Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jill Duggar: Spokesperson For a New Generation

It's only been recently that Jill has come into my radar and she really is a vibrant personality. As I search back my memory to the first two seasons (the only two I have on DVD) I have vivid memories of Jana and Jessa and Jinger doing interviews, and a few of Jill, but it seems that it's this season that Jill is making her big break out and we're seeing more and more of her. I did write a piece a few months ago about not seeing much of Jana and the speculation around that, but Jill has been all over the past few episodes of recent memory.

Jill is the daughter that Michelle has described as being neat and orderly--never having her shoes scuffed or her dressed ruffled. She does a great job wrangling the kids without losing her temper or getting frustrated--at least when the camera is within range, and she seems to have about 8 arms--she can grab a kid here while holding a kid on her hip, while pulling a kid off of this, while yanking a kid down from that...

I just watched the episode where they went to the zoo and seeing Jill handle her siblings was nothing short of amazing. The other thing that was telling about this episode is that we really did get to see that, no, this family is not perfect, these kids are not robots, and they are not little angels. All the older girls, while doing their jurisdictions and pulling their weight do not all have the same personalities and same patience levels--Jinger was clearly not at ease with the little ones in the same way Jill was. And that's good, that's what we want to see, we want to see reality, not pre-packaged perfection that anti-Duggars seem to think TLC is feeding us.

She is very calm, very open, and very at ease on camera. She is probably at ease with the public as well. I'm sure by now she's used to people coming up to her family when they are out and about and I have no doubts that she's capable of having a polite conversation with people she's just met. I see a nurse in Jill Duggar.

I have no doubt that these glimpses into Jill's personality and capabilities with her siblings, especially the young ones will show us how well she could do with NICU babies should she choose to pursue that career as was earlier reported. Nursing isn't easy--it was my major as a Freshman before I switched to English and then again in Graduate School before I swithced to Social Sciences. It's more than taking the classes and absorbing the material--it's almost a calling, a drive, a need to do that type of healing. Not everyone has that in them, even if they can pass the courses. I think what we've seen in Jill is the drive and the calling, I do hope she decides to go through with her goal and make it happen.


  1. Ok I am glad you wrote this. I haven't been fond of Jill in the past I found her to be...condescending. As of late the little girl has sure made me feel otherwise though, I actualy like her now! I agree with you she will be a good nurse, she can talk and sound sure of herself and this is what people need when they are in for medical care. I think she is wonderful with children, so calm and that is needed to make children calm and defuse situations. Way to go Jill, so sorry for not seeing the real you before <3

    thx for this one Marybeth

  2. I admit Jill is the one I never noticed...Jana grew up to be gorgeous and Jessa and Jinger seem like twins so much that unless they put names under them I can rarely tell them apart, although Jinger seems to have that mischevious grin--but Jill is the constant "doer" and I just overlook her...last night's episode brought her out for me and she kind of took the spotlight and I liked what I saw :)

  3. I remember Jill from the first special and she was interviewed quite a bit in comparison to her sibs and she was well spoken even then. I think out of all the girls she is most like Michelle, it seems the two tend to do a lot together, as I see them on camera together on many litle side trips. Jill was the one who accompanied Michelle back to AR in time for Makynzie's birth. Jingers attitude might be more an age related issue if I recall she is around 16.5 and I have a DS that age and it is all attitude about being told anything to do. At this age they seem to want to get as far as possible from sibs as they can and parents as well. You just have to live with them and let them know that they are not going to do what they want to do. I think people have overlooked Jill a lot because she was really gawky looking for a while and face it, people judge by looks alone. I do recall that oine person on another board said they called the house number(this was a few years back) and Jill answered and was quite open about Michelle being pregnant and carried a conversation on for a little while. I think we can expect a lot from this young lady.

  4. There is not a single Duggar I don't like. I love the way you're profiling and writing about each family member individually. I have trouble telling any of them apart from one another. Random thought: Do the Duggars celebrate Halloween and what do they do as an alternative because I'm pretty sure they don't. I don't really see Josh as a camera hog or Anna as camera shy, it just seemed like she was letting Josh take the lead.

  5. Oh and briefly, what were the posts about that you deleted. I don't understand what you're talking about at all.

  6. RE the halloween question. They don't do halloween but i'm sure I saw them do something else instead. It is in one episode. I don't do haloween which sadly is becoming more popular in the UK but instead let the children dress up in suitable costumes and we take treats to the neighbours. My girls get to do the fun bits and it makes people think that there is an alternative.

  7. Sarah--they have to do with a conference in WI that Jim Bob and Michelle attended in mid-April right after Josie was readmitted to the NICU.

    Some people see Josh as a camera hog, I think it's just that he's so used to it, because he's been filmed since he was, what, 16? That and he loves audio/visual production--he's just a talker that way. I never saw Anna as shy, myself, just because the first time we met her she seemed so open on camera--her engagement was filmed as a surprise and she handled it so well, I'd have been a complete mess--but then, she probably knew, not consciously, but that at some point in the relationship it would happen, because she knew the family was on a TV show. She may have been doing mental preparation deep down.

  8. Chris...thanks for the answer---i honestly don't remember a halloween episode...or for that matter i don't remember a thanksgiving episode either...

    we were living in London for halloween one year and i was newly pregnant and had hard candy to suck on to keep my tummy from rumbling....when we got a knock on the door and 3 little kids in costumes trick or treating...we gave them some of the hard candies :) next morning the candies were left on our sidewalk :P hehehe yes halloween just isn't as popular in the UK as it is in the US :)

  9. I think they used to do Halloween years ago and stopped as their values changed they now try to celebrate Harvest around the same time so the kids don't wonder why the other kids are talking about Halloween. I saw Michelle mention it on one of the episodes first season I think just a little blurb or maybe it was the book..LOL I do know I have seen pics of the kids in Halloween costumes (Josh , Jana & JD)

  10. I know they do a living nativity but I don't remember ifthey do that at Halloween. I thought they said that but I don't recall the episode. I do think it's interesting that they didn't film anything other than Christmas. No thanksgiving or even Easter.

  11. I think Jill is a doll. She does remind me of her mother, in a good way.

    I have to admit to sort of overlooking her in the past. Maybe she was going through an awkward stage and wasn't highlighted on the show as much because of her own wishes and/or TLC's edits.

    Watching her on the zoo episode left me stunned and impressed with her wisdom and patience. She was so calm and dealt with everything in a patient and loving manner. I've read elsewhere that her sisters don't like watching the kids, or that Jill is "stuck" doing this job. That's not the impression I got, at all!

    Also, I think it is quite telling that she was the one who went with Michelle to help Anna deliver Mackynzie.

    It's fun to discover how much I like this young lady. I think she will make a wonderful wife and mother, nurse, or whatever she wishes to be.

  12. Thanks for such a positive post on Jill! Did you all know that people on the Discovery Blog were actually questioning Jill's intellect? They were asking, "What's wrong with Jill?" A few were sincere with their concern, while others were SO RUDE. I honestly think JB and Michelle heard about it because in one episode they were talking about Jill and how sweet and caring she is. (This was the episode when JB brought the harp home.) My guess is people were concerned about her emotional break down about having her wisdom teeth removed. Well, I know a few 20 somethings who had the same issue and they weren't laughing either! Getting my wisdom teeth out was a BREEZE...but getting my 1st pap smear looked very similar to how Jill was reacting, except my dad wasn't there to hold my hand. :)

    I think Jill will make an excellent nurse.

  13. I think Jill would make a great pediatrics or NICU nurse! She has the calm, quiet manner and knows how to deal with the children without getting impatient or upset.

    I, for one, never blamed her a bit for the dentist thing! I am 31 yrs old and am absolutely terrified of the dentist, and have panic attacks every time I go. My dentist frequently suggets Valium or stronger drugs before each visit. I can't even take the kids, my husband has to do it, b/c I don't want to show them my fear, and make them think they should be afraid. I know in my head, rationally, that there is nothing to be afraid of, but it's a totally irrational fear, and very hard to control. the only thing keeping me in the chair is tons of prayer and meditation on Scripture.

    Mrs P

  14. YES! In the book there is a picture of Jana and John-David--they are dressed up in costumes as toddlers, but the book doesn't specify that it is Halloween--they look like Raggedy Ann and Andy, but it could be for something else--drat..she didn't comment on what the picture was.

    They did do a show about St. Patrick--she wanted to research it as part of her Irish heritage...but it is interesting that when a season encompasses Christmas, they don't mention Thanksgiving. It could be that they want to have at least one holiday that's camera-free, which is totally understandable. After all, it wasn't until Season 3, I think, that we even saw them during the Christmas season, and that was just for a parade--they didn't share their family tradition with us.

    I can tell you, since many of you ask, we don't celebrate the holidays beginning with the word "Saint." I do give my husband a valentine because I love him, but he told me when we met (we met in January and were married in February) that he didn't celebrate V-day and not to expect it--so I don't, but since we've been married, we have gone out to dinner on that night a few times and I have made a few special meals on that night, just to show him a little extra love. I've never celebrated St. Patrick's Day because I was raised by a VERY Scottish father--so no explanation needed there hahaha. As for Halloween, truly Chassidic and I believe, Orthodox, don't--but it's a personal choice...our daughter does dress up, she's 3 and I'm a new mom and I like it. As she gets older and is in Jewish schools, she will probably learn not to celebrate it, and at home she will be encouraged to choose costumes that are positive--so far she's been a chili pepper, a kitten, and an elephant.

    A lot of conservative Christians seem to celebrate what they call "the harvest" instead of calling it Halloween--they dress up in non-demonic costumes (anything but ghosts, witches, etc) and basically the kids still get to go trick-or-treating, go to positive parties, etc. At least that's what I heard on an episode of the 700 Club a few years ago. The Duggars may do that, so far we don't know.

  15. Remember the green dye??Poor Joy coming out of the bathroom..LOL! We didn't do much on St Pat's asids as we were Scots/Welsh.English but it wasn't until a few weeks before my Dad passed on we found out we had Irish thru him. He had never mentioned it before! I teach our children the meanings behind all the different Holidays including their original origins. I have run into very conservative Chrisitians in this region who are shocked my children have read Harry Potter but they do not realize I am first Generation out of the UK and that a lot of the backgroiund to "witchcraft" is in our blood. I feel children should not just learn about their own religion but know as much as possible about others as well. It tends to make them more understanding when people disagree with them.

  16. wow i should write about holidays...too late now! :) my daughter was born in London (so was my husband for that matter) and i have no issue with her reading Harry Potter when she's old fact we were supposed to see Daniel whatshisname in Equis on the West End while we lived there but Zephyr came 6 1/2 weeks early so that didn't happen hahaha...i'm not very good at sheltering as it is...we don't have tv service but we have a lot of dvds...whenever she sees a picture of charlie sheen she starts singing "men men men" and she's 3....

  17. I actually have a book titled Christian themes in the harry Potter series. If you get past the fact that it is set in a makebelieve world of wichcraft and wizardry it is actually a series of books about the fight between good and evil - certainly a morally good stance and many religious themes actually.
    I'll put that soapbox away now.
    I will try and recall which episode I though there was a reference to halloween and let you know. Don't forget that the next day is All Saints Day which is a part of the Christian calendar.
    Getting back to Jill - I just watched the zoo episode last night and have to say that Jill shows she can handle those kids well, she has learnt a great example from Michelle and I can see she would make a great children's nurse or theraputic worker. I caught a few comments about whether her GED is enough for her to go to college. Bearing in mind I have no idea about American qualifications - would someone like to enlighten me?

  18. Marybeth - first thank you for your blog! Nice to find good Duggar conversation without all the snark!!

    I also admit to kind of overlooking Jill in the past, but I think I've been a fan ever since the episode where she babysat with Joy. That scene where she helped Joy with the brownies was another instance where she had what appeared to be at least 10 arms as she wrangled those little ones away from the hot stove but still allowed Joy to finish 'her' brownie project. I think what connected the dots for me is that Jill seems like a first-born with the way she handles responsibility and her 'do-er' attitude. It's telling that she doesn't appear to think of herself as a leader except when she has to be - to me, she clearly is a leader, especially when Michelle and Jim Bob are not around. The little ones clearly adore her and listen to her. I totally get that TLC heavily edits these episodes, but when I watch the shows, I always think that Jill appears to genuinely love her place and role within her family, and that she would choose those roles regardless of her assigned juristictions and responsibilities. I too think she'll make a wonderful wife & mother (if that is what she wants!).

    Yes, please do a post about holidays, I think we clearly have enough here to have good conversation about it! Oh, and I think I remember either a clip online or a snipit in an episode where Jana (maybe Jill?) was baking pies ahead of time for Thanksgiving and the family was doing their grocery run for a Thanksgiving meal...


  19. As far as the Holidays are concened they do Thanksgiving, in one of the specials they showed the family going to Aldi's for Thanksgiving dinner, they didn't show the actual dinner but showed them shopping to Thanksgiving dinner, I remember reading something about NO Halloween, they didn't celebrate, I know quite a few religeous people that don't celebrate halloween because of the "true" meaning of spirits and such, I do remember the picure though so maybe a long time ago they did dress up or maybe they were just playing dress up (like the bee costume one of the little kids was wearing in one of the latest episodes) I also remember when she talked about one of the boys birthdays how they were on a 4th of july float and she thought she was gonna have him on the parade route. Sorry I should have posted this in the Holidays part. OOps! Once again great topics Marybeth

  20. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this, but I'll throw it out there...and don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE the Duggars, but Jill (and honestly the other kids too, but Jill seems to be the worst) using the word LIKE to fill in every gap in conversation drives me insane!!! I know that is a common thing among teens these days, but I would think by now either the producers or JB and Michelle would have instructed the kids to use it less, just my two cents ;)