I've noticed that one of my earlier posts on the Jim Bob Duggar Family has been receiving lots of commentary lately. I know that a number of shows have aired recently featuring this evangelical christian family. Since a number of comments have been along the lines of "Go Duggars! They're doin' it for the Lord!" and "Wow, I really admire a woman with such a resilient uterus!" Ms. Duggar's amazing uterus aside, I think that what this family is doing and the media attention they are receiving is HIGHLY irresponsible. As I've said before, regardless of whether this family has the financial means to support fifteen children (up until this year they were all living in a small house with two bathrooms), I can't see how anyone can have the mental/emotional/temporal resources to provide the level of attention that a child needs to fully thrive to fifteen children. These children may be fine, they may even be THRIVING- but because of their own resiliency and reliance on each other as opposed to individual time and attention provided by their parents.
I don't think the duties of raising children should fall to siblings, which undoubtedly happens in this household. I think children deserve individual attention. Between laundry, shopping and changing diapers, how in the hell would Mrs. Duggar have any time to provide 'alone' time to her children? The kids apparently have a closet on either side of the washer/dryer where all the clothes go. The kids wear whatever fits. Do these children have anything that is theirs? Me, personally, I like having underwear that I know is mine and only mine.
Mostly, though, what I object to is putting the idea out there that this is a good idea- to have 15 kids! Maybe the Duggars can do it, but the majority of families cannot, specifically not without assistance from the state. Family size is directly correlated with lower education and higher rates of deviant behavior by children of these families.
Of course the daughters of this family want to become stay-at-home moms: they have no other experience of what opportunities exist for them in the world. The Duggars may be providing their children with a legacy of 'good christian values' (which apparently means women are meant to squeeze out as many babies as the lord allows them- and not seek to waste their precious resources doing good and effecting change in the world by becoming more than a baby factory) but how about their education? their prospects for the future? their ability to make choices for themselves?
But, you know, come to think of it-- what they are doing is only natural.