Okay, does that sound dumb? I only partially mean it.
Recently it was announced that Josh and Anna Duggar are expecting their second child — a little boy. Of course, expecting a second child less than two years after their first, and being so young (they’re only 22) has opened up a huge backlash. Are they planning to follow in their parents’ footsteps? Will they have a mega-family too? And if they do…should they?
But you know what? I get it. Because I want to be like them too.
When my husband and I were dating, we talked about having kids. We both had always wanted kids so that we’d have them was a no-brainer. But how many, and when? I said I’d always wanted four. (Though in my very early dreams…like when I was 7…I wanted 10.) My husband said he wanted 5. I said done. Granted, there was a lot more to the conversation than that, but that was gist. I still remembering having the “biggest” conversation about it, as we drove together to an outdoor concert venue to watch the Cincinnati Pops play John Williams. It was wonderful.
Our families smiled and nodded. Sure, five kids. Right. See how you feel after you have a couple.
Well, then our daughter was born. About a month into it, my husband said, “This is fun! Let’s have ten!” He was kidding…sort of. And then he wasn’t. It was several months later when we learned about “quiverfull,” which states that every child is a blessing from God and to be cherished. They don’t use any birth control (even natural family planning) and accept as many children as God gives them…or doesn’t give them, in some cases. They don’t use fertility treatments, either.
We talked and prayed and decided that that is where our hearts are. And so, here we are, expecting baby #3, and fully prepared to take any other child that we get. And no…we won’t take only biological children. When our kids are older and we have more experience as parents, we’d love to be foster parents…to teenagers. I don’t think I could handle the baby/little kid years, somehow, as a foster parent. But the idea of taking in a troubled teen speaks to me. I’d like to be old enough to not look like a teen myself, and have had experience raising at least one before I do it, though!
We’ve shared this decision on my blog (and we’ve been heavily criticized). But you know? This is what is right for us.
I admire that spirit in the Duggars too. They stay true to what they believe in, even though they’re well aware that many people disagree. In many circles, it’s almost considered common knowledge that they’re wrong. That, to me, is crazy. They’re different, but they’re not wrong. They’ve made their choices, and they’re living with them. They deal with the criticism gracefully. They are a happy, close family. They are debt-free and self-sufficient. What’s wrong with that?
I’m sure some of you can come up with a whole bunch of arguments, none that I haven’t heard before.
The one way that we differ strongly from the Duggars is in our use of resources. We choose to cloth diaper, and do other things to reduce our use of disposable items. We’re “eco-friendly,” if you will. We also choose sustainable, local foods much of the time (the Duggars’ recipes on their website are a study in canned foods and other “standard American diet” type fare), and plan to buy and run our own farm. Writing here is bringing us ever closer to that dream.
But no one is perfect.
And so, although we don’t really want to be the next Duggars (I don’t know if I could honestly handle 19 children, nor do I want a TV show about my life), I can understand and appreciate their lifestyle.
What do you think?