Skip Nav
Tweens and Teens
What Happened When I Didn't Hold My Son to the Same Standards as My Daughters
Food and Activities
37 Scarily Cute Halloween Sweets
30 Insanely Creative Kid-Friendly No-Carve Pumpkins

Interview With Michelle Duggar: Mother of 18 Children (PART III)

One Duggar flies the coop and another arrives! The large family known for their TLC show, The Duggars: 17 and Counting has had an eventful year. First born Joshua got married in September. (Tune in tonight to watch the wedding, which includes the 21-year-old's first kiss with his wife, Anna.) Then just before Christmas, baby Jordyn made her debut as number 18!

Despite their hectic lives and sleep deprivation, parents Jim Bob and Michelle took time to write a book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! and carved time out of their schedules to talk to me about it. While their oldest son settles down to start a life and family of his own, Jim Bob and Michelle still have plenty of charges. They shared their thoughts on the future and how they are preparing their offspring for the real world. Aside from helping build the home they live in, the Duggar kids have been taught everything from plumbing to tile work and learned about politics while sitting in on committee meetings when their father was a state legislator in Arkansas. Other youngsters have the business inkling having built and sold bikes and eventually motorized vehicles for as long as their parents can remember.

lilsugar: Josh is now married and living with his wife, but in regards to your other children at what age would you encourage them to move out and become independent?

To see their answer and thoughts on modest dressing and setting their girls up for success,


Jim Bob Duggar: When each of our children move out really has to do with what the Lord has in store for their lives. I would not want a married son or daughter living with us I mean unless it was a crisis type situation. I'd want them to have their own place because they are their own family unless maybe at an older age we may be living with them (laughs).
Michelle Duggar: At this point, I don't think we have anyone who wants to get out and thinks we're driving them nuts. Even Josh and Anna, they come this way and accompany us on some trips.
Jim Bob Duggar: As far as my children, my goal, especially for my sons is to be able to develop skills so they can hopefully provide for their families in the future. I also want my daughters to develop skills so they can provide if they had to. Some of my daughters may get nursing degrees. My sons, it really depends on their interests. My second oldest son (John-David) really wants to be a pilot so instead of him moving out on his own and spending all his money on paying for his apartment and expenses, I'd rather him go and save up and get his pilot's license and then start saving up for a house or make some kind of investment in business where he doesn't have any overhead so he can save up money and really get a good start.
Michelle Duggar: We taught our children from the very beginning that you never stop learning in life. School is never over. When you have that perspective, it's not the traditional way of viewing it. There are people who are out there and they are professionals at what they do and if you are a hard worker and have good character — are honest, responsible — there's many people that would be glad to have someone like that to work along side them. You can gain skills while you are being paid. A lot of trades, you may decide you like this right now, but go to work with somebody who does that and you'll find out if you really like it. There's so many people who go to college and turn right around and not use what they went to college for and this way, you're thinking it through.

lilsugar: In such a progressive society where many parents, especially mothers, are encouraging their daughters to be tough enough to make their own way in the world, your show often features your girls taking the homemaker and child rearing roles. Do you think they will be able to provide for themselves if they don't marry?

Michelle Duggar: Our girls are go-getters. No matter what, I know they could do that if they wanted to or needed to, but in their hearts, they would love to marry and lord willing if they had children to stay at home and raise their families. I've got a couple of them talking about going for their real estate licenses and about getting their CDL licenses because they want to be able to drive some of our big equipment. Believe me, my girls are not Namby Pamby. They've got goals and the desire to do things.

lilsugar: Do any of the girls object to the modest clothing? I liked Jessa's quote in the book that said teenagers all wear the same thing and nobody is bothered by it.

Michelle Duggar: We do a lot of that the perms and make-up. I think it was our producer who said the girls have sort of their own thing going, it's a "modern modest". That's a good way to dub it I guess. I told my kids, (growing up) I mowed the lawn in a bikini and had no idea what I was doing to my neighbor's husband across the street. No wonder the woman hated our family — you know? And, I think I had no clue as far as the responsibility I had in that the way I dressed caused men to have struggles. They (the girls) want to dress modest to draw attention to their face and not the other parts of their bodies that seem to be uncovered now a days. As far as wearing dresses, skirts and things, that was a conviction that the Lord placed on my heart and he knew the struggles of my heart from growing up Whether my girls continue that in their lives, it's up to them.

Check out what Michelle had to say about feeding her large family, shedding the baby weight and her basic beauty secrets. If you missed the first portion of the interview, check out these posts. For more information on the Duggars, check out their website.

Courtesy of TLC

Shoshanna14964246 Shoshanna14964246 4 years
What do the Duggar children wear to bed, especially the girls?
Amanda14937754 Amanda14937754 4 years
What hurts my hear the most here when I read Michelle and Jim Bob's comments on modesty, is when Michelle says the women must be modest for the sake of the men around them. If a man walking down the street does not have enough self control to oogle every comfortably dressed woman that walks by him, then why is it the fault of women? If Michelle was comfortable mowing the lawn in her bikini, then who cares about the husband across the road! Men mow the lawn shirtless constantly on hot days, why aren't women awarded the same luxury?! Not shame on Michelle for choosing a bikini, shame on the man across the street who chose to stare at Michelle instead of his own wife.
suebee30 suebee30 8 years
Akikat 118 What's wrong with "stopping" at being a nurse or midwife. You are going to offend a lot of women/men by making a statement like that. Self sufficient women/men thank you very much. I'm sure if the girls chose to go to college, like you have to do to get a nursing degree(did you know that?), the parents would be fine with that. What makes you assume they wouldn't. They have never said that. You are reading into something that's not there because you are bugged by these people. Plain and simple. And whats wrong with getting pregnant right after you get married because you are horney? Most of us are.
danixk danixk 8 years
I think they(Mr. & Mrs. Duggar) have the mindset that men and women are NOT equal. Men are the providers. Excuse me, but when was it so terribly wrong for a woman to make her OWN decision & provide for herself?!
danixk danixk 8 years
In my opinion, I think they are straaaaaaange. The dad, Jim Bob, thinks that women shouldn't be self-sufficient. It's disgusting. What the hell is wrong with KISSING before marriage?! These kids are SEVERELY sheltered. They have no idea how the REAL world is. I think the parents are robbing the older children of a childhood. They're(teenagers) taking the responsibility for the smaller children. They don't need to know how to parent at 14!
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I have been enjoying these interviews. The Duggars seem like genuinly nice people. I DVR'd Josh and Anna's wedding last night and can't wait to go watch it when i get home from work. I think they are doing a great job raising there children, thier 18 children are a lot more well behaved then some of my nieces and nephews!
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Just to clarify I don't have an issue with the Duggar's life style. As a left-leaning woman, I took issue with her comment about "men's struggles". (In regards to Beatie, I also wasn't pointing my comment at you Hain. It was a general observation.) I judge the Duggars, Beatie, celebrities, and the John and Kate + 8 crowd for putting their children in the spotlight... no other reason. I think everyone is entitled to live their lives according to their own rules.
mhg mhg 8 years
akitkat, i think the girls have interests in becoming nurse midwives, because the older girls have witnessed the births of their siblings. they spoke about it in another show during yet another birth. it's a legitimate interest and a wonderful career, and is by no means a career that is beneath any woman. lots of people would rather be nurses instead of docs, for a variety of reasons. while i disagree with some of their more conservative beliefs (creationism, # of children, etc.), i just cannot find fault inherently with how they are raising their children. as for their modesty, i find it SO refreshing. i for one, am SO sick of seeing girls' thongs hanging out of their pants, bare midriffs on 13-year-olds. and what is wrong with giving your children chores and teaching them about working together? i regularly see these excessively indulged children who have this obscene sense of me, these families are creepier and more shocking than the duggars. i don't know at first i was very turned off by them, but the more i watch and read, the more i feel like so much of what she is saying rings true. and, puritanical though they may be, i doubt those kids will ever come home with a STD or a pregnancy by some guy/girl they've barely met...i know plenty of "normal" families where this happens and they only have 2 or 3 kids. at the end of the day, they clearly love their children, provide for them. their beliefs are different, but so what? isn't that kind of why america exists? and, i think the same goes for thomas beatie. if more parents took a more deliberate role in raising their children, the world would be a better place. now, i'll get off the soapbox!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I dont support the pregnant man/woman because she is portraying herself falsely and she is a hypocrite. simple as that. is that judging her? no because its facts not judgement. she isnt a man, calls herself a man...... I support the Duggars because they arent hypocrites they have convictions, faith, and love.
Akitkat118 Akitkat118 8 years
"I also want my daughters to develop skills so they can provide if they had to. Some of my daughters may get nursing degrees". This man is out of his mind... if he thinks nursing is as far as people want to go.. what if one of his girls actually wants to go to college and be a doctor! Would he put his foot down and say no? This family is so whacked. I did watch the wedding special and honestly, it made me kind of sick. plus josh and anna will probably (if they aren't already) be pregnant in a heartbeat b/c he was so damn horny from being a puritan!
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
I don't recall saying anything about her, all I have think is that "he" is a "she"... not a pregnant man. It is a pregnant woman acting like a man. And isn't it funny that you will not judge Beatie but judge these people? And would you dangle a piece of meat in front of a lion... because in her eyes, she thinks that you should take some responsibility for being a tease. Mowing the lawn in a bikini.... I know because when I was younger, I used to like to wear the pleated short skirt and thigh highs. A guy from my church told my parents that I shouldn't be wearing that. I never understood. I am not saying that I should have changed, but when you recognize that men and women can have urges... we should be as kind to our neighbors as possible. I also in that respect, think that men should not do "pool work shirtless" etc. Maybe if we didn't have people walking around in next to nothing, society would be a better place and the divorce rate might not be so high.. .just a thought.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
On another note (mostly to open a giant can of worms)... I find it interesting that there is a correlation between those that support the Duggar's and their lifestyle, and those that do not Thomas Beatie and his lifestyle. In the spirit of letting people live their lives in the way that they see fit, why not extend that right to Thomas and his wife?
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Hain, I take issue with the way she phrased it... "causing men to have struggles"... as if its the responsibility of all women to ensure that all men refrain from impure thoughts. She's not talking about "leaving stuff to the imagination and the bedroom", she's talking about accepting responsibility for another person's thoughts. I'm sorry, but if I'm wearing a pair of jeans that make my butt look particularly good, and someone else's husband stares at my rear end, I'm not going to go home and change. I'm just saying that I think it's silly to assume this responsibility, just like it was silly to cover chair legs a few hundred years ago because men might start to associate chair legs with female legs.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
They are all so friggin strange.
Moms Moms 8 years
Frank y Ava — the last portion posts tomorrow. Michelle talked to me on a variety of topics and I think people are interested in hearing what she had to say.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
How long is this damn interview.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
lildorothy- Leaving stuff to the imagination and the bedroom, does not mean that we have to cover up chair legs?? Are you serious???
Disneyland Tips From the Experts
Books Being Made Into Movies in 2017
Horror Books For Women
Reading Challenge 2017
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds