When you’re brought up in a household that has 19 kids — and counting — birthdays are simply not an uncommon event. An 18th birthday celebration in the Duggar clan, however, is a little less common and also very significant, because it signifies crossing the threshold into adulthood.
Courting may commence, and a Duggar daughter is eligible to take what the family believes is the next appropriate step in life. That is, finding a husband to settle down with and start procreating.
This week marks the 18th birthday of Joy-Anna Duggar, and we can’t help but wonder if she will march the traditional Duggar path — like sisters Jill and Jessa — or if she will decide to forge her own path, more like Jana.
It would be pretty awesome to see another Duggar girl strike out on her own without feeling she has to marry right away and have children. However, though Joy-Anna has certainly demonstrated physical strength and has stated before that she would like to get involved in politics, there are too many other factors that point toward her living a traditional Duggar family life.
1. She’s very close to Jessa and Jill
Joy spends a lot of time with Jill and Jessa, who are both newly married and already embarking on a new journey with their own young families. They do everything from road trips to errands together, and Joy has adopted Jessa’s active lifestyle by eating healthy and hitting the gym with Jessa and her husband, Ben Seewald. Birds of a feather flock together, and it’s only natural that Joy would model her life after the ones she looks up to, who, in this case, are Jill and Jessa.
2. She’s also tight with the Bates family
The Bates are another devout Christian, reality TV family who also happen to have 19 kids. The Bringing Up Bates clan also has several boys who would be of appropriate courting age for Joy, so it almost would be weird if she didn’t end up with one of them, right?
3. She honors the family’s missionary tradition
Everyone knows the Duggar family loves missionary work, and Joy is no exception. She listed her favorite 19 Kids and Counting episode as the “Duggars in El Salvador” and also said the El Salvador excursion was her favorite family trip. The Duggar values are ingrained deeply in this one.
4. Her future plans
Though Joy has said that she would like to be involved in politics at some point, on the Duggar family official website, she also lists missions and being a “wife & mother some day” [sic] as her major future plans.
5. Her favorite quote
Her favorite quote is “For God to increase, we must decrease,” according to the family website. We’re guessing she doesn’t mean decreasing the population, which means this isn’t a particularly bold quote. No offense to Joy, but the saying leads us to believe she’s comfortable with her place as a woman in the Duggar family.
6. The fact that she even has a favorite quote
Those Duggars love their social media quotes!
7. She has a natural maternal instinct
When you grow up around as many babies as there have been in the Duggar household, you’re bound to learn a parenting trick or two, and the Duggar girls start changing diapers when they are 7. Joy stepped into the Duggar “overseer” jurisdiction seamlessly and looks more than comfortable with a baby on her hip.
It’s rumored that Joy has changed more diapers than her own father, Jim-Bob, a full-grown man and father of 19. She may feel at this point that bearing young is her destiny, but her upbringing could also send her running for the hills now that she has the chance.