Friday, April 2, 2010

Slaves to the Grind or Living the High Life?

Critic after critic of the Duggars brings up one thing over and over--how over-worked the older girls are. The girls seem to be raising the younger children. The girls do all the cooking and cleaning. The girls do all the laundry. Why would the girls still be living at home after they graduate if they weren't forced to be "mothers" to their younger siblings? Why would they still be at home if they weren't forced to be maids?

One side believes that it's because they have no choice. They are waiting until they have been matched with suitable husbands and are married off to begin the process all over again to raise more and more children. Why aren't they going to college otherwise? It's been brought up many times that the Duggars support their older kids continuing education but that none of them are currently enrolled. So why aren't they?

Here's one theory--why should they be? Take another look, a non-biased, non-judgemental look at their lives and then think about it for a moment. Why should they leave? They live in a massive house. They are travel around the country. They are clothed and fed for free. They earn either an allowance or the over 18s possibly get a paycheck from TLC, no one has ever been able to prove that they do or don't. They take their music lessons, do volunteer work, help out around the house. The girls who do hair as a hobby do that, the ones that say they want to be chefs do the cooking--and it's not just the girls who help with the cooking, the younger kids pitch in to help as well. They get time to spend with their friends off camera. They go to El Salvador a couple times a year. Oh yeah, one more thing, they are on National Television and all the perks that come a long with that--SWAG!

So as long as the gravy train is rolling, explain to me why exactly should they be in a hurry to get out of that house and out on their own?


  1. I agree! They might have times when peace and quiet are longed for, but I believe for the most part...they are content. I bet JB is helping all his kids with money management. I just hope his boys get good jobs or start successful businesses, because they will need the money to take care of their many children...that's if they decide to have MANY children. I also hope the girls do not rely too much on their husbands for everything. They need to know that JB can't protect them from everything. A MAN can't protect them from everything...because he is still just a man.

  2. Marybeth writes: Take another look, a non-biased, nonjudgmental look at their lives and then think about it for a moment. Why should they leave?

    1. They live in a massive house. Yet, have no Personal Space. They share a room, which was planned for 5 girls, but now shared by 8. Even their beds are shared by brothers, whenever they feel like it.
    2. They are travel around the country. Their travel seems to consist of being crammed in a bus, with not only their own family, but also extended family and friends. They are taken to sites, of which they have no background, history of information. While there, they care for younger siblings. We do not see them go off exploring by themselves or doing age appropriate activities. All information is given to them by an uneducated father on a very childish level.
    3. They are clothed and fed for free. If you think working most days, caring for, and schooling siblings, cleaning house, doing laundry, and cooking as free, then I guess they are.
    4. They earn either an allowance or the over 18s possibly get a paycheck from TLC, no one has ever been able to prove that they do or don't. Good point, no one has ever said they get a decent allowance, just an allowance, which might be a $1 a week for all we know? My guess is their father takes all their money, if they get any from TLC, and saves it to give to future son-in-laws. Just as they go from their fathers rule to their future husband's rule. ( We learned this at Josh and Anna's wedding) As you said, we really don't know. As long as those girls have no money, they can't go anywhere.
    5. Yes, they take music They could take music lessons on their own. I haven't seen any great musical talent there, just a proficiency.
    6. The girls who do hair as a hobby do that, the ones that say they want to be chefs do the cooking. They aren't learning anything about those jobs, as we have seen with the cooking and nutrition. You might have said, in another post, that they learned about nutrition, from going to Weight Watchers. From my observations, WW teaches you how to eat your favorite things, i.e., cake, ribs, cookies, etc., while remaining within your "points." They do not teach nutrition and certainly not chef skills. The girls may learn how to manage their own hanks of hair, but they are not being taught to cut, color, perm or care for the hair. If this is what they want to do, they should enter a beauty school. Some junior colleges have these programs. Right now, they are doing what every junior high girl does with her sisters or friends, just mess around with hair.
    7. They get time to spend with their friends off camera. We don't know this, as it has never been shown or spoken about. But that doesn't really matter, girls can spend time with friends, if they are living on their own, living at home or in a convent or in jail.
    8. They go to El Salvador a couple times a year. Not my idea of a dream vacation, but certainly people can volunteer no matter where, or with whom they are living.
    9. on National Television and all the perks that come a long with that--SWAG! You have a point there. Give up your privacy, and get an iphone? Not sure I would make that trade.

    So as long as the gravy train is rolling, explain to me why exactly should they be in a hurry to get out of that house and out on their own?
    Because they are adults and that is what adults do, they live their lives, not their parents. They can clean their own houses, cook their own food and be an adult. As mentioned above, living like caged rats and working as indentured servants, is not being on the gravy train.

  3. write a lot of conjecture--you assume a lot of things that you can't prove. There is no proof that Jim Bob is holding any money the kids make "for future husbands." And from your tone you obviously see them as slaves vs. adult children living in a home. I was 35 when I left my mom's home. I moved back home after a divorce and lived happily as an adult child. I wish I'd stayed at home and done things "properly" instead of leaving and living "in sin" with someone and carrying baggage into a marriage. So while I like to say I don't believe in regrets, I do believe in learning experiences and I can see why Michelle and Jim Bob open up and tell them about their early dating experiences and the advantages of waiting.

    Frankly, I can see why they wouldn't want to leave. The idea that they are held hostage in their own home is too laughable to even address and describing them as surrogate parents is ridiculous. Just because families nowadays have chosen to raise their kids without any work ethic or how to do chores, but rather cow-towing to their every whim or wish and letting their kids run the house, doesn't mean that's how things should actually be.

    Until you can actually document your statements with proof of where it comes from---magazine articles, dates and times of interviews on TV, etc...I'd appreciate it if you'd state your "facts" as opinions instead of facts.

  4. Not sure about a lot of these things but their "allowance" is mentioned in the Duggar book. Each child receives a certain amt of money per chore. They have their own "duggar bank" bc it was getting difficult to pass that much cash around. Now each kid just has an "account" and when they want/need money they "withdraw" it from the bank of dad.

  5. Marybeth, I am making no more conjecture than you have in your essays. You are correct, we do not know if JB is banking their money for future use, or if the girls have access to it right now. I don't know, you don't know. Based on a current research, I've been undertaking, into patriarchal families, this is how it works. Dad holds the purse strings. That is not to say he is spending the children's money, he is just in control of it. If you have information that shows otherwise, I'm listening.

    I also think it is interesting that people use their own misspent youths as examples of how the rest of us have lived. You shared your story, here is mine. Theoretically, I lived with my parents until I graduated from college, but in practice, left there at age 17 to attend University. I spent holiday vacations at home, but summers counseled at a children's sleep over camp. I started working at age 13 babysitting and had other jobs throughout highschool and college. After graduating from college, I got a great job and so it goes. I've been married to the same man for 30 years and going strong. My girls who are in their 20s did the same, only with different jobs in the summers. They have worked and learned to handle their own money since they were 16. They have both graduated from university and one has advanced degrees. Most of my friends and their children have lived this life. It may be hard for some to believe, but there is a whole culture in our country of really nice people, who have lived good lives, and are not Conserative Christians or Orthodox Jews.

    I might add, when we were surprised by the first addition to our "2nd family," I did not require my girls to stop what they were doing, to help me care for them. I raised the first two, I can raise the 2nd two. Although I admit it is a lot harder at my current age.

    Now back to the Duggar girls. I'm not saying they have to go out on their own at age 16 or 18. I am saying, they do not APPEAR to be doing anything, other than taking care of their parents home and children. If you can prove otherwise, I'm listening. My hope for them would be to spend these precious years preparing for life. If they want to be chefs, there are schools (doubt you can get great knife skills on line) to attend. If you want to be a hairdresser, there are places to go to train under people who know what they are doing. Fixing your sisters hair will not teach you to how fix an old ladies hair, or overly colored hair, or Asian or African American hair, or how to do a stylish cut.

    I also maintain that not having funds, is a good way of keeping someone where you want them. This may or may not be happening to the Duggar girls, We don't know. They may be happy as little clams spending their days cleaning and child tending and of course talking on their iphones.

    OK, enough for now.

    I have an informative link ,if you are interested, from two really bright young girls who were writing a newsletter for other Conservative Christian girls. Fascinating reading. They are grown now.

  6. Celestie--I make a point of SAYING it's conjecture--that's the difference--you write as if it's FACT and I'm asking you to stop doing that or I won't post your comments anymore unless you document your "facts."

    The other difference being that it's my blog and I am the one writing it. I can conjecture all I want to and I admit I'm just guessing--you continue to write as if you know this family like they are your next door neighbours and you're Mrs. Kravitz peeking in their windows.

    Again, if you have facts, document them, otherwise, write as if it's an opinion or a guess.

    As for the money, since neither side can prove there is or isn't any from TLC, let's just leave that alone. They wrote in their book that the kids do get an allowance they can spend any way they want to. Until you can prove that is wrong, we're going to chalk that one up as a fact.

    And as for researching patriarchal families, that's great, but that doesn't prove that Jim Bob witholds money from his daughters, it just means he might be, or could be.

    Of course doing each other's hair and cooking at home isn't how you learn to be a beautician or a chef, all I said was, maybe they are waiting until the gravy train stops and THEN pursue their goals. Since both Michelle and Jim Bob have said on FILM that the girls can go to school if they want to, I'm not going to argue with you that they aren't allowed to go.

    And yes, we get it, you think these girls are trapped in their father's home doing their mother's job. You've made that point quite clear. Please allow that there are others out there that don't feel that way.

  7. I see young ladies who are learning the skills to run their own household someday, and are learning parenting skills and helping to "support" their family. As a society - it is starting to look like many people aren't raising their own kids anymore - schools, daycares, sports, outside activities are handling things taught by parents in the home just 25 years ago! These girls are actually going to have skills and knowledge to help them parent and run a household, something that I'd venture to say many new wives/mothers wish they had in retrospect. What bothers me is the thought that you must have schooling and/or a professional career to be successful, happy, and/or content.

  8. Jinger talks about her friends seeing her go on and off camera in one of the new episodes. So we know they have friends not seen on camera.

    Josh is a volunteer firefighter (something until it was aired with the saving of the child we did NOT know)

    At ANY time any of those girls want out of that life style they have Amy's parents, Michelle's relatives, and or a good chunk of society that would help any of them get started simply by SAYING so. You can't tell me the Duggars do not KNOW some of this cause if NOTHING else Amy would think it a "scream" all the "save Jinger sites"

    Amy as an adult herself could help out any of the girls if they wanted to move out and live with her.

    To be honest what scares me MORE is that the Duggars caving in and FORCING one of the older children into some college just to shut detractors up and the child(en) themselves are miserable.... JUST to prove the Duggars have no issue with higher education.

  9. What I find so funny about this is that people think the girls "need" to be in college. Ok my parents forced a college education on me. So switch that around and say "forced? you could leave! you were an adult!" Basically, I would have been all on my own, my parents controlled everything and I would have been cut completely off; in my family YOU WENT TO COLLEGE--PERIOD! And they foot the bill. So I have a Bachelor of Science in English degree from the 2nd most expensive private school in Oregon (ok a bit of revenge on them maybe) that so far in my life at 40 yrs old has been completely and totally useless. The best paying job I've had has been a job that has needed a high school diploma.

    Did I want to teach? I can say an emphatic HECK no. Both my parents were in education and my dad all but forbade me from it, but beyond that I had no interest in it. I have a degree in English because it was the degree I could complete in 4 years while still partying--they'd only pay for 4 years. I have few marketable skills other than writing, researching, and typing 100+ wpm. I've admitted I'm lazy. I do have a genius IQ (yeah big deal) I'm also a classic underachiever. I make a great housewife and mother.

    The point of this is: not everyone cares if they get a college education. Some of us were meant to be at home taking care of children, being Peg Bundy, and doing whatever we want while hubby is at work. I kind of like being a princess, thank you very much. And to be honest, I'm pretty sure my dad knew it too, because he actually told me at career day "If you don't want to be anything, don't."

  10. you know laies no sense in getting hostile.I read a blog by an ex Fundamentlaist called Ruth ok maybe not her real name and some doubt if shes real but thats beside the point I beleive her post seems too detailed not to be. She also posts on No longer Quivering. She knows first hand what damage this lifestyle can do. Her first courtship marriage ended in divorce after being told this was the proper thing. Fortunately she escaped and is attending college. One psot mentioend she didnt know how to start conversations. There are both Christian and non Christian parents who do a great job raising their kids. Some have to work and put food on the table. Housekeeping skills are good for both genders to learn for survival not submissiveness and control. We had boys in our homeec class in high school during 1980's Girls took auto mechanics and joined the FFA. Frankly,I wish had more experiences budgeting lviing on my own,and repairing things. Noone is saying the kids arent happy and no one denies the parents love their kids. Alittle preperation for the future doesnt hurt.

  11. And BTW living at home in your 20s was seen as lazy in myday and im the same age as the blog writer.I applied for a job once about the age of 22 or 23. WHe i mentioned not working and living at home, the one interviewing looked strange. What critics are saying is patriachal types want complete control of their families. It isnt right to use the flaws of society against a family on reality TV. We dont see much of their lives.

  12. Have I been watching the same show? I don't see Jim Bob as patriachal or controling at all. I see a Dad who is really proud of his big girls and who loves looking out for them, caring for them, and spoiling them. They have a lifestyle that I would be jealouse of if I let myself. They are living with their best-friends, surrounded by loving people, in a great house, with lots of 'stuff' to have a good time with. They are learning far more housekeeping, child care and theology than I did/have. Seriously all I ever wanted to be was a wife and Mum - no-one got that when I was a teen and i'm not sure even I truly understood why I felt torn, but if that is how those Duggar girls feel then this is the best training ever. Trouble is, I can't help but feel, that us stay at home Mums are looked down on, and treated as if it's wrong to have wanted or to have this life.
    All I wanted to do at 18 was to leave and go to University and couldn't understand my friends that were still at home. I look back now and feel that it was a failure in me and my family that I felt like this - something to learn from and not repeat.

  13. im finishing up my degree in history right now. my education was paid for in student loans and a scholarship offered here in florida. i honestly can say that i don't want to do anythingin my life that would require a degree. I realized that though my original plan had been teaching, i would much rather stay at home with any children i have. so right now i work so that my fiance can continue on the track plan to a better paying job that will pay for both of us and about a kid or two (to start). my mom agreed that if i had an A GPA when i graduated she would pay back my student loans. but she basically forced me to go to college. if i didn't go she was going to kick me out of the house and i'd have to find my own way. not exactly what 18 year olds nowadays want to hear. most of the time, i see that kids my age and younger have no clue what is going on in the outside world. my brother is turning 18 in a month and he is beyond spoiled. i admit i was spoiled too while living at home, but not as much as him. he doesnt have a reason to not do what my mom says. shes in charge.

    we don't knwo whats going on with the duggar girls or what they are thinking. all i know is what i see with most people my age and younger. i had a rough time in college because my mom started cutting me off very early. if i wanted to do something she didnt like she would punish me by not paying for certain things. so my 100 bucks a week (half of which went to has) had to be stretched pretty thin. not to mention i was worried about a million things i had to save for, so leaving the house made me grow up pretty quick. but if i hadn't had to,i probably would not have. i'd be living at home like the duggar girls, only i wouldn't clean or anything. just make a mess and expect my mother to clean it - i now know otherwise but only because i went against my mothers wishes.

  14. I can see both sides from supporters and critics. From an unbiased view why should the older Duggar kids leave at least during the show's run. It can be hard giving up your comfort zone. No why force them to do something because of what veiwers think. I went to college because it was in my mind what everyone expected of me. All I thought about was finding a husband mainly because most of my cousins were marrying. Doesn't society consider some of us girls arent interested ine education? Age taught me well. I learned there are other aspects in life. I tell my husband maybe it was a good thing he wasnt around then or we would be married for the wrong reasons. I didnt know what the heck I wanted. on the other hand, your young adult hood is the time to explore the world for yourself. Many today marry and dont know what they are getting into. Denying them college is also as bad as forcing them. From my view I see no reason to be jealous of the Duggar kids. For one they are on tv whether they like it or not. Bros and sisters are great but privacy is great too. And I complained about one sibling. a sister would have been nice. Again we dont have no proof of what any of them want since they are still young.

  15. I think it would be nice--add this to "episodes i'd like to see part 2" -- to ask the kids NOW what they want to be when they grow up...since we haven't heard from them since the 1 hour special 4 odd years ago....and let them tell us once and for all what any of their plans might actually be...

    i have a feeling when the show is finally over we'll see a lot of kids doing a lot of different things...i think the show is one big "holding pattern" building up a lot of savings accounts

  16. Celeste:

    {Fixing your sisters hair will not teach you to how fix an old ladies hair, or overly colored hair, or Asian or African American hair, or how to do a stylish cut.}

    Sorry but neither do the cosmetology schools in predominately white areas like where I live. You learn how to do white girls hair in the same styles you yourself are wearing because we all look pretty much alike with 1 of 3 basic styles with maybe 10 variations of each of those styles. I am the only person around here who knows how to braid black hair and only because I am a navy brat and have lived elsewhere.