• "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" --Mary Oliver

  • Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the little voice inside you the yells, "can't!" But you don't listen; you just push harder and then you hear the voice whisper "can" and you realize the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Comments

I've seen close at hand the real effects of too-large families on the children thereof. So I am making my voice heard. I certainly don't hate babies-- what a ludicrous idea!!! I had three of them after all-- and adore my grandchildren. With all respect to Rabbi Boteach, the ultra-religious community brands rational, careful, prudent people as godless baby haters. This type of slandering of people who honestly believe that it's MORALLY WRONG to have children that you can't afford doesn't do the large-family proponents any good. IF you can truly afford such indulgence, fine-- go ahead and have as many as you CAN afford. But it takes far more income than the average family enjoys to raise more than three children and give them the opportunities that they need for their future. I've raised my children, who are fully adult now and have children of their own. I've seen many families in my long life, and can tell you very frankly that over-sized families can create quite a few problems among the children. I can honestly say that in every large family that I personally have known, and there are many, at least one child has had serious psychological or social problems, and nearly always the children of those families do not have the same opportunities in terms of attention and resources that children from smaller families have. You can rhapsodize about and moralize large families all you want, but I've been there, in a community of enormous families, in which our family of seven was considered small (!!!).

As for the Jewish population, except for Haredi Jews in Israel and Hasidic Jews here, real population growth among Jews is all but nonexistent. Their reproductive rates are as low as those of the Christian Slavic nations, Italy, Germany, etc. It takes 2.7 children just to reproduce the parents, and I doubt the Ashkenazi population has even that rate.

Three to five children, I consider the ideal size family. More than six becomes very difficult financially. I think it's only responsible and moral to look at one's personal finances to determine how many children one can actually afford. What is so moral about bringing more children than you can possibly afford into the world? And what is so moral about birthing so many children that your older children are literally saddled night and day with the care of the younger ones? Such families are not the optimal environment for any child.

And one last word: in a very early post on this forum, I mentioned a family in our town where I grew up with seven brothers and sisters. This enormous family consisted of two parents and 23 children. Mom was still having babies when her older daughters began reproducing. Three of the boys from the family ended up in the state prison. None of the children did particularly well in school. I know because my parents were worked for the school system and we used to hear about these kids, and other huge families as well. The area was predominately Catholic and working class; our parents were one of the few professional couples. In my immediate neighborhood, in seven small houses, lived 56 children and their parents. Of these children, oddly enough, 47 were boys. I babysat for these families when I became old enough to do so, and know exactly what went on in their homes, as well as the homes of friends at school who were likewise usually from families of at least four or five children, and in some cases, double that number. None of the people I went to school with has reproduced at those astonishing levels. They limited their families to one, two or three, having already lived through enough large family experiences to last them a lifetime.

WoW, large families are irresponsible. Older siblings should not help in taking care of younger ones.

I think you need to go back several generations and see how families use to be. If it was less than 5 something was wrong ;)
I also would bet if you go back several generations you'll see a large family in your past.

From what i've seen they have it more together than I or my kids will ever be, I have three!

Appearances can be very deceptive, Duke. The video editor let you see what he/she wanted you to see. You don't know what's going on, not really. And neither do the Duggars. In ten or fifteen years, the oldest children will be fully adult and then maybe we-- and they-- will know the effect that this kind of life has had on their children. What I do know as a certainty is how the huge families of my childhood turned out, raised by people just as religious as the Duggars, doing things fairly similar with the exception of the home schooling. Fortunately we all got a level playing field in terms of education, and that education was excellent in the public schools of the time. So a number of us did get into college and did go on to become professionals. My children's public schools were excellent as well, in a different state on the other side of the country. We supplemented and enriched what they got in school, which is a parent's job; and my parents did it for us. But that doesn't mean that there weren't and aren't problems with big families. Sure, there are problems with small families too when the whole focus is materialistic and the kids are brought into the world and then basically ignored as mommy and daddy chase money and status. But, following fads and joining cultish groups and having vast numbers of kids without really thinking through what's going to happen to them when they leave home is hardly responsible parenting. Those Duggar kids, in their 7,000 square foot home, still don't have their own bedrooms, or even two to a bedroom. Each gender is put into a dormitory room, so in effect there are 16 kids in two bedrooms. What's that about? No privacy, no psychological or physical space to call their own... But of course, they keep those kids, especially the girls, so busy that the kids probably fall into bed at the end of each day hoping that none of their toddler "buddies" wakes up in the night and requires their midnight attention. It's a slick little system; when the older girls are up all night with a sick younger sibling, Michelle doesn't have to explain to any public school administration why her daughter(s) aren't in school the next day because they're too tired as a result of being up all night. In a public school system, that excuse would bring a social worker to the home in very short order to see what the heck was going on there, and there would be some stern questions asked as to why school-aged children were up at night with babies instead of getting the sleep they needed for school. It would be regarded as child abuse, if authorities ever caught on. But with this media hoopla swirling around the Duggars, the state probably feels itself to be helpless and any action on their part could turn into a P.R. nightmare.

Well, go ahead; emulate the Duggars. Dress your daughters like extras in a production of "Jane Eyre." Make them grow their hair so long they can sit on it. Isolate them and never, ever let them know how to set about realizing any future except to repeat their mother's pathological obsession with childbearing. Teach the boys that girls are there to wait on them and have babies. You won't have to say a word. They'll pick that lesson up all on their own, very quickly.

And as for you, run around being constantly pregnant and godly and talking about having even more than 17, 18, 20, even if every doctor in the state tells you it isn't safe. Get on TV so people will send you money and groupies will come to your home and demand to help out. You won't have to lift a finger. You've got all your little look-alike slaves to help you, and lots and lots of goodies flowing in. You can just sit there like a termite queen and pop out the babies one after the other. After all, when they're six months old, you'll never have to spend more than a few minutes a day with any of them, and people will pat you on the head and tell you you're a great mother.

Joanna, I see you have no response to my question of what kind of person calls themselves a Christian and yet openly judges a family they know nothing about. You are so good and telling the world how horrible the duggars are, so quick to make fun of how they dress and what their hair looks like. Disagreeing with another is one thing--ridaculing a family who has done nothing to you is something else. I wonder how you sleep at night, or better yet, why you bother attending Christian church services at all...

Hey everybody! Johanna knows it all. She reminds me of that guy on "The next great inventor". He knows everything too, done it all, and whos views are the most important. Johanna you need to write a book. Make money from all your wisdom. Go Duggers!

Johanna,
As for "Quiver full" being a cult or a religion, it isn't. It is a belief in letting God plan your reproductive future. That doesn't mean you will have 15 kids...for some it means 1 or 2 and for others it means many...there is no set number! God is the creator and being quiverfull means that you trust God to be the creator. By the way, I know of a quiverfull e-group, but unless some new magazine has been released recently, I don't know of a quiverfull magazine...I just rely on the Bible! And, I don't wave my Bible around or thump people over the head with it. I truly believe that many people, such as yourself, are not capable of raising many children, for one reason or another. Like I said, God knows how many children to give each couple!

Yes, we trust God to provide for the blessings He gives us. That doesn't mean we sit around waiting for money to fall from the sky. We work hard! The years I get pregnant are the years we have seen large raises in pay. Other than just the raises, we have seen great blessings in other forms. I have a friend that has one daughter who is very indulged, and she happens to stay a size or two ahead of my oldest daughter. Whenever she cleans out her closet, we get bags full of nearly new and never been worn clothes. The latest fashions too. My kids don't dress in clothes from the 70's. My daughters don't have hair to their butts, more like shoulder length. And, I certainly don't wait on my husband hand and foot. Even without my friend doing that I could afford to buy them nice clothes! Whenever someone has an abundance of vegetables from their garden, we find bags of garden fresh veggies sitting on our front porch. My children are well fed without their help, but we appreciate the fact that they thought of us and we put their abundance to good use! We live off of one income, and we live comfortably! And, we have planned for our future and our childrens educations! As I remember you saying, your children went to Ivy League schools on scholarship and working a job...thank God for that Johanna, He provided for your children!

We have a really nice 2003 12 passenger van, and we got a really good deal on it due to a misprint on the internet site...thank you God! But even without the misprint, we could have afforded it!

I hate that you had such a bad experience in a large family...that doesn't mean that ALL large families are that way! Out of the many, MANY large families we know, I only know of one that I wouldn't want to be a part of...but when it comes to many of the small families, I see many problems running rampant...and the foremost problem is the "me" factor that both the parents have! Those children also walk around thinking they are better than everyone else...last time I checked, we were all created equal!

I also hate the fact that you are so bitter. But, what your parents did to you isn't any large families fault! I really must tell you, there isn't a perfect family out there! You can have your 1.9 children, and think you are doing just dandy...but I have seen what those children are like, and they are FAR from perfect! (NO, I am not saying all small families are like this!) My children are fun and well liked by adults and children...but they can get rowdy and loud...that isn't due to our family size, that is due to what my husband and I are like! Johanna, we large families aren't attacking you just because we choose a different way...we aren't saying your way is wrong either, we are just saying it isn't right for us!

Also, I haven't slandered anyone. Anyone that knows me would tell you that I am smart, careful, faithful, prudent, honest, trust worthy, hard-working, moral, rational, non-self indulgent, friendly, loving, a baby lover, a good wife, a good mother, a good friend...I am sure there is more they would say...but I am also humble and will just stop at that already long list! Just because you can't handle any more children doesn't mean that the rest of us need to stop at your psychological limit!

I have more to say about your claims about homeschooling, standardized testing, and Ivy League colleges...but I don't have time right now, as my children are waking up and need breakfast before we do our school work. I will say that your daughter and son-in-law are wrong and that just because they work at one technical institute doesn't make them the end all be all of info on the collegiate world! Also, homeschoolers take the SAME tests that public schools do, and an outside source (non-homeschool related) handles the scores! Also, I at least back up my claims with books and web-sites. I give proof...you just make mean spirited opinions and offer no proof.

Off to feed my multitude!

Go Traci! Go Mommy with the Best views!

I am sure that both of sets of your children will turn out beautifully because they have mothers who set good examples for them--about faith, compassion, and acceptance.

Joanna, seeing as your kids were raised with your motherly example of slandering other families who are unlike yours, making fun of people's choice of hair and dress styles....well, God help them to be halfway decent people--they'll need it!

While we take a quick break, I thought I would give Johanna some reading material on homeschooling. This isn't even a drop in the bucket when it comes to info, I just don't have time for a lengthy e-mail at present. I will tell you Johanna that both MIT and CalTech take homeschoolers...you can see that from looking on their websites. 1% of MIT admissions for the fall term of 2005 were homeschoolers. Now since the national average of homeschoolers is 2.2%, and that was at 100% acceptance (can't say that for the public school kids), that is great! You have to think of how many homeschool families don't choose college for their daughters, wrong or right, that is their decision. CalTech even offers groups for homeschoolers.

Here are some websites and a really good article at the end of this post!

http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n8/

http://www.smartmoney.com/mag/index.cfm?story=nov01-home3

http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/caluke.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/leclair1.html

http://www.teenscenemag.com/sections/reallife/teen411/homeschool.php

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/douggiles/2005/01/08/14185.html

and

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000017.asp

*Hi, this is Amy... I left your links up as that is certainly appreciated, but this is not the place to repost enormous articles. Feel free to post LINKS to articles, but keep content original otherwise. Thank you!

Where's Johanna?

Great imfo. Traci!

give joanna a break--i mean c'mon, she's got three children, she's at her "psychological limit". with a full plate like that, who has time to blog?? ;)

(aside from the three kiddies, she's off spreading her wealth of judgemental knowledge to the rest of the lowly world--maybe we'll be fortunate to catch a post from her later on)

What would the world be like if everyone had the number of kids the Duggar's are having?

Probably not as bad as you think. Read Traci's (i believe) earlier post on the myth of overpopulation....

PS--the Duggars haven't resorted to "Joseph2" and "Johanna2"--get your own name!!!

I think if everyone had that many kids, we wouldn't be here discussing this. We would have already destroyed the Earth.

So, Critic1 (incredibly original--in case I didn't make myself clear, get your own name!) we should all just stop producing so that we have a planet with no inhabitants to enjoy it? "spoken like a true liberal idiot....", as mrs. mccluskey would say

What's wrong with having one or two kids?

Also... why do people call other people names here?

You're right. I'm sorry.

Traci -

I can't believe you have held in there like you have. I have been reading the posts for some time now, and I have to warn you: There are those who do hide behind false names, and will threaten you because they can't refute what you say, or put together a logical response.

Think of small children on a playground. When a child can't answer, they respond by name calling or insults.

Of course, if threateners do come out in the open, they make themselves vulnerable.

MeThinks you live in

Google "

Amazing what you can find on the Internet! Addresses, telephone numbers... etc.

*HI, This is Amy- (you know, the one who owns this blog?) This tyoe of post which is designed to make someone feel threatened is not cool here.

I laughed out loud at that picture of the suckling piglets. I mean, Amy does know that many people would describe other families' two or three children as a litter, doesn't she? She has some very good points to make about the way these kids are (seemingly) being brought up, but I think the fact that there are sixteen of them doesn't even make the list of things to be concerned about. For every couple who "overbreed," there's one who desire no children, and all should have their choices respected.

"spoken like a true liberal idiot...."

So Johanna is the one who's being "judgmental" here? Interesting. It is beyond my comprehension that you feel comfortable essentially calling people bad Christians because they don't share your viewpoint, but your equally and even more judgmental comments about liberals, small families, "two and through" like it's some sort of insult, etc., etc. are perfectly fine. I refer in particular to the comments that I would find incredibly offensive if I were Johanna implying that despite her obvious love for her kids and the fine people they've turned into by her description, the reason she only had three was because she could only "handle" three whereas you can "handle" 8 or 10 or whatever, with the clear implication being that this makes you a better person (I'm obviously referring variously to Traci, PP, and critic, among others, since I think it's safe to say you think a lot alike on this issue). Maybe it just makes you worse at knowing what's best for your children. And NO, I'm not saying that that is actually the case, since I don't know any of you--just illustrating a point.

From what I have seen, it is a major MO of those who have lots of kids on this forum to make snide comments implying that all (or most, or many) parents with small families are status-chasing yuppies with lonely, institutionally-raised kids. When the equivalent implication comes from the "other" side, that the Duggars are weird and cultish and sexist and the kids overworked, all of a sudden that's "judgment" and it's bad. To my mind saying something like "Well, having lots of kids beats having two who go to public school and get dragged down to the lowest common denominator while Mom and Dad care more about money than their own children--I mean, not to imply that ALL small families are like that" is far more judgmental than anything I've seen from those in the "small family" camp so far. Particularly since the Duggars are a big family and they're the ones we're talking about, so you would expect to see pros and cons of big families debated.

It's also amazing to me that homeschooling folks can never come up with any references that come from anywhere other than other homeschooling advocates or "what to say if a godless liberal tries to tell you x" pamphlets from Christian web sites. Show me an article in a mainstream academic journal that proves homeschooled kids are more sought after by colleges than public school kids. And no, what was posted (a slanted piece written by a man who probably makes a very comfortable living by litigating homeschooling issues--so he's not exactly in this out of pure scientific curiosity) does not count. Would those of you who have argued against the use of birth control in this thread be swayed if I posted an article about birth control from Planned Parenthood? No, you would be the first in line to yell about bias and seek out a spin that fits more comfortably with what you already think. It's human nature to seek out information that backs up what we already believe to be true. The problem is, just as Planned Parenthood is a lobbying group, so is the group that published the article reprinted above--it just so happens that you agree with one and not the other. So I'll ask again, where are the REAL, credible studies published by impartial researchers that show home-schooled kids are more successful than public school kids? I'm serious here. If there is a better way to educate my kids when I have them, I want to know about it and start planning for that now. But somehow I doubt I'll see that evidence.

I love the Anne of Green Gables books and when I think of "ideal" families, those portrayed in the books are what come to mind--both the small family of Matthew, Marilla, and Anne, and the large family of Gilbert and Anne and their kids. These are works of fiction, but as an ideal I think they show that you can be independent, professional, curious, and even argumentative, with many kids, a few, or none at all, and still be devoted to family and the good, wholesome things in life. I think that the things we want for our families are not so different in the end.

On the other hand, the Duggars are the ones who chose to put their lives on TV, so I say judge away! I'd be friendly and polite if I met them in person, and try to get the know the real people--but right now they can't by definition be anything other than reality TV characters to those of us who don't know them personally. Their lives are spliced, diced, and twisted to send whatever message TLC has in mind at the time, not to mention the fact that I'm sure having TV cameras in my house would affect my behavior in one way or another and I'm sure they're no different. Therefore I find it much more fun to accept those limitations and snark on what I see on my TV screen. Like those ugly-ass dresses. :)

By the way, if anyone cares what perspective I'm coming from here, I'm a Christian woman raised in a Christian home. I'm 29 and have been married for 8 years. I am an engineer with a master's degree and professional engineer's license, and my husband is a Ph.D. chemical engineer in research and development at a highly profitable (i.e. non-Big 3) auto company. Not bad for a couple of publik skool kids. ;)

Hi guys-

This is my blog.

1. Please don't post yards of artucles or I'll have to delete your post.

2. Please do not call people names unless you are also going to post something interesting and intelligent along with it. That bores me and I'll be forced to delete your comments.

3. Anyone who threatens anyone here will also be deleted. And if I'm bored enough from reading stupid name-calling posts, I may be forced to track down your IP address and send a note to your site administrator or at least mail bomb your server or something to amuse me.

Quit being lame, people, or go somewhere else.

What can we say amy, lame people are attracted to lame blogs....like those of people who find it more of a priority to blog about their children when they are ill instead of actually taking care of them....i found that interesting.

Also interesting to note is that the majority of the posts you deleted were those in favor of the Duggars, not those opposing them.

Just some lame thoughts from a lame person. Have a lame day, Amy!

Blogstander, bite my ass. Hard.

(oops, sorry Amy -- that was name-calling. Let me be more productive.)

Seriously, why don't you all start your own blog about the Duggars? Pros and cons, you can all go there. Amy shared her opinions in one or two posts, but obviously has not been contributing to the discussion anymore. Time for you all to move on.

Hey Nancy,

Gladly. Please forgive me. I've been very rude. Nancy, you are the queen of the universe and I adore you.

Hee hee. Nancy's ass is quite delicious, I don't know why EVERYONE wouldn't want to have their head up there.

Actually, I only deleted a bunch of posts by some people calling themselves 'critic' that were name-calling and not on topic.

I also take offense to anyone making a veuled threat to another person on here by suggesting to others that they "google them" to get personal information- the obvious insinuation to harrass them in person, the proverbial "I know where you live" thing. Yes, I think that's lame. I think people making stupid comments is lame.

As far as blogging about my children being sick instead of taking care of them? Who said my kids weren't taken care of? Trust me, they have all the cough syrup I can feed them and hours of Tivo to watch (insert tongue in cheek here- for the totally clueless).

What I think is extra-super-special lame is having 16? 17? kids. I'm sure Michelle Duggar as a freakin' fantabulous Mom, but hands down, my kids would choose me and our lifestyle over theirs any day.

Whoaaaa Nellie!

Ok, I didn't like the pic of the piglets either, but that isn't a good reason to insult Amy's children!!! Viola looked absolutely adorable in her halloween costume! Amy and I may have different family sizes, beliefs, ideas, politics, religions...but that doesn't mean we couldn't be friends, and it doesn't mean that we can insult each others children! Some of my best friends have 2 or 3 children...and that is all they will have, and they are fabulous moms, and I love them dearly!

Look, I asked Amy to delete the "threatening" post, and she quickly did so! As a mother herself, she understood exactly how I felt! I think that says ALOT about her character!!!!! Thank you Amy! :)

As for the deleting of part of my extremely long post, so what...it was really, REALLY long! (I will admit to being annoyed when I had to scroll past my own very long post!) She left behind the links, including where the article came from.

~Traci...mom of soon to be 7, Duggar supporter, conservative, homeschooler

Lesson of the Day/Yesterday: Never use my personal e-mail address when I attack people online and call them names. Especially when it is linked to my address and telephone number.

Maybe someone can work that into a homeschool lesson.

Hmmm yes Critic3 it was a good lesson especially since there are things I didn't know were on certain sites...I just never had problems of this type on the other blogs I was on.

However, I never called anyone names, I chose to stay out of that mess altogether! The worst thing I said was it was childish...and I still stand by that!

Y'all have a good night and sweet dreams!

So, Critic, here's the deal... y'all seem to be missing the point of the piglets. I wasn't comparing the looks, the table manners or the eating habits of the Duggar family with the piglets. Frankly, I think that is insulting to the piglets. They go naked as the good Lord made them rather than clothe themselves in some absurd 70's cum Prairie-girl attire. The point of the piglets is that animals, like pigs, are generally considered philosphically unaware, unconscious beings. They breed, pop out the little porkers and that's just their nature. We human beings have the power to use our self-awareness, our brains, to make decisions and judgements. I mean, even all lemming-like religious fanatics must admit to this- God supposedly gave people free will which is pretty useless in the face of an extreme lack of judgement.

I believe the Duggars have gone beyond 'accepting all the gifts of the Lord'. I believe they are irresponsible and narcissistic. God wants you to take care of the gifts he gives you, don't you know- not fob them off on others. You know, we've all heard that song about lettin' your little light shine and all.

And btw, Critic.. you asked what gives me the right? the fact that this is MY blog gives me the right- that's what. This isn't the public library. This place here- all about my personal opinions. Hey, if you don't like the show, then leave. I don't know how many ways to say it.

You know, I think my girls are beautiful. But everyone thinks their own kids are cute so I'll admit my parental bias. However, regardless of how beautiful I think my girls are, I am much prouder of the fact that they are intelligent, kind and generous human beings with a good sense of humor and joie de vivre. And they like Laffy Taffy. Did I mention my kids are PERFECT?!?

Your kids *are* perfect, Amy.

BTW, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO, you should let the Duggars know that you're willing to adopt one of their kids, they might take you up on it considering the extent to which they allow others to care for their own children.

It's funny, too, as a side note, when my husband read your post about how ADORABLE the Duggar kids are and how ours are not- he amusedly pointed out what initially crossed my mind: white supremecist.

I'm just wondering about all these people in favor of the Duggars (go, rah!)- what would they say about a family of the same size of a different ethnicity or differing religious viewpoint?

Anybody have stats on the success and test scores of homeschooled students from ATI? I have read about the program online and am concerned that with all the biblical principles in the wisdom booklets that too much algebra and chemistry is being left out.

Well, I was going to leave some posts up by Blogstander and ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO which revealed their racist views. I hit the nail on the head with the race issue apparently.

But, to allow that kind of ignorance any room is a disservice and is irresponsible of me as the owner of a blog.

Thanks ABC and Blogstander, though, for proving my instincts about you as correct. Suzie Q, who posted the quote about how the races shouldn't mix, eh, I've asked that all content be kept original. And frankly I'm not interested in hearing your viewpoint on that subject matter.

Wow, still not getting the concept of this being an individual's blog...

My husband pointed out, I should have left those posts up so that everyone who comes here can see the type of people who are in support of the Duggars. If I was one of the Duggars, I would be ASHAMED and EMBARRASSED to see someone supported me who was a white supremecist or at the least a racist.

PS. I'm not calling everyone who supports the Duggars a racist, SusieQ, just you. Oh, and so glad you know some non-white folk. I guess that makes you a real progressive.

BTW.. I'm going to just keep deleting posts.

Have a nice day!

I know I seem like I've having a crazy conversation with myself here, but actually I deleted some posts I didn't like- because it's my perogative to do so.

In one, someone accused me of naming my children after a musical instrument and office supplies. I'm highly offended, I assure you.

No, you IDIOT, my girls are named after baseball players.

How many of you who are commenting negatively on the Duggars come from a large family or have a large family of your own? Some of the remarks are obviously made in ignorance...you simply have no idea how a large, healthy family operates. You are trying to put them into a box meant for families of 1 or 2 or 0 children.

I am one of 6 children. I have a science degree and married a man with a science degree, who was one of 9 children. We have a really good friendship and a better marriage. We really like our kids as well, and have friends outside of our family that we enjoy.

We have 9 children, and have no problem at all giving our children one-on-one time. Our kids prefer sharing bedrooms. Our kids like being part of a big family. We homeschool and don't waste our brains on video games and MTV...there's other good stuff out there we prefer. If my kids prefer to go with MTV and video games after they grow up...that's their choice.

But there's this odd thing that happens when a family is healthy and the marriage of the parents are loving and the kids don't think they are the center of the universe...the kids respect the parents. And for some odd reason, want to be like them. Weird. (tongue in cheek)

The world is full of too many people who don't have the courage to make a life of their own so they hang out playing armchair quarterback to other people's lives.

I don't watch stuff about the Duggars. I don't know anything about them really. I learned more about them here at this blog than I knew before I came here. So this isn't about the Duggars.

It's about people spouting off opinions about things they really know nothing about.
We all tend to do it. I do from time to time. But it only makes you look foolish and humiliates you in front of everyone else who is watching you, so might as well have some dignity and pay attention to your own life and examine it well.

I am expecting my 9th child soon. I think the Duggar family is awesome. :)
I don't think the older children actually *raise* the youngers, they are just their helpers. It does help learn responsibilty and things they will need to know for when they reach adulthood. I mean, after all isn't that our job as a parent? To give our children the skills they will need as an adult?? I bet none of their daughters will ever need to carry around a baby-think-it-over to understand the responsibilty of raising a child (and helping wiht a real baby has to be tons better than carrying around some fake doll that cant even smile and coo and isn't even cuddly). They children have knowledge about all kinds of things that many 18 yo's have no consept of. They learn ot appreciate the things they have,and that they don't need to have expensive things and name brand clothes to enjoy life. THey have learned teamwork and how to settle differneces in a kind way. How can any of that be wrong?
Since the children are not shipped off to school all day, that leaves more time for indivudual attention. I am sure there is much more of that then you see on their tv shows.
As far as them dressing alike, I have seen several times on the tv shows where they are NOT dressed alike. The dressing alike is for things like outings. And believe me, when you have a big group, having them all match makes things easier. Even school's will have children dress the same on field trips. Just makes it easier to keep the group together and not loose anyone.
I cna only say I wish I was as organized as Mrs. Duggar. I think she is an awesome woman, and her family inspires me.

I will say though, I htink they have one advantage that most large families don't have. Mr. Duggar is self-employed, so seems to have much more time wiht his family than many other men do. I think this is something that is really helpful for their family.

And if you think people with large families are wierd or crazy or whatever. Well, just remember, none of us are going to tell you you are wierd for only wanting 1, 2 or 0 children. We respect your beliefs. I hope you can respect ours, even if you don't agree with them. :)

Since large families are the exception instead of the norm, then why has crime and deviant behavior sky-rocketed, since society changed from a more conservative, traditional outlook to a liberal one? Could it be the ones that don't see this horrible change are the ignorant, uneduacted(maybe even deviant) ones?

Having just come across your site today, I find your arguments against having many children, and your zeal to skewer the Duggars, to be very telling. Your opinions say more about you than about the Duggars or about having multiple children.

That is to say, it is amazing to me how narrow-minded and uneducated you appear. I say this with a bit of shock because it is apparent you truly don't realize how ignorant you sound, how judgemental, and how utterly hate-filled. How very sad.

It is obvious you have no statistics, no historical education, and no personal experience on which to base your assumptions. And sadly, you don't even have the redeeming quality of a personal intellectual curiousity which would eventually lead you to correct your mistaken notions.

For you, your opinion is all that matters. And what an inhumane opinion it is.

How would you feel, yourself, please take a moment to actually think....how would you feel, what would you think....if your (what, 1.8, perhaps?) children were being compared to anything other than the beautiful creations that they are?

How educated is that? And is putting others down simply based on your small-minded thinking supposed to sway others to your intellectual viewpoint? Interestingly, the very religion that you try to demean is the one which will teach these children to be kinder, more intelligent, more mature and more civilized than what you have become.

One other comment, for Amy:

Seeing that "racism" is a very important issue to you, please fill (any race) into the slots where you have placed (comments about the Duggars or about religion).

It is amazing how "racist" you sound, isn't it?

I hope this has been an eye opening, no, a mind-opening, experience for you. The world needs more Duggars, more people who are loving and selfless and giving.

And maybe a few less of the racist comments of the type you spew out without thinking?

Just something to think over your cup of tea.

Ahh once again another opinionated Liberal has shown their true stripes by being so incredibly narrow minded and intolerant. Gee Amy as long as the Duggars live just like you they are OK. However, let them live in any way that you do not understand and they are uneducated and compared to swine. Your lack of education and fear will lead you down a very dark bigoted path. Shame on you! Shame on you for skewering a family that has done nothing to you and likely would welcome you warmly into their home and show you nothing but hospitality and mercy and grace. How would you treat them? Making fun of hairstyles. Give me a break. Who appointed you Fashion Maven? Here is a tip, you may want to right this down. Many of us could care less what the Fashion Guru's insist is "in style" Seriously WE DON'T CARE. It's called having a mind of our own. Not being sheep led by Madison Avenue and the fashion trade. OH, you were concerned that the children had no minds of their own. BUT WAIT! look at what original trail blazers their parents are. Not conforming to this sick, decaying world. Not following what is trendy or popular, but following their convictions. WOW! Imagine parents whose children do not even know who someone like Paris Hilton is! Now theres a big loss eh? Instead they know the value of loving parents and brothers and sisters. Explain how that is wrong?

Convictions. A word that is lost in modern society. Most folks no longer have the Courage of their convictions and are led around like cattle by the Media and Madison Ave.Doing what every one else does because it's OK. Having no individuality. Yet, the Duggar Family is definitely unique! Funny thing those of us with large families that homeschool are not out running around insisting you have more children, dress like us, or skewering you on our blogs. Seriously we have better things to do with our time. You want 1 or 2 children? OK. You want to dump them in a day-care and go fulfll yourself in some stuffy office? OK You need ME time at the gym or getting your hair done in the latest style? OK I won't tell you to live one iota different. However, I firmly believe there are consequences for each choice we make in life, positive and negative. I wish more women could understand the joy of a large family and the pleasure of caring for them.
Watching children grow into caring, responsible, giving people unlike their peers who live a life of self indugence and entitlement. Little Princes and Princesses who demand and Mommy and Daddy jump. Never knowing the true value of a dollar or the pleasure of having your sibling be a close friend. My children will make a difference in this world because they are taught nothing is for free and we must give back to others. They have incredible self-confidence because they are loved, wanted, viable members of this family unit and each has a role and responsibilities they take seriously.

I have 10 children! I'm not a betting woman, but I'd still bet that if you were to see us out in public, Mom and the girls in dresses and the boys dressed in nice jeans and shirts, all well groomed and well behaved you'd allow your narrow mind to go all sorts of places. "OH UGH they look like that Duggar family" Thank you I have enormous respect for them and would find that to be a compliment. You'd never know 8 of those children were rescued from Foster-Care and given a permanent and loving home and our last name. I wish I'd given birth to them, then they would not have to struggle with their bio-mothers decision to drink and shove illegal substances in her pregnant body.

My girls want to be Mommies. I love my job and they want to emulate me. We live on a farm, my boys are growing up to be strong, young moral men who know the value and satisfaction of a days work. Not sissified, self-obsessed Metro-sexuals buying hair products and skin creams! What does THAT add to our society?

I hope your dear child/ren grow up with a wider more accepting view of all types of lifestyles and families. I would love one liberal to answer this question. Why is it OK for you to skewer a family that is productive and healthy and loving, actually giving back to this society by raising moral children, having no debt etc?Just let any one say anything about a Gay couple and the roof blows off. I'm not saying anything about Gays. I'm just wondering why you are so selective in your "tolerance". Insisting if others do not embrace each and every form of family-style YOU deem OK we are intolerant. Yet, you have allowed yourself the right of intolerance and judge a family that frankly you know very little about. You need to look deeper as to why this lovely family irritates you so. Don't judge, lest you should be judged.
Oh and Aunty MJ, you go girl!!!!!

Uhhhh, did we all forget what we are supposed to be talking about? The Duggars, remember? You know that family with 16 kids?

(Which, by the way, I think is just plain wrong.)

Interesting... interesting how when women join in the conversation, sharing intelligent, informed and personal insight... the owner of this blog goes sarcastic. Very interesting, and telling.

Interesting also to me that several of the replies here are from "educated" women involved in the caring of lost children within a drug infested country and giving up a me-life to raise a better breed of functioning adults. Would you know that OreoSouza is a school teacher who spends her days homeschooling her 9 children (2 adopted from Liberia), that Blestwith10 is a woman who has given up working with struggling teens as a pyschologist to adopt 8 more children (after her own children were grown!) when she could easily have been done? or that MJ is an educated Mommy who volunteers her time working with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center as well as other Christian organizations? That I, myself, dropped out of college as a sophomore to adopt those very children I wanted to work with in the social work field? Would you be interested to know that Mrs. Duggar herself is an "educated" woman... but far from that... is an educated CHRISTIAN woman? Thus has the ability to discern whether "popping" out 16 children is wise or not.

Oh, by the way, these ladies are personal friends, not internet aquaintances. Oh, and ALL of the ladies I mentioned (including myself) would have eagerly accepted any and all children God should give them via the womb OR adoption.

I'm truly sorry Amy, that you are not open minded enough to accept the fact that you are very possibly (well, you are) wrong. Dead wrong. And uninformed. And uneducated about large families and how they strive to serve Christ by living day to day in the "trenches". You will thank us when our children are productive, cordial adults walking within a fallen society.

What are YOU doing to change the world?

Toodles!
Nicole (Fat, dumb Mom of 7 sheltered idiots... so far ;o)

I too, am amazed at how judgemental you are about large families. I am the mother of 6. It is YOUR choice the number of children you have and how you raise them. Why do you have to judge others for how many they have or how they raise them?

Putting the photo of the pigs with the Duggars is pretty low... no ... very low.

I agree with MJ, OreoSouza, Connie, & Nicole...

why is it when you start hearing LOTS of debate you start being scarcastic?

I am just sitting here shaking my head... I just can not believe how ignorant you have made yourself look and sound.

about older children helping with younger ones .. my children LOVE the babies and toddlers. My oldest daugher wants a large family. They swim together, play together... we stay home a lot and enjoy being together. My children are praying that God blesses us with another child. Does that sound like they are being miss treated to you?

all of this to say you do what works for you and we do what works for us... what we feel the LORD has led us to do. We do not throw stones at your way of living why do you have to throw stones at others that are different then what you have chosen?

Teena
mom to 1/2 dozen ages 21-2

Ahh Amy it's not as if I, or any of us really expected you to search your heart regarding your mean spirited post regarding the Duggar family. It's just that I find comparing a family, any family, no matter how it differs from mine to a picture of pigs just despicable. Yes, despicable, cruel and just shows the hardness of your heart.

To be truly Liberal, truly accepting is to realize that your opinion is not the only one. To react in sarcasm shows that you know you have crossed a line. Like a wounded animal biting the hand that helps it. The picture, the comments on this family is just so cruel. Are you a cruel person Amy? Is that how you want to be seen. Perhaps you've bought into the idea that being a mouthy, sarcastic woman is hip. It's not. Not for a man or a woman. It's always harsh and cruel and leaves people slightly uncomfortable.

Sad that all these comments caused you to react in sarcasm. For me I would have to search my heart, re-evaluate my attitude towards others with different lifestyles.

Sad that you can not even attempt to understand another lifestyle yet, rail against others who may not understand yet a different type of lifestyle.

Your comments and sarcasm will not get your children anywhere. If you truly are Liberal, you certainly are not a bleeding heart one. Unless you teach your children to love ALL others, they will grow up with the same hard, snarky attitude to any one that looks unusual to them. How does that make you different from say a member of the Ku KLux KLan?

I am still so appalled by the picute of the lovely Duggar family under a picture of pigs. What makes you so angry and so cruel? Who hurt you? I will praying for you Amy. You obviously are in a lot of pain.

Oh Gaud… here come the mass breeder homeschooling moo’s from Breeder Blogs.

This is where they try to convince us (and themselves) how right they are.

Yawn.

Oh, and... disguising yourself at a 'crisis pregnancy center' doesn't make you nothing but deceiving.

So here the thing... I didn't write the post above which is now deleted. Someone else signed my name to that.

Blest With 10- I appreciate the kind sentiments you have toward someone you feel so vile as myself. It's all about who is superior, right?

Look, everyone is going to defend what they think is right.

BTW, as hot as I know Nancy is, she is not my life partner, just a good friend. And some of the comments above about boys growing up to be metrosexuals using skin care products- HOO HOO! Talk about bias... again, your true colors showing through. Christianity is just another way to couch intolerance and try to make it look pretty, isn't it. "I love you, but God thinks your an abomination. I'll pray for you because I'm so much better than you."

So, there are some people who are coming back again and again to make trouble and so far this has turned into a big "I'm right, you're wrong" argument instead of the original discussion- so I'll probably be closing the comments down soon.

Why do ya'll hate the Duggars so much? They are such a wonderful family. Blessed with 16 children. It's aweful how everyone talks down about them and calls them names just because they have a big family. There isn't a law that you can't have more than 3 or 4 kids. The fact that their children have chores/jurisdictions and help with the younger kids does not in any way make them slaves as some of ya'll are calling them, and it is so rude to compare them to pigs! I look up to the Duggars and I hope that I will be blessed with that many children someday.

Amy, you said:

"Look, everyone is going to defend what they think is right."

The point that we are all making here is that not everyone is going to be racist and hate-mongering in defending what they think is right. Having an opinion, and even expressing an opinion can be done in an intelligent, caring, humane manner.

Your attitudes are what are being questioned here, your narrow-mindedness, not your opinions.

I even wonder, as I am thinking on this, what would cause someone to want to be like you, to follow your opinions, when you are so harsh and uncaring?

I would like to know what you think now of your writing if you put your own children's names in the spaces where you attack others... is that how you want them treated?

Is that what you want to teach them?

Are they as "racist" as you?

Racist simply means that you want the whole race of humanity to be just like you and that you treat those who are different with hate and disdain.

Oh wow.

Amy, you said:
"I love you, but God thinks your an abomination. I'll pray for you because I'm so much better than you."

I wasn't going to comment any further. I really shouldn't do this. But sometimes we are so stupid...all of us...Christians and non-Christians, liberal and conservative.

Uh...anything a Christian said on this comment section that gave you the above impression was wrong. Or you took it wrong.

If anything, it's "God loves you even tho I might think you are an abomination, and at least He won't forget you, even tho I might want to."

I think you know that. Maybe that's why you wrote what you did, knowing that it would stick in the craw of some Christians who have posted here and hurt them like crazy.

And maybe you are right to do so.

I think you were off base as far as your perspective of the Duggars and how you chose to address the situation. But whatever...your opinion and my opinion are just things to talk about. What you think about me or what I think about you has nothing to do with who God is. How the Duggars choose to live does not make God who he is.

He's who he is with or without you or me or the Duggars.

I wish my childhood had been more like the Duggars. I have 2 half brothers, 5 and 8 years older. They lived with us every other week, so alot of times I felt like an only child. I always alwasy asked my mom and dad for a younger sibling. I have alwasy been fascinated by large families, and have always wanted one. I have always cherished old fashioned ideas.
For the most part my parents were good parents, they did teach me well and I turned out ok. My dad was a business man and my mom didn't work, but spent alot of time out of the home doing volunteer work and playing golf. They gave me alot, but funny thing is, when my oldest daughter asks me things about my childhood, I don't remember much. I don't think we ever did ANYTHING together as a family after I turned 12. Before then I can only think of a few family thigns we did together. I don't have any cool mommy memories.
My parents hoped that I would go to college (tried it, hated it, quit) get a career, marry a rich carrer man, have a few children (no more than 3) and have a maid. Didn't work out that way. But I guess they figured I would have a career and a maid, I was never given any homemaking skills. I never had any chores growing up (our maid did that) never even had to pick up after yself most of the time. It has taken alot of learning and struggles to learn how to keep up with a house. I wish I had been given those skills so that running a smooth household woudl come as easy as riding a bike. I wish I had the organizational skills Michelle has. I wish I had the family closeness that their family has. I wish I had siblings that were my very best freinds. I rather feel lost of the family I grew up with. My parents are both deased.
My brothers don't talk to one another and I only talk to them a few times a year. I don't think my one sister in law even likes me much.
Anyway, while I was given alot, and taught pretty well..... I still feel like I missed out on a lot.

Amy, my question remains. What ARE you doing to change the world? Besides critizing the way others choose to live out their lives. Are you doing anything to help the hurting? Are you extending a hand to the needy? Are you getting involved with legislation?

You're right, there are some people out there who call themselves "Christians", but don't walk the walk as Christ did. Myself included. Anything I've ever done that was GOOD in my life, is because of who God is, not me.

I'm still going to pray for you. You are a beautiful women, with some strong opinions. I hope you can get them across without injuring anymore well meaning families. No one can convince you of what is right or wrong, you can only be shown what's out there and make up your own mind.

I encourage you to take the picture of the Duggar family OFF of your blog.

Best wishes,
Nicole
(still Mom of 7... incredibly smart and free thinking blessings!)

"You Christian Crackers Are Wackers"

Absolutely! If knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and wanting to please Him with my life makes me wacked... bring it on! You are missing out big time!

Bring it on.

Nicole

You look very young, Amy, so you haven't had enough time on this earth to learn and put forth much wisdom. Because of that, I suppose we should forgive your foolishness.

What comes to mind in Amy's original post about the Duggars, and those agreeing with her and this one and how we are called Moo breeders is the deep dark sadness in these peoples souls. Joyless is a word that comes to mind. My heart aches for these people.

No matter what your opinion, no matter what your party we are all human beings. Calling others names is childish and shows that as usual Liberals believe intolerance is any opinion other than theirs. Like Nazi Germany we all must conform, for if we do not behave and believe as htem we are hate-mongers.

You can hate me, my beliefs, hate my God. It will never stop Him from loving you. Will not negate His existence, nor keep me from praying for you out of love and concern, certainly no feeling of superiority.

It seems if you can reduce all Christians to Dana Carvey's Church Lady character than you have excused yourselves from believing in an amazing God. Mnimize Him and calls His followers foolish. BTW those fools will not return hate for hate. Keep yourselves closed minded and from hearing the opinions from those who in fact do not feel superior to you, rather only concern. I feel superior to no one. Believe the slanted Medias portrayal that we are narrow minded backwoods morons. Igonore those who show you care and love. That's too close, too real. There might just be something to this God.

My life is lived to give back, to make this world a better place. It is not about me, or what I have done, but rather He who dwells within me. It is about loving the least lovable of us all. Can't we ALL be ugly sometimes. Intolerance crosses all lines, political party, religious, socio-economic. It is indicative to human nature. Our sin nature.

Amy or any of you who find Christians so repulsive, if you were ever to show up at my door, or the Duggars or any of these other ladies that posted, you will be welcomed in warmly, fed, visited with, never never judged. You would be welcome. PERIOD! No one would compare you to a farm animal, or treat you harshly. Just hospitably.

I often wonder why people like Amy and her supporters come across as so harsh and sarcastic. Why they express so much hate. Well they know nothing of the love of a forgiving Father God and have hardened their hearts. If they can call names and act as if we are all uneducated trailer dwellers, again they have excused themselves and who would want to be so ignorant as to believe in a loving God, who sent His Son to die for us, all of us.

Make us a joke. Call us names. We will never hate you. We will not call you vile names or compare you to swine. Not because we are better, we just are not. But, because my God insists, implores that I show love. Though I may show anger, though I may fail in my desire to always love another I am eventually led to love those who hate God and me. That my dear Amy is tolerance. Again not because I am so swell, I am not, but because God loves YOU so very much.

The only people talkin' "hate" are the bible thumpers.

Dignity is the word that comes to mind. No matter what or how you believe to take another's dignity away is to threaten your very own.

Simple respect, enough to allow another person the freedom to believe and live as they find fit without cruel comparisons, jokes at hteir expense and mis-guided sarcasm.

I believe it was John F. Kennedy that said "If you take away one man's freedom, you have taken away all mens' freedom."

To worship, or not, to have 0 children or 16, to have a career or to raise children. It is a choice. You all are all about choice right?

Let us choose. Leave the Duggars alone. No one, any time, anywhere has ever said you or anyone needs to live like them. I don't live like them. But I gently ask you please take down the picture of this family who has done nothing to you. How would you feel if your 2 precious daughters picture was on a website and they were being made fun of. Can you not see how wrong this is?

You think we (Christians) no nothing of your eperiences. I am married to a man who is Native American, one of our 8 adopted children is Bi-racial and Autistic. Living in the Pacific Northwest can you imagine what we have already experienced. My son is only 3.

Think about your girls Amy. Give the Duggars a break.

I'm done here, shaking the dust off my sandals and walking away. God bless you Amy and your 2 little girls.

Wow, go away for a couple days and the forum really heats up!

I'm trying very hard to discuss the pros and cons of big families. I've been insulted for stating facts and realities, by the way, from the very people who hold themselves to be wonderful Christians-- and their full quivers prove it wonderfully to their satisfaction.

I don't come up with many pros in 2006. People who rhapsodize about big families are not being realistic. Fact: it takes money to raise children. Fact: it takes LOTS of money to afford college for those children. Of course, when you're as prolific as some are, the Duggars and their supporters, for instance, you can send your children to college for nothing. That's because your taxable income is going to be below $50,000 and that means that, in the remote chance that your kids actually learn enough in their home schooling to get high marks on PSATs, one of them might just be able to squeak into an Ivy League college under its diversity plan. A few applicants from below-median income homes are admitted every year with this plan.

The test is how well those kids adapt-- first to college, and then to living in a competitive high-tech world, where knwoing how to sew granny gowns will not pay enough to pay the rent or put food on the table.

All parents are supposed to be raising children to be able to deal with the world as it is. These adults are also supposed to be providing for themselves so other people don't have to step in and do it, including the cost of old age.

I frankly do not know what people are thinking who have more than six children. Six is a very large family in today's world; 10, 12, and 14?? It's totally impractical. You can make pious noises about "God will provide," etc. etc., but after all, you're living in the richest nation on earth. There's so much left over that thrift shops are packed with used goods. But what happens to you and your 14 children in an economic downturn? Or is that economic contingency not a part of your rubric?

Yes, children are a blessing, but they can also be a curse when economics dictate that family sizes must be smaller. Birth control medication is a great blessing. It freed women from obligatory and unwanted childbearing, and has amazingly added to the GNP. People today live far better in material terms than they lived 50 years ago; far more people have far more luxuries than ever before in human history in this country. "The Pill" began a socio-sexual revolution that is ongoing. I frankly hope that this resulting period of affluence never ends, because with proper family planning, it's possible for each child in a reasonably-sized family to emjoy the benefits that were formerly the province only of the eldest, or of only the boys, if they were to be had at all.


It seems to me, Johanna, that a lot of people are living in luxury now, because they are living above their means. I notice you didn't take into account how much personal debt a lot of people are in, compared to "50 years ago", so as to give the appearance of wealth...Our ancestors had one mortgage on their home until it was paid off. They didn't have credit card debt or really not much debt at all for anything. What they had, they owned outright. Now THAT'S luxury and GOOD living!

Sorry to disappoint you, critic, but I'm here for the time being.

Just me, you're absolutely correct about people living beyond their means. According to the latest GAO reports, the negative American savings rate is now a matter of national security.

However, I'd venture that people who indulge in huge families are likewise living beyond their means. They'll be in tough shape in the predicted worldwide recession. The thrift stores will dry up and they'll have to pay retail prices for commodities like shoes. And as for the 12-passenger vans that accommodate a family of 10 children and two parents, how many miles per gallon do they get? Not many, I'd wager. The poor suffer first in any economic slowdown. And if you have ten or more kids, whether you believe it or not, you're reckless and playing a dangerous game with your personal finances, such as they may be.

justme: your remarks are correct. Fifty years ago, plastic money was not available. Median income people had far less in terms of comfort and luxury than they do today. But they were still in debt to some degree, relative to their ability to pay. The difference was that financing plans as they exist today were nonexistent so people weren't scammed into finance plans like "interest-only" mortgages. However, there were revolving charges from companies like Sears that ensured that the lower middle class and working poor remained in debt for the necessities of life, all their lives.

The good old days weren't all that good for many people, but you're correct in saying that there was less borrowing per consumer than today when people owe tens of thousands of dollars of unsecured debt, in addition to what they owe on houses and automobiles.

One major difference today is the availability of low-cost higher education for young people. The community colleges were built in the 1960s, and enabled many people to move out of the blue-collar jobs that their parents had been stuck in. Also, the learned professions began to open up to women for the first time in the 1970s. States poured billions into lower-cost public universities and state colleges, in a three-tier college system that guaranted that virtually anyone who could read could at least gain an AA degree.

But in spite of this opportunity, many people apparently never took a personal finance course, or learned how to maximize their income through prudent investment and strict savings programs.

Couple that with a huge number of children, and you have personal bankruptcies in the making if times get tough again.

Well Johanna, don't worry about my 12 passenger van and gas, because I drive LESS than 5,000 miles per year. I am extremely thrifty, and plan outings together. I am not out running around town shopping every day, just on Fridays. And, I plan my shopping trips well. A friend of mine with 2 children is now doing the same after she heard how little of gas I need each week.

I would venture to say that I spend less on food than most small families, and eat healthier foods. I shop sales...for example, if chicken is on sale, I buy large quantities. We grow a garden, and go berry picking every year and make our own jams and jellies. This is less for necessity and more for the reason that my husband likes to farm. I actually can't touch the plants...I can't keep plants alive!

When it comes to clothing and shoes, I NEVER buy used shoes, and if life throws us a hardball, I would only buy new clothing for the oldest 2 children, a boy and a girl. My children aren't spoiled, and they don't mind hand-me-downs. I get rid of anything in bad shape, and I have a great storage method for clothing!

We do NOT live beyond our means, nor are we poor. We do not have charge cards, as we are able to pay cash for the things we buy. I see no reason in running up debt. We do have a mortgage and one car payment, along with the regular bills like utilities and insurance. We have a good bit in savings, have planned for retirement, and yada yada yada. (all this is really none of your business anyway!)

Also, I think you are more insulting than being insulted. Like I said before, some of my best friends are fabulous moms of 1, 2, or 3 children...and I would never insult them for their choices, but you continue to insult the large families on here for being different than you. Also, you do not back up any of your so called "facts" with proof!

I understand that there was a very sweet, well-thought out, and well-written email sent by the owner of this blog to one of the commenters who disagreed with the owner's comments about large families.

I don't know all of the content of the letter, but my friend (real life friend) told me that the tone of the letter was friendly, and then told me what the owner of this blog does for a living.

It opened my eyes to possible reasons that this blogger has some of the opinions that she has.

She also sounds like a person who thinks. Always a big plus as far as people go.

It would behoove me to consider the perspectives of others before I comment. It would be wise of me to try to understand someone who says what I consider unkind things. In the understanding of why a person thinks or talks the way they do opens the way for true discussion, and possibly friendship.

I made some personal judgments and as a result, I made some unkind snipes, such as being an armchair quarterback playing with other people's lives.

The owner of this blog obviously is not one of those. She is out on the field actually being a quarterback.

I apologize for my snide comments. I don't so much mind being snide, but only if the situation truly demands it.

This one did not.

I wish those of you who dislike large families would spend time with a healthy large family, asking questions about finances and values and perspective. It would remove your reasons for feeling disgusted.

Thank you all for the new perspective you've given me about folks who don't like my way of doing things. I will probably be a lot less defensive and a lot more willing to go beyond just trying, since I now see that some of you have good reason for thinking the way you do.

Regarding your points:
This fad for having huge families represents nostalgia for a time that never actually existed. I AM from a large family, in a town full of large families, many of which I knew. Some families were more than twice the size of the one I was born into. So I do know what I'm talking about in that regard. As for ecnomics, my graduate degree is in economics.

I also have a graduate degree in business.

I also went berry-picking with my three children, and we grew our own vegetables in the brief summers where we lived. So what? Millions upon millions of people have home gardens and don't think they're better Christians because of it. They also don't think they are worse Christians because they don't have all the children they could possibly have. Any fool, as I have said, can have children, along with the rest of the natural world. It takes something other than a fool to raise a few children right.

I value material things over a large, happy family? That is laughable. My kids did have a nintendo set, yes, and their own stereos, and their own bicycles, roller skates, ice skates and so on. But it isn't things that make a child spoiled. It's attitudes about things. I've seen spoiled selfish greedy children from large families end up in juvenile court because they are so desperate for some of the American pie that they go out and steal it. My kids were never in trouble with the law, partially because they never needed to steal anything, partially because I put the fear of God into them early on.

The world, frankly, does not need any new life. It needs to support better the seven billion lives it already has, where millions upon millions of those children you are so enamored of go to bed hungry every night and die of malaria and dysentery before they reach five years.

And as for the Duggars not ever having to go on public assistance-- we'll see. It aint over til it's over.

As for overpopulation, I see you are very selective about what overpopulation is. People in Arkansas with long hair and isolationist views can have masses of children and you adulate them, but an inner city woman can't, is that it?

The same selectivity is evident when justifying your intemperate reproduction with what you assume is history. Yes, people did have larger families long ago. They also had famines, childbed fever, and no anesthetic during operations. I daresay you would not want any of that to be revisited upon you. Thanks to modern medicine and agriculture, those conditions are history. People in the old days had 12 children so that four or five would live to adulthood. That's the simple fact of the matter, besides the equal fact that they couldn't stop having children, and men frequently had three wives, the first two having died of overwork and childbearing.

As for legitimate facts: I have posted legitimate facts, buttressed by statistics that I have access to, and that are available to the public, should it lift up its head from its procreational mattress long enough to read them. And no, I do NOT think that bringing a new life into the world is automatically always the right thing to do. Parents should be using good judgment, limiting their families, and planning to meet whatever contingencies that are possible to plan for. A few to several well-loved and well-cared-for children are far better, in my view, than an enormous family where half the children spend their lives raising the other half, while mommy and daddy continue copulating with the express purpose of yet another pregnancy and yet another "buddy" for the elder children to raise.

The first job I ever had was as a K-12 teacher in Appalachia. This is an experience that remains with me to this day. You want big families and no income? Look there. Dirty, urine-soaked small children arrived at my school every day, hungry, unloved, unwashed, and uncared-for. They had ten or twelve siblings. This is NOT the way to live and certainly no environment to bring yet more children into.

That is the reality in far more cases of large families than any of you who are enamored of them are willing to admit.

As for my own finances: Zero credit card balance, and over a million in assets. I own the house and the car. I put my money where my mouth is: I saved, invested, and put each of my children through college. They managed their advanced degrees on their own. One is a professor; one has an executive position in Washington, DC; one has his own business as a computer expert. They had a happy, safe, comfortable childhood, the best I could make for them.

I doubt that the Duggar children will be so fortunate, nor will the children of other huge families who will be hard put just to keep food on the table in an economic downturn, as I have written previously.

In my view, it's selfish and self-indulgent to do what these people are doing to their children. There are enough children in the world. We aren't rabbits or mice or lemmings; we have brains and we should use them.

Ah I see my dear friend Oreo Souza has beat me to the punch. Kudo's dear friend.

Oreo and Unschooling Mama are IRL friends of mine as well. Awesome ladies.

To you dear Amy, I could not get the picture of you (top of blog) with one of your little ones off my mind. Obviously you absolutely love being a Mom. Once I understood your heart for children and how you help them I realized that I too had in fact been judgemental. Shame on me. I am sorry. I still do not condone or like the Duggars being compared to swine. Just not nice, not true. Not certain of your intent behind that. Most of what I took as offensive is the vile, crude remarks made about the Duggars intimate lives or anatomy by some of the posters. We all learn in Kindergarten how to treat people. There is no excuse for any of us to behave badly.

I understand that you feel I believed I was superior. I wish you knew how untrue that was, but that also taught me to be gentler with my words and to think carefully before posting. We are never too old to learn eh?

For those who think we are mindless breeders, well 8 of mine are adopted. Though I would have had them if i could. 5 of Unschooling Mamas and 2 of Oreosouzas as well are adopted. Children areblessings no matter how they enter a family.

Funny, what some posters have said. I was a single mom to 2 children for many years. Very liberal, into the whole feminist thing. In fact one of my adopted twins is named after Jimmy Carter (whom I greatly admire). So many judgements and assumptions made on both sides. So little true information and understanding taking place.

To one poster I am a homeschooling Moo Breeder. In reality I am an adoptive mother to 6, foster-Mom to 2 and birth mom to 2.

My eldest daughter is 26yo and married and in pre-law, hoping to get into Women and children's rights. My oldest son in 24 married and getting his Masters in Public Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey (another man I admired) School Of Public Policy on the campus of the U. Of Minn. He has a wonderful social conscience and works for an organization that deals with world Hunger. No grandchildren yet.

I am enormously proud of both of my children. They are kind, caring, thoughtfull young people who were taught from an early age that we are not here on this earth to take. We MUST give back, we MUST make a difference.

I am neither Democrat or Republican,(though I was a card carrying, hard core, Democrat for many years.) Neither party represents who I am or how I believe. I abhore abortion. By the same token I do feel responsible for sheltering the homeless and feeding the poor and caring for the elderly and downtrodden. I spent several years before my 2nd brood of littles working for Habitat for Humanity. I am the valued swing voter. That is why it's high time Liberal candidates quit making fun of us bible believing , flag waving folk. They may then get a vote or 2.

I am the sister of a dear sweet man who is Gay. I dearly love him and when he lost his life partner suddenly this last fall it was his crazy christian sister who stayed on the phone with him all night to encourage and love him and listen to him. He loves my children and they are crazy about him. We talk often and openly of our different lifestyles, often frustrated with how the media portrays both sides. I do not understand his, but I love him.

Most importantly I am a woman who deeply, deeply loves my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I will tell of His love until the day I die. I hope I show it too. But know I often stumble.

It is easy to look upon us Christians and poke fun at our flaws. There are flaws. It is easy to quote statistics on large families and what a drain they are. We certainly all have know one family like that. It is easy to relagate us to a bunch of narrow minded bible thumpers instead of asking us questions, getting to know who we really are.

I do not, nor have I ever for one day in my life believed I was superior to any one. Whatever good is in me, it is because of Christ. Separate from Him I am a pretty self centerd individual.

One thing my brother and and son and I talk about frequently is the misperceptions social and political groups have about one another. The stereotypes we all focus on and all use ot form our judgements.

I do know that if any of you came to my door you would be treated warmly, graciously and with respect and dignity.

In closing, Amy if I came off as a self righteous Church Lady I apologize, that was never in my thought or intent.

Johanna said:

"Any fool, as I have said, can have children, along with the rest of the natural world. It takes something other than a fool to raise a few children right."

Apparently not. The teens I see walking all over this military base without a CLUE about life tells me different. Most of these children are from "small" families. Most of them public schooled, and most of them with headphones on and their butt crack showing. Their heads are covered by their hair, and their faces look thoroughly depressed. Gasp! I can't do better than that? Ask my 14 yo son who can't wait to get his degree in zoology, and has been pretty focused since he was young. All my children are like that. Should I take away their beloved books and hand them IPods and Gameboys?

I'll wager you'll NEVER see a Duggar child on welfare, or walking thru life totally unfocused.

What are you afraid of, Johanna? That most of the 2 million PLUS homeschoolers (check my figures if you want) are doing well to raise conservatives in a liberal world? Are you frightened that their children are smarter than your own? Do you fear all the scholarships will be gone, handed out to homeschoolers who excell academically?

I bring this up because most large families I know homeschool.

A final note.. and please read this carefully... did you know that those who have large families already are MORE LIKELY TO ADOPT than small families? That some of the ladies posting here have their own childre PLUS a few children from the state system or war-torn Liberia? Have you adopted some of those children yet, Johanna?

What good is a graduate degree if you accept everything you read as fact, without checking your facts. Not much, in my opinion.

Blessings,
Nicole
Blessed Mama of 7

(BTW When I speak of small families, I am speaking of those against large families)

Was Amy "thinking" when she put the pigs up there with the Duggars? Was she "thinking" when she allowed the very derogatory(gross, demeaning) remarks, that other people have made about the Duggars, remain on her blog? I'm glad I don't have her thought processes!!! SHEESH

Now, would be a good time to take down the pigs and do some spring cleaning on your blogs.

Was Amy "thinking" when she put the pigs up there with the Duggars? Was she "thinking" when she allowed the very derogatory(gross, demeaning) remarks, that other people have made about the Duggars, remain on her blog? I'm glad I don't have her thought processes!!! SHEESH

Now, would be a good time to take down the pigs and do some spring cleaning on your blogs.

Was Amy "thinking" when she put the pigs up there with the Duggars? Was she "thinking" when she allowed the very derogatory(gross, demeaning) remarks, that other people have made about the Duggars, remain on her blog? I'm glad I don't have her thought processes!!! SHEESH

Now, would be a good time to take down the pigs and do some spring cleaning on your blogs.

Several days ago someone posted a Rabbi's comments on large families. The whole article is worth another read. Here is a quote.

"Let's not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

We are not the people Johanna thinks we are. Our children do not look or smell like the poverty sticken children of Applachia.

For all your education Johanna, all your intelligence and knowledge, how do you justify judging anyone simply because they live differently than you? If Michelle Duggar can raise her children w/o a dime from you why should it matter. If they want to eat that gacky tater tot casserole, what difference is that to you? I am confused as to why you think differeing opinions are not just different but wrong? Seriously I would love an answer. I keep asking for one from someone, but get only more slams against large families. So I ask again. Why do you think it is OK to crticize, make fun of, deride, or otherwise put down others who are not like you?

Anyone can put together bit and peices of info and call it a fact. The Media does it every day. It does not make it true. Here is a true fact from Stanford Universities Admissions statistics. Stanford admits on average, 27% of all the homeschoolers who apply. ( Of those hwo apply they accept over 1/4)This is a far higher pecentage than any otehr group who applies for admission. Why? Homeschoolers are more well rounded. More socialized and more mature than most of their peers.

Educate yourself on todays large families. Get to know a functional one instead of shining light on dysfunctional ones. Boy, do I know plenty messed up small families.
I mean no malice I just simply do not understand how someone who comes from such a so-called tolerant slant can pick apart others. It has always confused me how liberals banty about hte words hate and tolerance and intolerance, yet behave no differently when faced with a social or religious group they do not understand or agree with.

Any one want to answer this one. Be Nice! Be civil. Both sides!

I'm certainly not going to defend the pig picture! That felt like a punch in the stomach to me as well.

Mmm. I would love to say why I think that Amy is a thinking woman, but that's not mine to tell and not why I posted an apology.

You don't have to accept it just because I say so. I didn't post that for anyone to read other than Amy really. An apology should be public when they offence was public.

Hmmm. Someone posted an interesting thought...for those willing to research it to its logical conclusion.

Large (healthy) families *tend* to homeschool

Homeschool kids tend to be confident self-starters, independent, and problem solvers.

Large families *tend* to take in children other than their own, who would otherwise be disadvantaged, and homeschool them as well.

Large families may be the reason one of you didn't get mugged today.

OK. That's a stretch, that last bit. LOL But the rest of it is true. Look for resources that are not Christian nor homeschooling based. They are out there.

Let me just point out that this particular argument:

"Simple respect, enough to allow another person the freedom to believe and live as they find fit..."

doesn't really fly when you are repeatedly coming to another person's web site and taking over their comments.

Amy is entitled to her opinion. She has the right and freedom to think what she wants and express it.

Yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I am Amy's friend (NOT her lover or partner, a platonic friend). I may or may not agree with her opinion and the way she presents it. But all of you who are coming her to HER forum and taking space on HER site are really not respecting her opinion, either. It works both ways.

And honestly, wouldn't it be more effective for those of you who feel strongly about this issue -- PRO or CON -- to post your own thoughts about it somewhere else? Start your own blog, all about the Duggers! If you don't like Amy's position and approach, start one of your own! Lead by example, don't just come back here and react, react, react to what you think Amy and other commenters may have said or may have meant.

There is no right, there is no wrong. We are all different, we all feel the way we are going to feel. There's no reason to stoop to personal attacks on one another -- and even if you haven't been one of those doing the attacking, your presence here in continuing the discussion exacerbates the problem.

Amy, sorry to interfere here, but I totally want you to get your blog back. ;-)

Ohhh in this post there is a little bit for everyone! :)

Johanna,
I never said that I was a better Christian for making a garden, berry picking, and having a large family. The garden we make each year is HUGE, and it provides us with alot of good frozen and canned veggies all year long. Just strawberry picking alone gives us 20 quart jars of jam and enough strawberries for frozen smoothies all year, and then we pick blueberries, blackberries, and muscadines. We only pay for the strawberries, and they are my favorite!

Also, I grew up in a wealthy part of town. My friends and I were over-indulged by well off parents. And, I saw alot of rich kids steal...just because they could. Guess Winona Ryder all of a sudden became a urine soaked street urchin huh? Also, my parents were very liberal and non-religious. My Christianity came along when God sent my dear, sweet, hunk of a husband into my life! I am not perfect now, nor will I ever be, and I darn sure don't think I am better than everyone else...I am equal...plain and simple!

My children are clean (they smell like lavendar soap and lotion), well dressed, well fed, and very much loved! Nobody sits in urine here! They have an X-box, a Playstation 2, a Sega Genesis, 2 Game Boys, and a V-smile, their own computer, everyone has their own bike, we have a trampoline and a pool, their own rollerskates or rollerblades, and their own stereos. That doesn't even name all the rest of the toys we own. This is to prove to you that they have STUFF!!! I don't put much value into all that stuff. I prefer spending our time talking, and reading together (we do ALOT of this), going to the ball field, swimming, playing in the yard, going to the park, cooking (all my kids love to help), sewing (my girls and I are working on rag quilts...very beautiful), and the list goes on. The families you describe are not what I have seen!

Nancy,
I agree, Amy, and everyone has a right to their opinion. That is part of the constitution! But, naming this part of the blog "The Duggar Debate," is kinda asking for a debate. LOL ;) But, maybe you are right, I was feeling worn out from the whole thing...nobody is changing their mind on either side!

In defense of Amy, when the "threatening post" happened, man...she was on it!!! Thank you again Amy!!!! :)

blestwith10, Nicole, OreoSouza, and all the other big family mamas,
Can I admit to feeling like the calvary had arrived when y'all started posting? LOL I was the one that posted the article from the Rabbi. Thanks for coming in and giving a beautiful description of your families!

God bless,
Traci...mom of 6, soon to be 7

Hi all, I was actually considering closing comments but I've actually been enjoying reading what people have to say especially as people migrate awy from being defensive(myself included) to really trying to explain their position.

I've had several outside conversations and I think at the very least what I have become very aware of, whether it is me, Nancy or Johanna posting versus Bestwith10 or Traci or anyone else that we're all colored by what we know personally. A conversation like this CAN be good because it can open our realm of experience beyond what we currently know.

As soon as you bring real people into an issue, things change. For me, the Duggars are completely impersonal- a media icon, if you will.

But I imagine it is not easy to have a large family and face the kind of lack of acceptance that must be prevalent out there. Because, no matter what, they are your family and you love them and they are the greatest thing ever to you... to think that somoeone would write them off or persecute them even, just because of how many of them there are, well that must be a horrible feeling to experience. And there you are, working day in and day out, so hard- vecause it is alot of work to be a mom, whether it is to one or two kids.. and I can only imagine to 8, 10 or 12!

But on some level, I think many of you posting here *are* different from the Duggars. I don't think the Duggars have merely accepted what has come their way from God- I think they have worked pretty hard to have that many kids. Is that really God's agenda? Or a little bit theirs, as well? I mean, I guess no one will ever know but God and the Duggars.

I just want to set another point straight... I'm not against homeschooling per se. I've seen both good and bad results of homeschooling. I like to think if I did it, I would do it well- I think it can be done well and can afford many advantages over traditional schooling methods. Kids spend so much time in a classroom 'getting organized' and having to wait for their peers- how much time do they spend learning? But then again, kids don't just go to school to learn facts, they also get socialized (which is sort of scary, too, depending on who they're getting socialized with!)


With regards to the Duggars, the issue I have with their homeschooling is that it appears to be a reaction to not wanting their kids exposed to the outside world, not that they are necessarily trying to provide a superior learning experience for their children.

Anyway, thanks for jumping in Nancy and thanks for everyone who is contributing to this discussion. I'm certainly learning alot, especially from those of you who have been kind enough to have discussions outside of this forum. I do appreciate hearing everyone's personal stories which is kinda what it's all about in the end.

The thing is it sounds like the majority of us are Moms. Doing what we hope and think is best. Better, hopefully than our parents, for fortunate ones as good as our parents. Law abiding, tax paying citizens.

I defend the Duggars b/c I am a defender. I agree with some of their practices and respect them for doing what they see as best, raising children with strong faith and morals. I do not think they are as sheltered as the portrayal would have you believe. If you were picturing Rosie O'Donnel up there with a pig pic it would tick me off too. Just not nice.

I shelter my little ones too. Even though they attend a homeschool co-op through our school district one day per week I won't let them ride the school bus anymore. It was so convenient for me. Frankly most School Buses are just a rolling Lord of the Flies scenario.

They watch little TV and yes when we go out in public the girls wear dresses as do I. Relatively stylish dresses. At home it's jeans and shorts. When I grow up I'm gonna dress like OreoSouza. She's a cool hippie chic. LOL

Is it true Amy that you are a CASA? My 2 little Foster guys have an awesome CASA, she is so good it has compensated for a very old, senile Social Worker. My oldest daughter will be starting CASA training soon.

Time to go. Grocery shopping night. AHHHH the peace and quiet of Walmarts aisles.

Who's persecuting? We're discussing the pros and cons of large families, that's all. The internet is full of discussion groups and chat rooms. Why is a family that has made itself a media icon should be treated like some sacred cow is beyond me. The Duggars are actively promoting their lifestyle, on television and on the internet. They are making people believe, erroneously in my opinion (note the words "in my opinion" --opinions are what this web site is about), that big families are all fun and games and the Lord will provide. Their children have been used in TV ads for their father's reelection. They get tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts because of their ability to manipulate the media.

To those of you who feel you have to be rude and nasty because I don't agree with you, that apparently is how you demonstrate your extreme Christianity.

No one ever said that small families were exempt from being dysfunctional. There are brats and delinquents in families of every size. But to make predictions about how wonderfully well the Duggar children are going to live the rest of their lives based on how many of them there are is a bit of a stretch. The truth is, you don't know. And the other truth is, I've seen a number of these large families, and frankly, do not wish to live that way, having observed the fallout. Nor did I wish to visit that life on my own beloved children.

I've seen the ultra-religious close up, and reject them and their lifestyle. There's precious little difference among the fundamentalists, the hasidim, and the fundamentalist muslims, in my view. They all promote the subservience of girls and women, the excessive amount of time and energy spent in childbearing, and they all believe their wonderful religious life makes them better than other people, and are only too willing to visit crowding and diminished resources and attention on their ever-increasing brood of children.

These people have, after all, rejected my more worldly outlook, as is their right. They no doubt teach their children, since I have read it very often on this web site, that small families worship Mammon and the children grow up to be selfish and inconsiderate.

The children, however, will grow up and make up their own minds, and there is absolutely nothing their fundamentalist parents can do to prevent it. That's the way these things go; I've seen it often enough to know. A lot of parents in this cultish lifestyle are in for some surprises.

Likewise, your children will grow up and make up their own minds and might become conservative born-again Christians and there is nothing you can do about it. I think we're all in the same boat there. We do the best we can to raise them with our own values, but we have no control, influence maybe, but no control, over who or what they will become once they're out of the nest.

Well written Johanna. Thank you for posting.

Thank you to the person that suggested we read the book titled "Fourteen: Growing Up Alone in a Crowd" by Stephen Zanichkowsky.

WoW!

Read the reviews on Amazon.com

I don't know what Stephen Zanichkowsky's or the Duggar's family, for that matter, has to do with any other family. All Large families aren't alike. Just like all small families aren't alike. What is your point in saying WOW! in reference to that book? Do you believe that it is a reflection of all large families? Most of the dregs of modern society have come from small families, so should I lump all small families together with them?

There are other books out there about large, happy families. If you read them or read the reviews, would you dismiss them as being false, because that just isn't your perception of what they are, so it just can't be?

I think a lot of anti-large family people that have posted on this blog just don't get it, don't want to get it, and just don't have a clue. I guess you like to live out the saying "ignorance is bliss". Goodnight!

It's a shame Johanna that you live totally in your head and seem to not come across as heartfelt. Educated yes, intelligent most definitely. Those stats, and opinions are all well and good. Amy's post and several others were sharing who we were, the mood of the blog was changing to a warmer kinder exchange of ideas and philosophies, not a heated, angry debate. Let it go. I'm so sick of heated debates. Let's try to understand one another, at least respect one another even if we cannot agree!

You said.
"I've seen the ultra-religious close up, and reject them and their lifestyle. There's precious little difference among the fundamentalists, the hasidim, and the fundamentalist muslims, in my view. They all promote the subservience of girls and women, the excessive amount of time and energy spent in childbearing, and they all believe their wonderful religious life makes them better than other people, and are only too willing to visit crowding and diminished resources and attention on their ever-increasing brood of children."

For all the book knowledge and degrees you have can you suppose for one moment that you are wrong about Fundamentalist Christians. That you have bought the Medias version. That there is more to us than you suppose? Perhaps it is not about subservience, perhaps it has to do with joy, contentment and love. No matter how many times I have said I DO NOT feel nor think I am superior, you come back at us telling us how we think we are. Johanna you do not know my mind or my heart. You do not know me. To compare Christianity with Islam, a religion that wants all non-believers (infidels) dead (read the Quran) is a blanket statement meant to inflame and incite. I could be wrong, but you seem very bitter.

My faith (not my church, or my denomination or religion, my FAITH) is about love, forgiveness( a very powerful thing). I do not believe I am better than another living soul. I do however believe I have found something wonderful. You have not read my posts if you think I am my husbands slave. My oldest Daughter is in pre-law. I am an educated woman and I find utter joy and peace in Christ and in being a wife and Mother.I choose this life. You know in the ealry days of feminism it ws all about choice. What I do, I do out of love and care not out of force and subservience. BUT! Johanna can you imagine there is freedom in serving and joy in dying to ones own selfish wants and needs. Be you man or woman. It really is not all about ME! What a relief! Yes, the Gospel is a very offensive message to those who choose to believe there are no moral absolutes. It's hard to be held accountable for our sometimes harsh and immoral behaviors. The world today rejects the gospel b/c most want to scratch every itch without accountability.

We are living in the bottom of a moral well, thinking we stand at the top of a mountain. So educated, so progressive are we. We think we are knocking on the gates of Heaven when we are standing at the door of Hell. It bothers me deeply that the life of a tree and baby seals are more valuable than a baby human. Such is the mood of the day. Anything goes. Don't lecture. Back off.

As a Christian woman I'm just trying to to teach my children responsibility, acountability,love for ALL others, respect for All, especially elders. I want them to have no doubt how precious and loved they are. In return to grow up and be amazing people who make a difference in this world. My oldest son is a brilliant young man. Getting a full ride in the Masters program at the U. of Minn. I always told him "Make certain your brain never gows bigger than your heart." He has always had a concern for 3rd World countries and hopes to continue working for the end of World Hunger. He is a devout Christian young man.

If you, Johanna can relagate us to a bunch of Prairie dress wearing , over breeding, pious idiots then you can easily excuse yourself from hearing what we say or ever joining a bunch of knuckleheads who firmly believe God sent His one and only Son to to die for us, for you. He sees what immorality and unforgiveness and bitterness can do to the human soul and wants us to avoid it all. How, by following Him. Do humans use religion to manipulate one another? YES, always have, likely, sadly always will. Are ALL Christians narrow minded idiots who hate those who do not believe as they do. Most definitely not. I do not know who you have seen up close and personal (Christians) nor how well you actually knew them. Christianity is not about male dominance, for Christ is no respecter of persons. He does not play favorites. I imagine, no I know there are people calling themselves Christians and acting any way but. Christ will never force you to follow Him. You have fee will.

Sometimes Johanna it's not a crime to let our hearts rule our heads. To be kind to those we do not understand and to let our defenses down. To try to understand why another thinks or feels the way they do. It is one way to educate ourselves.

Honestly my opinion of Amy has changed 180 degrees. Kindness goes a long way.

I find this dicussion intriguing. I want to know about other Mom's. How they live, what they think. The miracle is we have the commonality of loving our children and wanting the best for them. I'm certain you did as well as your children grew.

C'mon Johanna open up a little, relax. You may very well learn something. I did not say agree.LOL

IRL friends "Oreo", "Unschooling Mama", "blestwith10" and TRACI...

Do ya'll have a blog I can go to and pound my opinion on?

Give it up already! Geesus!

Go wipe an ass or something!!!

Those who know me. know I did not write the above post. Who ever you are I hope God blesses your day!

Blestwith10 did NOT write the above post. Her character would not allow it.

Johanna, you keep mentioning the "hate" the Christians are "spewing", I've yet to see that, can you point it out? The only ones cursing and spewing anything but tolerance for others are the "liberals" here. What's that saying about the pot.....?

Are you reading these posts? You haven't answered any of my questions and I thought we were having a "Duggar Debate".

Nancy, I appreciate your concern for your friend, but obviously Amy wants responses as she leaves this section "open" to it, and has brought convseration privately. Which I admire, and respect.

Amy, thank you for your openness in listening to what we have to say. I appreciate it, and it says a lot about who YOU are. You might not agree, but you are willing to see another side.

Blessings,
Nicole

I ma pretty thick skinned. I can turn the other cheek fairly well. Still, there is a point when it is clear that hearts are so hard, emotions so bitter, hate so deep that it is time to...

Shake the dust from sandals and walk away.

Quit casting my pearls before swine.

Those who scream HATE the loudest are those who practice it the most. Those who keep insisting we think we are better have mentioned several times how ignorant we are, how smart they are. So who thinks they are better here? They are unwilling and incapable of mature, adult exchange of philospohies. SO whoever you are who was too cowardly to use your regular name and used mine instead I hope and pray you are never treated as badly as you treat others. I pray that a seed of acceptance and tolerance has been planted in your heart and someday you will be able to have a discussion without using profanity or spewing your bitterness. I wish you nothing but peace in your life and that the bitterness one day gives way to joy.
the REAL blestwith10

We're having a discussion. Comprendez? DISCUSSION. That means, or is supposed to mean, THINKING, not emoting. we're DISCUSSING the pros and cons of big families.

For those of you who have large families, God bless you. I hope it turns out well for you. But Christianity is not predicated on large families, or small ones for that matter. It is predicated on doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and loving others as you love yourself. In other words, acting on behalf of others in the same best interest that you would act upon for your own benefit.

My quarrel with the Duggars consists of: (1) their treatment of their older daughters; (2) the isolationist and cult-like environment they have imposed upon their children; and (3) their manipulation of the media, especially television, to promote their ideas via the media exploitation of their children.

That is what I see. I'm surprised so few on this forum see it as well.

Since I've had some experience with television productions, I can assure all and sundry that the camera sees what the various directors want it to see. By the time the film editors get through with any TV production, its resemblance to reality is severely limited. You have no idea really what goes on in that house. What little the Duggars publicize is highly questionable on its face: the home schooling taught by a high school graduate, for example, using "educational materials" produced by a very controversial cult. In states that are more progressive and advanced than Arkansas-- for example, California, New York, and Virginia-- the home schooling parent MUST have at least a baccalaureat degree. Frankly, I hold the state of Arkansas responsible for this outrageous situation-- 16 children home-schooled by a woman who clearly is not competent to teach a kindergartener, based on what I saw on the original Duggar TV program, "Fourteen And Pregnant Again."

As for the treatment of the daughters, is this right or fair, that children are raising children in addition to taking care of all the household tasks? Then there are the smaller issues, like clothing and hair and so on, whereby the girls are made to wear Mother Hubbard dresses to their ankles and grow their hair past their hips. Whether you want to believe it or not, such ridiculous rules do have long-term damaging effects on young people, and as they rebel against them, they are likely to make serious mistakes as they launch themselves into a world into which they are completely unequipped to enter.

Many questions have arisen regarding this family, and none have been answered to my satisfaction. As for others, they can have 25 kids for all I care. I've seen, firsthand, the results of such large families, which is why in general I oppose this practice. However, if a couple really can provide properly for more than six children, including their education through college, then by all means have as many as you can reasonably afford. It takes quite a bit of money to do that, but a few people do have that much, so in that case, who cares what they do or how many kids they have, as long as the chldren are treated properly and given enough of what they need for their growth and development?

I've seen very close at hand what reckless childbearing does to children, and it isn't pretty. I've seen parents who are so blinded by their own religious beliefs that they can't see the harm they are visiting on their children. I've also seen parents who are either too stupid, or lazy, or both, to bother limiting the size of a family they can't afford. The children end up in prison, or at a minimum high school dropouts, or having their own babies, unwed, at age fifteen in their desperate search for love and recognition.

I fail to see why, in the face of raw economic reality, people disregard these facts, or find fault with people who raise these issues.

Johanna I agree that the TV portrayal of the Duggars is not reality. You are right that the cameras and producer can put any slant on it.

Honestly on Christian discussion boards we have found that the TV depiction over glamorizes and simplifies the real commitment and work it takes to have a large family. They do come off pretty shiny and perfect, and since I'm neither that part did bother me. I really could care less how in style their clothing or haircuts are. That is so insignificant.

I do want to address 2 issues though.

#1 You say a high school graduate can not properly educate her children, or give them the best possible education, say as in comparison to one with a Bachelors degree or higher.

Here is the thing about homeschooling. It takes enormous, love, time, commitment and financial sacrifice to do it well. It takes motivation and the desire to learn and grow, along with your child, to value education and the love of learning. You do not need a degree. I have seen and know personaly many many homeschool children now on to colleges who had wonderful classical educations i.e. Greek. Latin, High Level Math. There are so many varied, incredibly rich curriculums available on line and at Homeschool Conventions and through Publishers. Literally thousands.

It is the ability and desire to give the best to our children. For example. I know I am no Math whiz. When my children get beyond fractions and into Algebra and beyond I will find either another homeschooling parent who is adept in this area, sign them up for a class at the school or use a correspondence course.
There are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschooling parents. I am what is called an Unschooler or Eclectic Homeschooler. I do not follow a set curriculum as of yet. My children are still very young and we focus on reading, Math, reading, a lttle science, reading and more reading. I read to them, they read to me. we do not read baby books. We read The Little House Series, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Indian In the Cupboard, History Books, Non-ficiton books on how to make or build or draw something or care for certain animals etc etc and yes the Bible as well.
My husband and I proved a very rich environment for all our children. Some will go to college, some due to neurologial damage (because of their bith mothers drug abuse) will go on to be the very best at whatever they can do. As for special ed, for our special needs, I have my 2 boys in Ocuupational Therapy and we do lots of exercises and play at home to increase their abilty to handle outside stimuli. Both are struggling with sensory issues.
As my children get older I will include Public Service as part of their education, Visitng Nursing homes, Voluntering at the Animals Shelter, Habitiat for Humanity etc.

Recently I pulled my FAE son out of public school, b/c his 1st grade teacher, with a college degree, had neither the inclination nor desire nor ability to teach. Her mother taught across the hall and when Miss Young teacher had a headache, Mommy came running. The class was in total chaos every time I stopped in. For my boy and his sensory issues it was a nightmare. B/c Mommy was best friends with the Principal and this is a very small, very rural school district it was better to take him out.

For homeschooling to be successful you need commitment, desire, and a passion for learning, not necessarily a College Degree. I still as of yet used my degree from a Jesuit University in Homeschooling, in my career yes, but as a Mom and in real every day life no. It was pretty bland and boring. But heh I have that piece of paper that says I was sat there for 4 years.

#2 I wonder if a certain stereotype has given rise to thinking the Duggars are ignorant. His name is Jim-Bob, they live in Arkansas etc etc. If his name were Mike and they lived in say Rhode Island and one of the parents had a degree would that be more palatable for you? Could you accept their conservative Christinaity and many children and homeschooling a a little better? Just wondering.

This is a free country, Johanna. For you to sit there and spew your garbage, that the Duggars aren't qualified for this or capable of that, so shouldn't be allowed to do what they want is plain wrong. If our(meaning America's) freedoms are taken away someday, liberals as well as conservatives will rue the day.

Maybe you've addressed this someplace in this extended blog, but how did you come up with the figure of 6 for the maximum amount of children people should have?

Let's take a look at one of your statements you made.

[quote]"The children end up in prison, or at a minimum high school dropouts, or having their own babies, unwed, at age fifteen in their desperate search for love and recognition."[quote]

My husband, who has worked in the court system for almost 30 years now, would say this is pure hogwash. The typical person(and there have been thousands) that is going through the system comes from a small family!

I thought blestwith10 took her sandals and left?

Where's your blog? I want to go there and repeatedly post my opinions.

I want to address that they've put their children in the "limelight". Not so. Jim-Bob is a political man who cares about the rights of his children and others. If we are going into him "using" his family to gain attention or funding, let's start talking Clinton (or insert any other politician). BECAUSE of his involvement in politics, his family has been introduced to the media.

I agree with Blestwith10, their hair or clothes is neither here nor there (what is with those bangs?). What is at heart is that they LOVE those children, and are raising them the way that they are permitted to do in this country (last I checked).

Johanna, I agree that there is a thing that exists called "reckless childbearing". It is those who are living off of the government, and having children one father after another. Totally agree. But because of them... you can't take away MY rights or priviledges (or the Duggars) to have as many children as my husband and I please.

Also, addressing the older girls and chores... do you know how long it takes for a child in a large family to do chores?? Less than an hour, total, per day.

My own 11 & 12 yo daughters cook, clean and help with their siblings and they LOVE it! Granted I help (as I believe Mrs. Duggar does), but they do a lot. My 11 yo biological daughter absolutely embraces every single child we bring into our home, and is begging her father and I to adopt MORE. She thrives on the work, the comradery, and love having many siblings brings.

Even with all my children pitching in around here, I find plenty to occupy my time, and it ain't getting my hair done ;o).

Another thought on one on one time with each child... when you're home ALL day with your children and not pawning them off on babysitters... it happens. Every day.

Blessings,
Nicole

Johnanna, I agree with your last post. Almost completely I believe.

I suppose it's how a person articulates their thoughts that allow others to understand it.

From your previous posts, I assumed you saw *all* large families the way you described.

I knew that my family was not the way you described.

And I knew of other large families that were not the way you described.

So therefore, I felt you were mixing all large families into one unfair, distorted pot.

Your last post was phrased in such a way that I understand what you are saying, and found that on a basic level, I do indeed agree with you.

Now *that* was an odd sensation! LOL

Missy aka blestwith0 or whoever I hear your opinion every day when I turn on my TV and watch sitcoms, etc. YOUR opinion is constantly pounded into our heads by Liberal Universities, Public School, Media and Hollywood. I hear it all the time. I thought you might like a refreshing change, or do you just want to hear from people who agree with you. Any time Amy wants this to stop she can just say the word. I will respect her wishes.

As for sandals. Well that meant I was spinning my wheels trying to make my faith understood. What I talked to Johanna about was education and homeschooling.

It never hurts to hear a different opinion.
Why be so snarky?

Johnanna, I agree with your last post. Almost completely I believe.

I suppose it's how a person articulates their thoughts that allow others to understand it.

From your previous posts, I assumed you saw *all* large families the way you described.

I knew that my family was not the way you described.

And I knew of other large families that were not the way you described.

So therefore, I felt you were mixing all large families into one unfair, distorted pot.

Your last post was phrased in such a way that I understand what you are saying, and found that on a basic level, I do indeed agree with you.

Now *that* was an odd sensation! LOL

I have a love-hate relationship with large families. Rationally, they are problematic and enormously expensive. Emotionally, my own beloved mother believed whole-heartedly in what she was doing and continued having children into her 40s because she felt it was the right thing to do, and of course I love and cherish my siblings. But as I observed similar families while I was growing up, it was clear that my mother was the exception to the rule. Also, my parents were intelligent enough, and disciplined enough in their thinking, so that their religious views did not take the extreme direction that some did. For example (I'm not making this up) a family we knew with eight children (at last count) rejoiced in the names Mary for the girls, and Joseph for the boys. Then there was another saint's named tacked on so that all the Mary's and all the Joseph's wouldn't come running at once if their name were called. It's funny now, but at the time I remember, even as a child, thinking it was ludicrous. Then there was the father who dedicated his first-born to the Virgin and wouldn't let this child wear any colors but blue and white until she was 12.

A pious Catholic family of my acquaintance (also in my growing up years) upheld the Church's strictures on birth control to such an extent despite their small income that several of their children developed rickets from improper diet.

Later on in Appalachia it was clear you didn't have to be Catholic to be zealous about domestic population. The Baptists and the Jehovah's Witnesses held the lead, vying for first place in the baby production race. The Old Testament was trotted out and pastors thundered from their creaking pulpits about the place of woman (pregnant or lactating, preferably) and how children were this wonderful blessing. Looking around at the results of diligent reproductive work every day in the classroom, I could only pray that the next generation freed themselves from that kind of religious mania.

I'm certainly not saying that there are never large families that aren't happy and the children never blessed with enough parental attention and at least a modest level of comfort, privacy, and space. Those families are out there somewhere-- but they are not the norm in the large family department.

As for the Duggars, I see excessive regimentation of those children, religious extremism, and media hype. That's what I see, and no one can tell me differently.

Then I guess we should all consider it the wisdom of God that you were "blestwith0". Correct?

For what it's worth, my home is cleaner than most people I know with less children.

Nicole

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