People have been speculating for years about Jana Duggar's love life. With her extensive child care (and tree house-building, and gardening and home-decorating) duties documented first on 19 Kids and Counting and now Counting On, it's easy to see why she's been nicknamed Cinderella Duggar. Yes, she's a wonderful caretaker, but as critics of the show continually insist, she's capable of so much more. Unfortunately, as we've seen with Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, there's little chance of her broadening her horizons, whether or not she gets married.
The limits put on Jana's potential were especially evident during tonight's episode of Counting On, in which she was once again involved in an incredibly stale storyline about her efforts to redecorate the already beautiful guesthouse. Despite having a very brief spat with Jessa over decor style, she managed to put together an impressive homecoming for Jill and Derick, who were thrilled. The other Duggar siblings and in-laws were also impressed, with Derick commenting that Jana could go into interior design, and Joy-Anna claiming that Jana could easily open a home decor business.
The sad look on Jana's face said more than a million articles about Cinderella Duggar ever could. As an unmarried female member of the Duggar family, Jana's options are limited. She can continue to watch over Jim Bob and Michelle's brood or she can marry and have kids of her own. Even if she does marry, it's not likely that she'll ever have a life outside of caring for children. Yes, children are blessings, but it's really sad that arguably one of the smartest and most gifted Duggars' talents are being wasted. In another family, there would be room for both parenting (or caring for siblings) and pursuing a career in interior design, music or something else of Jana's choosing.
Jana sometimes seems weary and beaten-down, but also cautiously optimistic. There are things about her life that she really does love: her siblings, her garden, her music and yes, her decorating efforts. She may be sheltered, but she is an adult and has the ability to break free and lead a different type of life if she so chooses. Until then, she just might be demonstrating her own quiet rebellion by carving out a life for herself, free of repeated pregnancies and home births.
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