I just thought I would start this entry by giving everyone prior warning that this post will be critical and some of you may not appreciate my point of view. I recognise this, but I will put it out there regardless, because I think it needs to be said.
Recently the Duggars have announced the impending arrival of number 19....wow :-O. I have discussed previously my thoughts on the Duggars, but after this latest announcement I feel compelled to speak up again, just as others have (NLQ).
Now I have expressed my strong opinions on this family time and time again. However, I would to reiterate what I have said in the past.
On the surface, I do not have a problem with large families, providing it is the parent's alone decision. In other words, as long as they not doing to fulfill a god's plan for their life etc, etc - rather, it is a choice of their behalf, and if issues were to arise they would be able to stop without feeling guilt etc....
The Duggars have no concept of this. Michelle Duggar has been recorded as explicitly saying that children are like flowers and that you can never have enough.
Now I adore children and I do agree that they are beautiful things deserving of the right to be here. But I also think they deserve the right to be children: a right denied to them in supersize families such as these. Girls in paticular lose out in this no win situation as they are often (but I must stress, not always) pushed into being mini-mothers before they are ready: mostly because often the real mum in all this is always pregnant/nursing etc, and/or there are simply far too many children for a sole person to handle.
Now a word to Michelle: if every child is so precious (and I am not saying that they are not to you), why aren't you every child's sole "buddy": it is part and parcel of the choice that you (and your husband) felt led/compelled to make, in having this many children. Your girls have had no choice in the matter, and yet they are still expected to help care/feed/clothe the others in a buddy system which confounds me. Fair? I think not. It makes your life easier, not theirs.
I wish Michelle that you could see the impact of having such a large family is having on your daughters: that you could recognise that you are not allowing your daughters the choice that you yourself made (in becoming quiverfull/fundamentalist) and are not giving them the experiences you seemingly experienced as a positive force as a child/teen (cheerleading etc). I wish most of all you could see into the future 10, 20 years and see the way your children turn out.....
I could tell you what it is like leaving fundamentalism (without having the added burden of having a large number of brothers and sisters) and the impact it has....but right now, the truth is that you wouldn't believe me....But let me tell you this: I know many, many 2nd generation quiverfull/fundamentalists and so many have had bad experiences and carry that burden around with them. Please, I beg of you, keep my family's (and others) experiences in your mind as you move forward. Remember the lost ones, whom now swirl in a sea of madness that the legalistic elements in your religion has created.