You’ve probably heard of the large devout Independent Baptist family out of Arkansas by now. They’ve starred in their own reality series for the last seven years; 19 Kids and Counting. But recently, TLC cancelled the show because of sexual molestation allegations against eldest child Josh. We wanted to uncover some more Duggar family secrets. Here are ten facts about the Duggar family that you never knew before.
1. Birth Control Beliefs
Surprisingly, the extremely conservative Christian parents did use birth control when they first married. Jim Bob and Michelle who wed in 1984, at age 19 and 17 respectively, wanted to wait before having children and used birth control pills in the early years of their marriage. Their eldest child, Joshua, was born in 1988. They started using oral contraceptives after Josh’s birth but conceived again despite this precaution. Michelle miscarried that pregnancy and the Duggars believed that the miscarriage was due to their use of contraceptives, so they decided to stop using birth control. Jim Bob and Michelle believed that God was meant to determine the number of children they would have.
2. Michelle’s Outlook on a Woman’s Role in Marriage
Mother Michelle believes that once all of her daughters have married they should be at the beck and call of their husbands and willing to submit to them sexually. This is an interesting opinion, considering that her son Josh has recently admitted to sexually molesting four of his sisters. With regards to marriage, Michelle was quoted saying, “Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls.” Always available? Where’s Lena Dunham when you need her?
3. They Advocate Spying on Children
Jim Bob and Michelle fully believe in snooping on their children. They listen in on phone conversations, read through emails, check instant messages, raid bedrooms and control every peer relationship their children have. We understand wanting to protect your kids, but this seems like they have no trust in their children.
4. They Arrange Marriages
Yes, it’s been reported that Jim Bob and Michelle chose their eldest children’s suitors. Jim Bob and Anna’s father (Josh’s current wife) arranged the courtship between the pair. Jim Bob introduced his daughter Jessa to her current husband, Ben, at church and instigated a courtship between the two teenagers. Jim also introduced his daughter Jill to her current husband, Derek, and supervised Skype and text conversations between the two while Derek was abroad.
5. Forget Pools and Beaches in the Summertime
How do the Duggar children escape the Arkansas heat? Well, they don’t, because none them are allowed near a body of water. Jim Bob and Michelle avoid going to beaches and swimming pools to prevent the men in the family from lusting after women. No comment.
6. The Duggars Live Debt-Free
You would think that supporting a family of 21 would put a strain on someone’s wallet, but not this reality bunch. The Duggars earn their living through real estate investments. After Jim Bob retired from politics in 2002, he became a real estate agent. Their income is derived from rental proceeds of commercial properties they own. What about that 7,000 square foot home? Well, when construction began in 2000 when they bought the lot and ordered the frame. Discovery Networks completed it, finding local Arkansas construction workers to donate their skills and time. Even some of the painting, decorating, furnishings, appliances, and other finishing touches were provided by Discovery Networks.
7. What Does it Take to Run the Household?
You may be wondering just how many loads of laundry and how much food is consumed in the Duggar house. Well, the family home has four washers and dryers and Michelle does about 40 loads of laundry per week. With regards to food, the Duggars spend an average of $3,000 per month at the grocery store and the family consumes about four dozen eggs per week at their 18 foot dining table. The Duggars can eat 15 large pizzas in one sitting.
8. No Shorts
The Duggar daughters are only allowed to wear skirts or dresses and they must be below the knee. The Duggar boys are forbidden from wearing shorts at anytime. It’s interesting because Jim Bob and Michelle set these dress codes to ensure modesty, but having their daughters running around in skirts all the time?
9. Wages in the Duggar House
Every child has a jurisdiction or area of the house they’re responsible for, and all of the children work in teams. Michelle has chore charts where she keeps track of the children’s monthly accomplishments. They earn three cents for every chore they complete and by the end of the month, Michelle estimates that the average earn is $25. Another way the Duggar children earn an allowance is by watching their younger siblings. When the older siblings chaperone a date, they charge an hourly wage.
10. Always Preggers
Michelle Duggar has spent 135 months of her life being pregnant. If it was consecutively, she would have been expecting for over 11 years. Josh wants to follow in the family tradition. The eldest son has talked about wanting 25 children of his own. Good luck to Anna.
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