The famous fertile Duggar family was featured on The Today Show yesterday morning to promote their new show on TLC, “17 kids and counting.” Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar reside in Tonitown, Arkansas with 16 of their 17 children. All their children, ten sons and two daughters which include 2 sets of fraternal twins, have names that start with “J”. They range in age from 1 to 20. Jim Bob works as a commercial real estate investor and has served two terms as a State Legislator in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Michelle is a homemaker. They are committed conservative Baptists and say that every child is a gift from God and they’re always open to more.
The family has been featured in multiple reality specials on Discovery Health and The Learning Channel. Their oldest son, Joshua James, 20, was just married to Anna Keller of Gainesville, Florida. The Duggar family traveled down to Florida for the wedding in an RV bus complete with enough beds for everyone. The newlyweds will reside in their new home in Fayetteville, Arkansas after their honeymoon. Joshua James and Anna’s website doesn’t have details of how they met, and just says that story will be posted soon. Both come from devout Christian families and were home schooled and it is likely that they were introduced by their parents.
Michelle is currently pregnant with her 18th child, a girl, and she made the announcement on yesterday’s show.
This family somehow makes it all work with 17 and one on the way. If you’re interested in seeing their home, their website has a lot of photos and I found it pretty fascinating. They have four washers and four dryers in their laundry room along with a huge adjacent “family closet” from which they pick out their clothes for the day. They have two kitchens, an industrial kitchen and a “pretty” kitchen near the living room, with a total of six ovens, three refrigerators and four freezers.
The boys sleep in one big room with two bathrooms attached and the girls are in large another room.
A few years ago I saw a special about the family in their old house and they managed everything through schedules and teamwork. They’re all homeschooled and every child plays an instrument and takes lessons in piano and violin or harp. An older child will take responsibility for a younger sibling through something they call the “buddy system” where they will help the younger one get their meals and get dressed.
I’m interested in whether Michelle or Jim Bob ever lose their patience with their kids. They seem to have everything under control and Michelle has this kind of Pollyanna-ish personality that makes it seem like there’s nothing else she’d rather be doing than having a child every year and raising them. Maybe that’s true for her. One of those 17 soon-to-be 18 kids is going to write a tell all one day.