Let’s just go ahead and state the obvious: Birthing and raising 19 kids, like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did, has got to be brutally hard.
It would be stressful on any woman’s body to carry that many babies in her womb, in addition to the actual labor and subsequent lack of sleep that comes from rearing a newborn. Then you have to keep up with the constant energy of a toddler, teach a school-age child necessary skills and important morals before moving into the teen years, when explosive hormones come into play. You also have to factor in the financial aspect of raising kids, which for most families is a major source of strain.
As the older Duggar children start to embark on their own journeys as spouses and parents, you have to wonder what the families of their new mates think of the 19 Kids and Counting situation and whether they fear that their own relatives will choose the same path now that they have married into the Duggar family.
In the case of Derick Dillard’s family, it seems that they might be a bit nervous at the prospect of Derick devoting his life to being a perpetual new father. Derick married Jill Duggar last June and they claim they shared their first kiss during the wedding ceremony. Less than a month later, the couple was surprised to discover that Jill was already expecting.
The couple called Derick’s brother and mother while on camera to share their news. While Derick and Jill describe the Dillards as being excited, their reactions and tone of voice seem to tell a different story. “Hey, guess what? You’re an uncle,” Derick says to his brother, Dan. “Excuse me?” his brother replies. “No I’m not.” The awkward conversation continues for several minutes and Dan doesn’t sound like he wants to accept what he’s hearing.
Derick’s mother, Cathy Byrum, though very warm and polite, seems equally as thrown off by the pregnancy announcement. The look of utter shock on Byrum’s face is unmistakable after she’s told she’s going to be a grandmother. “What? Already?” she manages to ask. “I was going to say, ‘Happy one-month anniversary’ tomorrow.'”
Here are the full exchanges.
Jill’s oldest brother, Josh Duggar, is 26 years old, married his wife in September 2008, had his first child in October 2009, his second child in June 2011 and his third child in June 2013, according to his official website. Jill’s due date is in March, which puts her birthing pace at three months ahead of her sibling. Something tells me Derick’s family might be keen to that fact.
Taking care of kids is hard work and a lot of self-sacrifice, whether you have one or nine, but when you start getting up into the double digits, things must just start to get downright crazy. With that many mouths to feed and hearts to keep full, it raises the question: is it even fair to anybody involved, parents and children included?
All of the Duggar children appear to be happy and healthy, but you can’t really blame Derick’s family, or anyone else that marries into the clan, for hoping that their own kin don’t decide to expand their families as much as Jim Bob and Michelle did.