An Abundance of Grandchildren

It was interesting to hear Grandpa Duggar's comments on the last episode about how difficult it was for him to accept Jim Bob and Michelles' choice to have so many children. He also said that Michelle's father had a problem with it as well, but they accepted the decision, but thought they had enough. It made me think about if one of my two daughters decided to go that route (highely unlikely), but how would I deal with such a surfeit of grandchildren?

I think the answer is not very well. I adore my children and want the very best for them. Unfortunately, I get caught in the trap of trying to keep up financial demands of one in high school and one in graduate school. The costs are different from when I was their age, cell phones, cars, the price of gasoline, car insurance and health insurance.

Then there is college. Tuition and housing costs are much more expensive than when I was a student. I didn't know anyone who went out of state, or even to a private college, but today it is very common and the pressure is on for parents. Obviously, I could say no to all these things.

So what do I want for my future grandchildren? I hope to get to know them very well. I hope to be able to spend as much time as possible with them, I hope that I can be a hands-on-grandma and be able to indulge them, not just financially, but in every aspect of their lives. I hope to be able to spend one-on-one time with them whenever feasible. If one of my girls had 10/15/18 children, I don't know how that would be possible.

They would never fit in my house for holiday dinners, and Christmas and birthday presents would be a nightmare. I could never really bond with them all and would probably have to pick a few favorites, which isn't much of a choice. I am sure I would learn to deal with it, but is it something that I would be happy with? Probably not.


Dazzling Rose said...

I can honestly say I would be very disappointed to not be able to develop a deeper one on one relationship with my child and my future grandchildren. I don't think what the Duggars have done is necessarily "wrong" but I do agree that if my child had 10+ kids I'd be worried about not having that chance.

noteventhetrees said...

Good points!

And to add on to what you said, how about all the grandchildren (most likely) in store for the Duggars themselves??

Did you see at the bottom of the screen, I believe when Grandpa Duggar was talking, that if each of the Duggar children had 18 kids - there would be more than 300 grandkids?!? Obviously that is something that could have been easily calculated, but seeing it written out was just shocking to me! If that were to happen, there will be no possible way that Michelle and Jim Bob will ever REALLY know all of their grandchildren...

Maggy said...

I don't know...I can understand where you are coming from, but I don't feel that way.

I wouldn't mind the abundance of grandchildren - both my grandmothers have tonnes of grandchildren (one grandmother had 4 kids plus 5 stepchildren she treats like her own, my other grandmother had 15 kids, 10 living) and they seem to manage just fine and love us all.

If my daughter wanted to have 10+ children I think that I would be more concerned with the health factor then anything else. Otherwise, bring them on :)

But, I really love children and feel the more the merrier. I have two and would like to have more (but don't think that is going to happen).

I do understand your POV though.

Anonymous said...

What I thought was funny is on one of the shows a little bit of info popped on the screen and it said if each one of the Duggar children had the same amount of kids as their parents, than that would give Jim Bob and Michelle....drum roll please!....*324*!!!! Could you even imagine?

MomOfThree said...

How sad to hear that Grandpa Duggar (and some posters) have a hard time accepting that there are so many Duggar children. Granted, the thought is stunning and I do agree that gift-giving times would be difficult, if not impossible, really, but to say that a grandparent can never really get to know each child individually is not true. Think about how many people you know fairly well...friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. I'm pretty sure that there are more than 18 or 20 that could be named. And, of course, among that many people, there would be some that would be your "favorites"; those with whom you would have more in common, but you could still know them all pretty well. As for holiday celebrations, if the whole family could not fit into someone's home at one time, it is not that tough to stagger the visits and then visit those you missed at another time. (Grandpa Duggar would never have this issue as JB and Michelle's home can handle all of their family and the 18 Bates, as well. And, should HE reach the point where he can no longer live on his own, there's room for him, too!) As far as we can tell, the Duggars seem to have a good grip on things...their finances are in check, their older children are turning out to be outstanding people, the young ones are well-behaved, their home is more than adequate. It is only speculation that each child will go on to have many children of their own; I would bet that the opposite will be true, especially among the younger ones, but as they grow up, time will tell. My question to Grandpa is this, "If JB and Michelle could go back in time and give him just two grandchildren, which two would he like to have?".

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with this post. Some families love to have a crowd of people and there is plenty of love to go around. I had a friend in college who was the youngest of 9 and had dozens of nieces and nephews. We used to go to her mom's house for Easter dinner and it was a blast! All the relatives were there and any friends were welcome. Tables were set up all through the first floor and there was more food than you can imagine. Coming from a very small family, I loved it. It's up to each family to decide what size is right for them.

AmandaT said...

My father would love it if I was like Michelle. He'd buy an RV and spend his days driving between my house and my sisters in order to spend as much time with the grandkids as possible. I know that he would spend time getting to know each child because he'd be so darn excited to have another little one to spoil. And to spoil them so far hasn't cost a dime. He prefers to let the kids eat from his plate, pick them up over and over so they can pull the cord on the ceiling fan, and show them how much fun it is to toss toilet paper rolls down the stairs.
I'm sure he'll find other cheap and easy ways to bond with our kids as they grow.

But, it's not up to my dad how many children we have. It's between my husband and I. We are the parents, and it is our responsibility to provide for them.

Jim Bob and Michelle provide for their children financially, emotionally, and spiritually. The choice is up to them.

It's a bit of a stretch to say that they should limit their children to only what the grandparents feel comfortable with. Even a bigger stretch to point at Michelle and Jim Bob and say they are doing something wrong by not asking their parents exactly how many grandchildren they wish to have, and then complying.

noteventhetrees said...


If you would go back and read what I said, I NEVER said that Jim Bob and Michelle do not know each and every one of their children. In fact, I happen to think that they are doing an excellent job for many of the same reasons that you mentioned. I actually don't recall ANYONE saying that the Duggar's don't know their children.

Again, if you reread what I wrote, what I SAID was that if each of the current Duggar children each have 18 kids of their own, Michelle and Jim Bob would have more than 300 grandchildren. Of course Michelle and Jim Bob can get to know their 18 kids...they have!! But 300+ grand kids?? Come on... Let's be realistic here. It will be extremely difficult for them to get to know each of those children on a really personal level.

Maggie said...

I wrote this post from my own point of view, I am not making judgements. Do I want 20 or 40 grandchildren from my two daughters, not really, actually not at all.

Would I do my best as a grandmother, I hope I would.

Choosing only two or three of the Duggar children as my only alternative is not what I would consider a reasonable argument and certainly not what I said.

Anonymous said...

The complaints against this family are getting more and more laughable! How sad our society is that we try to complain and argue against human life. Having "too many"? Gimme a break. Kudos to the Duggars and all the other families who put human life before having things.

Anonymous said...

I can see your point. However, how many children a couple has is a decsion that they make ALONE. They should not be considering how their family size and personal choices will affect their parents, unless the parents are supporting them financially. My parents want me to have more children than I feel I can afford and send to college, and I don't feel bad about saying, "Sorry, mom. Three's enough." Why should it be any different in reverse?

Anonymous said...

I'd be especially sorry for the Original poster's children. That their plan for children and their family size didn't fit in with what grandma/grandpa felt she could handle. It's not up to you! I thought your post sounded incredibly selfish.

Rose said...

Interesting post, thank you! I would be willing to bet, however, that not all of the kids will follow with a very large family. Some may and, if they do, they have a wonderful resource of support in JB and Michelle.

I have 3 kids, but I would have taken a few more! However, I had major medical complications delivering #3 - and THAT is what I worry most about....Michelle's health.

As to the large family, I look forward to not having enough room for spouses and grandbabies! I lost my father when I was 17yo and we buried my mother 4 days before my first child was born. I have even lost my precious sister. I would give back EVERY gift I have EVER received through the years to be able to have my family back. I know we will be together again, but my point is - the gift giving would be figured out. A little something to open and some time spent together would be priceless.

Actually, I would love to spend a week with the Duggars and just enjoy them enjoying each other!

Michelle said...

When I first started watching the Duggar specials years ago, I was very put off by them. While I still disagree with them on many aspects, I'm glad to see that they seem to be lightening up, at least a bit. It's nice to see the girls wearing normal clothes for once! I wanted to write in as a child with a big extended family. My mom is one of 12 kids. I'm an only child, and I've got 17 cousins. While I do feel that my grandparents know each of us separately, it's definitely not the same relationship that my paternal grandparents and I have. I'm their only grandchild. I know that all of my grandparents love me, but just statistic-wise, it's hard for grandparents with alot of grandchildren to spend the same amount of quality time with all of them. The memories I have of spending quality time with my grandparents is very special to me, but I do have many more special memories with my paternal grandparents. My maternal grandparents also moved out of state when I was a little girl, which made it even harder. (And I'm pretty sure Michelle's parents live in Ohio.) I've got 4 kids. I was always lonely growing up, and I didn't want that for my kids. It's hard for my kids to keep all of their family straight. They get very frustrated because there are so many names to remember, and what kids go with which aunt and uncle, etc. It's not that there wasn't/isn't love to go around, it's just that the whole thing can be very tiring. I mean, for my poor grandparents to try to keep up with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. It's very hard on them. Not that they don't love it, but I know it's very stressful, and they have far less than 300+! And to the poster who said she doubted the kids would have as many as JB&M...from what I've heard many of the children say, they all plan to let god give them as many blessings as he can, so they could realistically have that many grandchildren, and who knows how many more kids they will have and will add exponentially to that!?! I agree, it's not in a grandparents place to say how many children a couple should have (if we would have listened to that, we would be sadly lacking our boys), but it is also going to be hard on that many grandkids to share grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, etc.

Anonymous said...

I think that JB and Michelle could easily know all of their grandchildren personally. Grandparents don't usually have ALL the grandchildren over at one time. So if Josh starts by bringing over his 1 or 2 and then Jana brings over her 3 the next day, and a few years later Josh brings over his 6 and so it builds, and relationships are slowly developed.

Also, think of what great fun all the cousins will have! I would love to sit around their thanksgiving table and listen to those stories! The Duggar kids will never have to leave their kids with strangers for babysitters because they have a brother or sister who will be there to help.

If the Duggar grandpa doesnt' like having so many grandkids, too bad. He isn't raising them, or providing for them. All they are asking him to do is to love them. I personally lost a lot of respect for ol' gramps when he made that comment.

A Mom-ynous said...

Procreation decisions are best meant to those doing the procreating.

The job of a grandparent is to be a grandparent.

IF you had one child who had 16 or 4 children who each had 4, there is no difference.

It isn't up to the grandparents to be "happy" with the choices of their kids to have babies (or not as for some the case may be).

MomOfThree said...

In my earlier post I said that I felt it was sad that Grandpa had a hard time accepting JB and Michelle's choice to have all those children. He also showed poor judgement in actually making that statement while in the family's home...much less saying it on national tv. Certainly, he is entitled to his opinion, but somethings should be kept to oneself. I put myself in JB's, Michelle's and the grandkids' shoes and if I were any of them, my feelings would be VERY hurt to think that my father/father-in-law/granddad was disappointed about my big family. If JB and Michelle couldn't provide properly or Michelle's health was at risk, then grandpa should speak-up, but just because a large family is not his "cup of tea", does not make it wrong.

Karen said...

One should never decide how many children to have based on what would make their parents happy. Good for Michelle and Jim.

Growing up in a large family does not mean one will have the same number of kids. My husband was one of seven kids--only two of his siblings have four kids, the rest have three or two, or none. I'm sure my mother in law would love it if we had seven kids, but it's not happening; we have three and are perfectly fine with that number!

Anonymous said...

From the New England Journal of Medicine ( "In two prospective American studies, having six or more pregnancies was associated with a small but consistent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease."

Michelle better start sleeping in the guest room, otherwise she's not going to live long enough to raise those babies she keeps on having.

Anonymous said...

Michelle better start sleeping in the guest room, otherwise she's not going to live long enough to raise those babies she keeps on having.

So you should only have five babies so you don't have a slight risk of heart problems that comes from a "study"?

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

My bladder and uterus dropped after 3 doesn't it just fall to the floor after 18????? And I am in good shape and exercise and take excellent care of myself. These people give me the heebeejeebees.