Someone on a message board brought up the point that none of us personally know the Duggars, so why are we posting that they are "such great parents." How do we really know this from what we see on TV? Frankly, I've been accused as a blog-writer of being too one-sided and not seeing the Duggars for what they really are--whatever that person seems to think they really are. I supposed since it's been awhile and people are now only reading the new blog posts, I'm getting the idea that no one reads the "what this blog is all about" post at the beginning, so it's time to reiterate my stance on the Duggars and my own personal beliefs--and what lays between.
There is a lot that I don't agree with when it comes to Duggar Dogma. The first one is obvious and that is I'm not Christian, I'm Jewish. I also happen to be pro-choice and I also happen to be pro-gay marriage, not only that, but I'm very vocal and vote those two opinions. I was also raised by conservative Old Testament parents (Presbyterians) so they weren't strict about fundamentalism or evangelism, but with a mother who taught chemistry and biology I was also taught that evolution and the Bible weren't contradictory--they could walk hand in hand and make sense with each other. Before you ask, I was adopted and my birth mother was Jewish.
I am also smart, sorry if that sounds egotistical, but get over it. I went to college, I have degrees, and frankly and IQ off the charts. Yeah yeah, I'm trying to be honest here. I know how to read between the lines, and with a TV show like the Duggars, you have to read between the lines a lot to see the deeper meaning, and see what's really going on. I also watch the episodes more than once. I've also read their book and read the magazine articles that pop up here and there, so I have a general knowledge of what's known publicly about the Duggar family. I've admitted that I'm lazy and unwilling to a lot of research to go back and fact-check as well as having a "mommy" memory, so when I get it wrong, I admit it after someone around here corrects me.
Now let's go back a step and talk about reading between the lines. It seems to me that a lot of anti-Duggars seem to take a lot of Duggar activities on face value and I think that's wrong. I think you have to look deeper, especially when there are that many children in the frame, that much action going on, and truly analyze the situation. My other point here is that you also need to watch the show from Season One and know the family from the beginning--watching one or two episodes from Season Four and deciding the family is this way or that way, isn't making an educated observation. You also have to understand circumstances, their past, their history, their beliefs (seriously understand and know their beliefs, not just think you know their beliefs), and base your statements on some facts.
I've also said you need to understand what this family is currently going through emotionally, and that's something the anti-Duggar faction seems to be refusing to do. Instead of acknowledging that a premie can happen via pre-eclampsia at any time to any one (it happened to me to my first and only baby) they are blaming Michelle for Josie's premature birth because Michelle chose to have 19 kids.
Now here is where I do have something in common with the Duggars. I've been to a NICU to visit my baby. I've walked those halls and been through those doors and I've dreaded every minute of it. I HATED going every single time I had to go and I had to force myself to do it. I hated having the nurses watch over me, I hated having them stand over me as I fed her, changed her nappy, and put on her new clothes, and most of all I hated that I couldn't just check her out and take her home. I hated that in the NICU, I wasn't her mommy. I had to wait for 2 weeks to be the mommy to my newborn. Now that sounds like nothing to a lot of people, but to my husband and me, it was a lifetime, especially when you waited a lifetime to have a child.
So do I understand why Jim Bob and Michelle took an offer to go to Wisconsin to speak at a conference why Josie was in the NICU? Yes, I do. Did I get flack for it from an anti-Duggar? Yes I did. Do I care? No, I don't. Why? Because I've been where Jim Bob and Michelle are and it sucks...sorry, but that's what it does...it sucks the life right out of you...and if that's what it takes, a weekend away, fine--go...so what if it's a conference where you're the speakers. Who cares? Their daughter was in the best possible hands she could have been in, what could Jim Bob and Michelle done for her if they had still been in Little Rock? Frankly I think it's just another think for anti-Duggars to complain about.
I respect the Duggar family for their ability to hang together when the times get tough and when the times are good. I respect their ability to raise a family the way they want to and have it work. The fact that they can put together a plan and have it come together amazes me since I can barely get my day together, let alone a life plan. Yes, I respect them. I enjoy watching the show for their financial advice and as a romantic hope to see some weddings coming up, but as far as manical fan? I wouldn't go there.
Now back to what this blog was going to be about.....the rest of the fans....we've covered me...how about everyone else? Are they over the top in their glorification of Jim Bob and Michelle? Are they right to post things about how inspirational the Duggars are? Frankly I don't have a problem with that, after all, that was the point of the show from the Duggar's standpoint in the beginning. They wanted a show that inspired others to be better people, not necessarily better Christians, just better people.
Do I think people sometimes think the Duggars are perfect? I think some fans get over-zealous in their defense of the Duggars on fan pages and that's a little sad. The Duggars themselves will admit QUICKLY that they are not perfect. The Duggars have many flaws and we all, as fans, can list our own things about the Duggars that bother us (no need to) but that doesn't mean we still don't admire them and have aspirations to be more like them in some small ways. I didn't say everyway, I said some small ways.
I do think it's important as fans to remember that the Duggars are real people, just like the rest of us. They make mistakes, they stumble, they sin, they fail, and they fall. Do we see this on their TV show? Not very often if at all. Why? It's not entertainment. Seeing Josie in the NICU is drama enough, the rest of the episode is play time.
I think everyone needs to read their book and that will ground a lot of their fans. It might also educate a lot of their detractors. Their fans will realize that they can still be inspired by Jim Bob and Michelle, but see them as real people, not the perfect family we're shown on television, and their detractors can learn the facts instead of spewing out rumour and inuendo on fan pages just to incite unnecessary drama.