Tuesday, July 12, 2011

how do the duggars do it?

Three kids running in three directions makes me feel a bit like I take two steps back for every step forward. And, of course, there's the cleaning (laundry, sweeping, mopping, wiping--not noses or butts--countertops and tables). And the freaking FEEDING. Good grief do they eat. All I do is buy food, prepare food, run the dishwasher and start the process all over again. Mr. G eats like seven times a day.

Yesterday I finished packing Mr. T for camp, cleaned up after the thunderstorm, tidied up a bathroom (unplugged toilet, replaced toilet paper roll, grabbed soggy towel tossed in corner and replaced with clean one, shrugged my shoulders at the dirty floor), checked emails, made breakfast, finished freezing a batch of strawberries and hustled Mr. G and Mr. B to summer school. I whipped up birthday party invitations for Mr. G's friends, got stamps, mailed them, dropped by the bank, swung through Subway for everyone's lunch, wrote a note for Speedy and drove Mr. T 2 hours Up North to camp.

After dropping Mr. T at camp, I returned home in time to grab my shopping list and bags. I drove to pick up Mr. G from karate camp, hit the grocery store and came home to unpack the groceries and toss food at Mr. G and Jax (because the dog likes dinner, too). Then we drove over to watch Mr. B finish his baseball practice, gather him, head to Mr. D's baseball game and shell out cash for concessions (everyone's hungry again). We got home, swam a bit, I gathered a ginormous pile of dirty laundry (after dumping out a small pile of clean laundry so I could use the basket) and everyone felt hungry for supper. I tossed a second load in the wash and ran the dishwasher at 9:30 and finally commanded Mr. G and Mr. B to bed (with stories, prayers, etc.).

Oh, Mrs. Duggar, how do you do it? You have exponentially more kids AND a TV show. AND a blog, apparently. I'm feeling inadequate in a mighty way these days and I don't even watch the Duggars (or any other TV because there isn't time).

Yet somehow I get the feeling that having more kids isn't the answer for me.

I'd piss and moan about the state of chaos here, but two kids are up and want food and I need to race a month's worth of recycling to the curb so I can fit the Momvan in the garage again...


  1. She can do it because the older ones take care of the younger ones. That, and I'm not sure how much "outside" stuff they do. The public only met her after she had been to the kid rodeo more than the average bear, so to speak. She had years and years of practice.
    Also, remember you only get to see what the tv chooses to show you. I wonder what it is *really* like when stomach flu hits the house, or all the women are moody all at once.....
    I'm not trying to be hateful, although I dislike their show and their attitudes, but I don't think we see the real family.

  2. She has lots of help...yes, she probably had it rough when the older ones were smaller, but I agree that they didn't do any activities and she spent a lot of time training them to be helpers. And seriously, with that many kids there's no way you could NOT homeschool, because think about all the stuff that you have to do for school whether you want to or not....then multiply it by as many kids as she has. When I think about how much help just my one 22 year old is, imagine having 4 of them to help with the house, the laundry, the driving, the schooling, the diaper changing, cooking, etc. etc. And those boys know how to work, fix things, etc. I agree we probably don't see everything, but the more I watch that show, the more I like her. She comes off as calm in the middle of chaos....I do know people who are like that with "smaller" families of 6 or 8, and I think there's just something inherent in some people and you can take that kind of chaos in stride. Me, not so much.

    There are two things she does that I really like and I wish somebody had told me to do when my kids were little--the first is that you should praise them 10 times for everytime you criticise or correct them (my ratio is probably 10 to 1 in the other direction) and that when they do something wrong, like fight or hit, she sits them down and tells them what the right thing to do would be and then they say it ten times so they will remember it. Interesting concept, but it seems to have worked. I do notice that as the years go on with the show, they show a LOT more of the chaos, hitting, pushing, fighting, etc. among the little ones, but maybe this nips it in the bud so they don't fight so much later. That's my theory anyway (as I sit here ready to sell my foul tempered 17 & 18 yr old boys to the next gypsy who stops by!)

  3. I have no idea. I am with you, and you are exponentially more busy than I am. i feel good because I have my floor scrubbed, one load of laundry in, and the girls to day care. Oh, and i showered and made my bed. You've done that in the time it takes me to find my off switch on the alarm clock! :)

    Tomorrow night is testosterone free...and you can imbibe one of those glorious lemonade with iced tea vodka thingies and float poolside! Hooray for Bumbles!

  4. The Duggars..., is that 837 kids and counting? I don't watch much tv anymore. I am trying to juggle painting, fixing up, moving, working, and visiting family. I am failing miserably. And my parents-in-law are leaving for ten days and they won't take Lola with them.

    But she don't eat as much.

  5. I'm with you. I got my hands full with just one! But then some people thrive with more going on. And yes, we don't see the whole story. Even though, like with Jon and Kate we got to see their marriage implode, even then we didn't see everything or what was really going on. Reality shows? Not so much reality. It's getting more and more scripted. I'm a cynic when it comes to that kind of stuff, and honestly, I have trouble getting past the whole "19 kids and..." I can't see to the rest. Holy mother of duggars!

  6. I couldn't imagine 3 kids going in 3 different directions! It was crazy enough on My schedule when the boys had vbs for a week (ugh to evening vbs..what a week wrecker!).

    Our boys fill and empty the dishwasher...it's fantastic most of the time ;) They also bring their laundry down and switch loads from the washer to the drier. If they don't bring their clothes down, it's not my prob.

  7. "shrugged my shoulders at the dirty floor"

    My kind of woman.

  8. I don't even know who the duggars are. And I'm OK with that.

    I'm feeling overwhelmed this summer with two boys and my job and my mom moving here.

    not. keeping. up.

  9. Except for the show, the Duggars do not leave their compound. And the older ones help the little ones. Did you read Cheaper By The Dozen? They did that too.

    I find the Duggars a bit creepy. And too good to be true.

    Have you noticed that males are incapable of changing a toilet paper roll or hitting th trash can?

  10. I feel for you. Been there, done that. Hang tight, before you know it they'll all be back in school full time and you can settle into a routine with more "you" time.

  11. You probably sleep really well after all that, right?

  12. I so hear you! I'm supposed to host a brunch at my house Saturday (the horrors!) and I haven't started cleaning. Blah.

  13. Duggar Mom is a zombie, and she's probably procreating little zombies.

    You, however, are an individual.

    And these activiteis you describe are just the things you do...let alone the amazing thoughts and feelings you must have within the space of a day.

    You're amazing.
    Mrs. Duggar is a walking incubator.

  14. And "Cheaper by the Dozen" still rates as a Good Book in my personal library. I have used that father's ideas my whole life, especially at work, with tasks I hated..."effiency expert"!

    I taught myself to be ambidextrous, when necessary! Much love for mass mailings!

  15. I had 7 in 10 years time. the older help with the younger, they didn't do all the outside activities that others do. there were farm chores, ~ we milked cows, chickens, garden, some field work and lots of play time, in the haymow, tubing on the river that runs on the north end of our farm. hiking and bike riding all around the country side. and play with friends. and they each got to chose and do 1 extra curricular every year during school ~ track, play, speech....

  16. Crazy, isn't it? We have different atmospheres in our homes, too. Expectations are not what the Duggars experience.

    I'm with you on shrugging my shoulders at the dirty floor. I swept yesterday and should be mopping. Should.

  17. I actually love the Duggars. I think what you see is what you get. And she always says that the first four or five kids were the absolute hardest. After that the older kids help out. Still, I think those parents are saintly. I couldn't do it. There was an episode where 14 of their kids had the flu at once and the dad was the only parent home because the mom was at the hospital with their baby. It was CRAZY.


    I hear ya on the eating. And the cleaning. And the running. And the eating. And the mess. I had one of those nonstop days yesterday. Ugh. Exhausting. Isn't summer supposed to be relaxing? And when will these kids get jobs so they can help pay for all the food they eat????
    God help us when they are teenagers. ;)

    Hang in there!

  18. The Duggars manage by using their kids as resident unpaid labor and there are a LOT of them.

    I don't know how you do it with three; I'm barely treading water with two.

  19. Maybe if you got a cape ...

  20. Two is a good number. Two is responsible. Two you can love easier and take better care of. Two is enough. IMO

  21. Whoopsie! It's three isn't it? Okay, three is a good number also. Three is still responsible. Three makes for a happy family. Three can also get enough love and care. Three is harder than two though.
    So sorry about those kids. I have two and so must have been projecting.

  22. As one of seven kids (and right in the middle) I can say that the older ones definitely help out with the younger ones. I was changing diapers at eight. Cooking complete meals by age 12.

    I admire the parents even if they do have more kids than a lot of folks combined. They've been doing something right with them - the older ones are respectful and polite, they know how to help each other, they know how to save money, and they are generous to those less fortunate. Not a bad way to do things.

    That being said, I don't even have any children left at home and I don't mop as often as I should (wheelchair skid marks on lineoleum). Go easy on yourself. Wonder Woman was just a cartoon character. Anyone raising kids, going to work, taking care of the house on any level, and any other activities they might be involved in is a Wonder Woman in my book.

  23. Personally I think she takes medication. Lots of medication. Actually I know 3 families growing up that had 15+ kids. I know another family now that has 16 kids, no help, just lots of love and home schooling.

    I couldn't do it. I am with you laundry, eating, laundry, eating and repeating.

  24. I find one difficult. I'm a wimpy parent that way. And forget housework --I gave up on that :-)

    As for the Duggars: I feel that it would be unfair to make my older kids become surrogate parents for most of their childhood because I felt the need to have 19+ children.

  25. I have no idea how they do it...and I wouldn't want to try. (How do family vacations work??) We're not, by any means, overloaded, but some days I feel totally frazzled with just two boys. It's crazy!

  26. My Mom had nine! Call her crazy - that's three times the food that I needed, three times the laundry and three times the cooking...YIKES!

  27. My days are like that too. It's the millions of trips the the grocery store that really kill me.

  28. More reasons I just had the one!

    Loved the fact that you shrugged at the dirty floor. My kinda woman.


  29. I stopped with one so what do I know?

  30. At breakfast, I say "You guys can play computer games for an hour!"


    "But FIRST, Sam, you clean the bathroom. Max, wash the dishes YES ALL OF THEM! Chas, pick up every single piece of clothing on the floor and put it here. And every piece of paper and put it there. I'm in charge of vacuuming. GO!"

    No videogames allowed until I find everything done to my highest standards. Then, afterwards, they play videogames for an hour and I play on my laptop and have a coffee. WIN!


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