Michelle Duggar is known throughout the world for bearing 19 children and has been immortalized through various publications and her family’s two television shows. While the matriarch of the mega-clan no doubt loves kids, she’s faced criticism since day one that she has not been the best parent to her extra large brood. The blog, Keeping Up with Fundies, which follows the Duggars as well as other fundamentalist families (like the Bates family) has stated that they believe that Michelle’s goal wasn’t necessarily to parent all 19 kids, but to have bragging rights.
The Duggar family comes from a movement called Quiverfull, in which couples are encouraged to have as many children as humanly possible while eschewing birth control. It is unknown how many times Michelle Duggar has been pregnant, as fans are already aware that she has delivered two sets of twins and has also suffered from two known miscarriages, but some feel that these back-to-back pregnancies gave the mom a sense of purpose when she didn’t feel she had anything else to fall back on.
She has been criticized in the media and by fans for implementing the “buddy system,” in which she was the buddy of the newest baby until she gave birth to another one. At that time, the baby would buddy up with an older child to help raise. In this way, many have accused Michelle and Jim Bob of not actually parenting their children, but to leave it to their other children to do.
The family has also been criticized for the fact that their oldest set of twins, Jana and John David, are 28 and still live at home with their younger siblings. Although it isn’t known exactly what they get up to, most believe that Jana does the lion’s share of housework and helping with the children, while John David takes the family on trips in his plane and does work around the house until he can find that special someone.
Michelle Duggar has previously been quoted as saying that there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers in a garden, which is not possible.