The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Large families burden children with too much

 
Are too many children too much of a good thing?
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have captivated millions of television viewers with their reality show “19 Kids and Counting” on TLC. I feel like there are two different audiences for their program: the ones who love them and the ones who love to hate them. Either way, the audience is hooked.
The controversial parents sent the media into a frenzy with their feature in People magazine that was published a few weeks ago, with “We’re ready for more” in huge quotations on the front cover.
I respect their beliefs in following their convictions to have as many children as God will allow them to have.
I personally believe having 19 children is way too many; there is no way that I could give that many children the amount of my attention and energy that I want to give to my own children one day.
I do not agree with their decisions, but I do respect them. But after all of the trouble that the family went through with the premature and complicated birth of their 19th child, I can’t help but feel that the Duggars are being irresponsible.
It is a miracle that they have been able to have 19 children with no serious illnesses or life-changing conditions. It is also a miracle that Michelle Duggar is still able to keep having children; I’m not a doctor, but after having 19 children, I can’t imagine what her body must be like.
She is an older mother, having already suffered preeclampsia with her last pregnancy, so why keep pushing it?
It seems like they are having a contest to see how many children they can have.  In fact, it is pretty selfish in my opinion.
They have healthy child after healthy child, and it just isn’t enough. This has got to be frustrating for the couples who are trying to have a baby and cannot.  I have a dear friend who has been trying to have a baby of her own for years.
They go through so much just to have one child, while Michele Duggar seems to get pregnant as soon as her husband walks in the room.
Are Jim Bob and Michelle giving enough time, energy and attention to every single one of their children? I hope the answer to that question is yes, but it seems downright impossible to me. I feel sorry for the older Duggar children.
The responsibility of taking care of the younger ones naturally falls upon them, and I can’t help but feel like they are trapped in their own family.
But that is normal life for them, and my life is completely different. I can’t possibly relate.
I consider myself moderately conservative, and I am a Christian, but my lifestyle could not be any more different than theirs.
I have a twin sister, so I grew up with my best friend. Although I never had a big family, I can imagine that it would be fun to always have multiple people to play with or talk to.
But with a family the size of the Duggars, the older children can’t just up and go to college after they complete high school.
The Duggars need to sit down and think about the serious risks they are taking. 
It would be a devastating public tragedy if the Duggars lost a baby or if something happened to Michelle.
Mary Chase Breedlove is a sophomore majoring in communication. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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Large families burden children with too much