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Today's Celebrity Baby Scoop - Duggars Aren't Ruling Out Baby No. 20

Duggars As their "miracle" baby Josie Brooklyn continues to grow stronger in the hospital, parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar say they won't soon forget the frightening circumstances surrounding the very early arrival of their 19th child.

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Comments

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Can't somebody stop them?

Issa

Eventually she'll hit menopause right? Wonder how many kids they'll have by then? 25?

schmutzie

A few years ago, I worked with a woman who came from a family of 26 children all from the same two parents. It took her a whole minute to list all of the kids in birth order. The first time they were all together in the same room was when the father died, and they all made it home for the funeral.

Karen

You know, some people have a difficult delivery with their first child, and nobody tells them, "Hey, maybe you should stop having kids." I nearly bled out during the emergency c section with my first kid, and if I had taken that as a "warning", then my second and third kid might not be here. In the blogosphere there are a lot of moms who write about their preemies, their scary deliveries with their first or second or third, and nobody says, "Okay, somebody stop them, because having one scary birth obviously means you cannot have more kids."

The Duggar kids seem to be healthy and cared for. Would I want 20 kids? Nope, I don't feel called to that. This is their lifestyle, and I find it ironic that amongst all the trumpets and hooting these days about supporting "alternate lifestyles" that the Duggars' lifestyle is scorned and put down. They've chosen an alternate lifestyle of their own. Why isn't it supported in our culture?

Bethany

I don't support it because it's not sustainable. We're an overpopulated planet. It's not responsible to the world to be having that many kids. Just because those two people can afford to buy/produce the resources needed for their kids, doesn't mean that it's a sustainable lifestyle. I have the same attitude toward them that I do toward people who say "I can afford my Hummer so why dis it?" because even if we all did everything we could afford to do as individuals, we'd bankrupt the planet. Or, um, bankrupt it faster than we're already doing because so many people have the attitude that even though something shouldn't be done by everyone, they can afford it so they should do it.

Angela

The comments here have taken an interesting turn. Now, granted I have been known to wonder aloud amongst friends whether Mrs. Duggar's uterus could maybe just fall out one day and have to be hauled around in a bucket. (One of my favorite bloggers stuck that image in my head and it won't go away! Thanks Catherine!)

But I do find, in all seriousness, that I jive more with the first commenter. It's really none of my business how many kids this family has. I personally will never make enough money (or have the organizational capacity) to manage that many kids, but I can't fault them or other families that do.

And I'm sorry, but the argument about the overpopulation of the planet just doesn't sway me one iota. Unless you want to start really cranking down on everyone and limit us all to 1 child per woman or something and have mandatory abortions, it's just not worth going there.

AmyC65

I'm with Angela, who is with (I think) Karen. Who are we to tell these people they can't have more kids, who they fully support with no help from anyone (OK, they have a TV show, but they supported them before that and I don't think they'd struggle without it). They are raising responsible, kind and conscientious kids - I just read an AOL.com article about how the older 2 boys were involved in saving a little girl's life outside their used car lot this week. Though the world MAY be slightly more crowded because of the Duggars, there 20 additions to the planet might make it a better place in the end.

And the overpopulation thing? Like Angela said, unless we move to a China-like system, let's not start telling people how many is "too much". I live on a block with mainly 3 & 4 kid families, none of whom seem to be getting the constant love, support and attention that the Duggar 20 are getting from their parents.

I personally wonder if they don't strike an envious nerve in some of us, that they are joyfully able to support, both emotionally and practically, 19+ kids. And they do a great job. And they do it so differently than most of us. Maybe it bothers us that they do? So our reaction to that is to make it wrong?

JZMom

I think my issue is that I don't see how they really can support - emotionally and physically - 19 children. Granted, they are all different ages, but as a teacher, when I have to "take care of" 19 fifth graders for 6 1/2 hours, I'm completely exhausted. There is no way I can give any of my students the same attention I give to either of my two children, even though there are days I spend more waking time with my students than my children. The fact that the older siblings spend a lot of time taking care of the younger siblings indicates that they struggle with connecting with all 19 kids. (Kind of like the mayor of Who-ville with 100 kids.)
Also, though I don't watch the show and don't know many details them, the argument that they are completely self-supporting is somewhat false. Do any of their kids go to public school? Do they live in a town that has curbside trash pick up? (I'm assuming 19 kids generate more trash than my family of 4.) Do they claim 19 children as dependents on their federal tax return? Will these kids be going to college; if so, will they seek financial aid?
Granted, these people are FAR from the worst parents out there. If I was going to become queen-of-the-universe and ban specific people from having kids, these two would be pretty far down my list. My bigger issue is the whole "the more kids we have, the better parents we are/the more status we have/etc." that tends to go along with these stories. I live in MA; there was a big article about this in the Globe a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, a child in one of the families (#6 of 7, I believe) drowned in the bathtub; he was 2, and was being supervised by the 9 year old while the Mom tended to the baby. Stories like that just break my heart.

JZMom

Phew...that was a long one...sorry...

Cristin

I don't really care if they have anymore kids. Who am I to say.
But what I worry about is the cavalier attitude about baby Josie's health. She might be fine but more than likely she'll have major problems and require tons of therapy and medical treatment. Did you watch the episode where she's born? They're all, "Ohhhh! She's to tiny and cute!"
??
She is still critically ill!
Isn't taking care of a micro-preemie a full time job in itself?
And Angela, I wonder the same thing about her uterus falling out! Ha. Carrying it around in a bukkit. Oh, that's so bad.

melissa

@JZMom:
Are you saying that they don't "support" their kids because they count them as tax deductions, send them to school and put their trash on the curb? In that case, do any of us support our children. What a dead beat I am and I only have 4 kids.

I assume that you meant that their family is a tax on the "free" stuff that our taxes pay for. But as I see it, they seem to be raising responsible children who will soon be giving back, paying their own taxes. Just as my children will someday pay their taxes as "reimbursement" for their schooling.

JZMom

@melissa - sorry...this is why I shouldn't write such long things...I don't proofread them.
There are people who say, "They can do what they want; they have no impact on us. They don't get support from the government."
While they don't get support directly from the government, I'm just pointing out that they do get support from the community. Support that they totally deserve - we all deserve - but when people (on other boards...I didn't really see it here, but thought of it) say they don't get support and "we" aren't impacted by them, it's not quite that clear.
Honestly? I think these people should be allowed to do whatever they want. It's a slippery slope when we start telling anyone when they can and can't (and must) have children. I'm just more concerned about the extent to which we glorify excess, without thinking of the long-term effects of such excess. "We" are glorifying these people considering a 20th child, when #19's life is hanging in the balance.

Katie Kat

It's ridiculous; and not only ridiculous, it's irresponsible. This planet has too many people on it already. There's just no point in it. You cannot convince me that those kids all get the same amount of care and attention from their parents. The older kids are basically raising the younger ones. And now, because of their irresponsible breeding, a child has been born who will most likely struggle her whole life. It's just wrong.

Karen

JZMom, the Duggars homeschool their children. Now, whether or not you agree with the homeschooling lifestyle is another can of worms.

However, as a homeschooling parent myself, I can tell you that I pay taxes on my property that go to the schools. The schools get money from me. However, because I homeschool my children, I do not take any money back out of the schools. It's like they get twice the money from me--they get my tax money and don't have to spend any on educating my kids, since my kids don't use the public school system.

funda62

The problem is they don't do the parenting themselves. I think what they do to their older children by assigning them younger children to care for is child abuse. No 9 year old should have to care for a toddler 100%.

And I too think it is irresponsible in an overpopulated world to have so many children.

Karen

Yes, and the one-child policy has worked out very well for China. Increased selective abortions that target female babies, abandoned girl babies in orphanages, and now a whole generation of young men who will have nobody to marry. And their population has been kept in check, too!

Seriously, folks, if we start to tell families when they have to stop having kids...well, we're just as bad as those who insist abortions shouldn't be made illegal, aren't we? Controlling others' reproductive rights.


Whether or not a sibling should be helpingn care for his or her younger siblings is a judgement call, and it's culturally based. Just a few generations ago, I guarantee you our great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers were "helping raise" their siblings. And there are many countries where that is the norm. It is NOT child abuse. It probably isn't a first-world-idea of how childhood should be. Honestly, should I not ask my nine year old to help his three year old get his toothbrush ready? Or help him find his socks? I wasn't aware we were trying to raise a generation of kids who don't know how to help those who need help.




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