With all the drama and all the headlines lately concerning the Gosselins, I got to thinking. Yeah, I know. Dangerous.
Anyway, I was channel surfing last night and came across 18 Kids and Counting, aka The Duggars. Could there be a more jarring comparison than those two families? I’ve not watched Jon and Kate. No interest. I’ve seen a few of the headlines here and there (they are really hard to avoid) but it just wasn’t on my viewing radar. But from what I’ve heard and read, it’s been a train wreck. He can’t keep a job (like he’s got time with the number of shows that are scheduled!) and she’s an overbearing shrew. Emphasis on shrew. TLC seems to have provided them with everything from a tummy tuck for her to a million dollar, eco-friendly (of course) home. At least one book deal (isn’t that kind of like giving Britney’s mom a book deal on parenting?). Kate seems to require bodyguard(s). If she wasn’t high maintenance before, she sure is now.
This couple had 8 kids in about 5 years (or less.Told you I haven’t followed closely). That is enough to strain ANY marriage, and oh, let’s put it on national television and pimp out our family! That sounds terrific! I seem to recall that the Gosselins were in the media as soon as she gave birth to the six.
Then contrast the Duggars. 18 Kids. Whew. That translates to a LOT of diapers and wipes. And it appears she has breastfed them for at least a while, so I’m surprised her breasts don’t follow her on the floor. Okay, not nice. Sorry. I just know what mine are like after 5 so I am extrapolating ;D
Anyway. The Duggars had to have something like 15 kids before they made the news. Apparently TLC originally contacted them due to the ‘freak show’ thing they thought was going on. But it seemed like by the time negotiations were over and filming was going on, things changed. TLC crew began to respect and admire the Duggars. I’ve watched it off and on…mostly some of the specials. And read the bio on their website. They are VERY savvy business people. They started businesses when they first married that would continue to generate money. They bought land to start out on and continue to live on. Self-employed entrepreneurship. They’ve done most of what they had on their own. They built that terrific house themselves. It took 3 years. I understand that furnishings and appliances were given to them, but they paid for and built the house as they saved for it. That’s impressive.
I get the impression that the Duggars are in control of the show and content. Their kids come across as remarkably ‘normal’. Not by today’s ‘standards’ of normal, but the standards around when I was a kid. My kids are normal like that too. The parents love each other and that’s quite obvious (other than the numerous progeny, of course. They are courteous and respectful to each other. The KIDS are courteous and respectful.
I’d suggest to TLC that they have the Gosselins go to the Duggars for counseling. I’ve heard people say that Mrs. D is an overly submissive doormat. That is NOT the impression that I get at all. I think she is a very strong woman and an excellent role model for wives and mothers. Frankly, I see her do a few things that I wish I had known when my kids were little. J-B is a strong man (the hairspray bit on last night’s show was a riot). But there is no doubt that he is the head of the household in all ways. They have cheerful, loving hearts and generous spirits. I’m not saying that they are perfect. Behind the scenes is probably absolutely wild at times. There is no way that it couldn’t be. But the family obviously loves each other and see the show as a ministry. The Duggar kids are mostly older than the Gosselin kids, but they seem less demanding. They are bright and articulate kids. I get tickled watching the interviews with them. They’ll fumble for words or over explain it, but they are comfortable with themselves and their family. The Gosselins could learn a lot from them. Like, less materialism and more spirituality in their lives.
And my sad prediction for the future is that the Duggar kids will continue to grow up, start their own families and be a blessing. I predict the Gosselin kids will end up in therapy (at the very least) and we will see them in the future…bar crawling, rehab, teen pregnancy wouldn’t surprise me. Multiple marriages for Kate wouldn’t surprise me either.
The contrast is remarkable…and telling.