Every parent has those moments of insanity during which they want to walk out for the chaos in search of just ten minutes of peace and quiet.
As a mother of two toddlers I have those moments often so I have frequently wondered how people like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting make it work. I mean, if they can do it then life should be a snap for me, right?
So just how do you do laundry for that many people? How do you cook dinner? I can barely manage it for two children so how are they making it work with 18 kids living at home?
I happened to catch the Duggars on the Today show this morning and was sucked right into the segments. The family was featured in live shots from their home all morning long. I’m not necessarily a Duggar fan but, as a parent struggling with my two children, I found it fascinating to see how the seemingly calm as cucumber parents Jim Bob and Michelle run such a crowded household.
Each segment featured a different part of the Duggar home and how the family of 20 makes it work in a 4 bedroom home. Yep, you heard right. A 4 bedroom home. For 20 people.
Below are 20 fascinating facts about the Duggars and how they’re able to carve organization out of the madness of 18 kids living at home.
They only have four bedrooms in their house! The boys all share one room, the girls share another. I imagine bunk beds are key. It’s like camp up in there, I guess.
While they only have four bedrooms they have nine bathrooms. The kids report still having to wait. A LOT.
The Duggars do a staggering 35-40 loads of laundry a week. They do have a laundry chute in the house which makes things a little bit easer.
Their favorite lunch is when dad makes BBQ tuna fish sandwiches. You can find the super simple recipe here.
Another family favorite dinner is Tater Tot Casserole. You can find the recipe here.
The family cuts each others’ hair to save money on professional hair cuts.
They have set up their own Post Office inside the home to deal with mail.
They have 5 suburbans, 1 van and a 45 foot bus to get around.
They home school anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day. Michelle says they now use the computer for all their home schooling which makes grading papers a whole lot easier as they computer automatically corrects it. The kids say their favorite schooling is science experiments.
The Duggars go through nearly 50 boxes of cereal a month.
They spend $3,000.00 on groceries every month.
The garage has been turned into a giant pantry that looks more like the aisles of a grocery store.
To organize chores the home is divided into jurisdictions.
Each kid is assigned to a team that is then responsible for cleaning specific jurisdictions.
Jedediah and Jeremiah are team leaders who oversee the teams.
They have never bought a new vehicle, always buy used.
Jim Bob has said that by shopping at garage sales and thrift stores the Duggars probably spend less on clothing than a family of four.
Because of their frugal ways the Duggars have lived debt-free for over twenty years.
The Duggars study the Bible together every single morning.
To avoid fights, mean words and unkind behavior the family follows a set of guidelines that they’ve listed on their blog.