The Duggar family just welcomed another baby this week. Jinger Vuolo, the fourth daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, welcomed a baby girl with her husband Jeremy Vuolo in Laredo, Texas. The family is presumably hanging out and settling in with the new baby, taking time to bond and figure out schedules and all of that. But how long does Jinger have before she has to head back to work? Do any of the Duggar women take maternity leave or is this just a thing we regular people have to worry about?
Fans of TLC's Counting On know the Duggar family reasonably well. Well enough to know that the conservative Christian family, most of whom are living in Tontitown, Arkansas close to parents Michelle and Jim Bob, have a pretty old fashioned way of looking at the world. Very old fashioned to be honest. And because of this, few of the Duggar women work outside the home; Michelle Duggar was a stay-at-home mom and continues to stay home with the remaining Duggar children to this day. To be fair here, she had 19 children. Take a moment to figure out what that daycare bill would have looked like. No thank you.
Jessa Seewald, who is mom to 2-year-old Spurgeon and 1-year-old Henry with husband Ben Seewald, is also a stay at home mom. Ditto her younger sister Joy-Anna Forsyth, who became a mom to baby boy Gideon in February. Neither of these women had to make the often difficult and emotional decision to go back to work, which is fortunate. Well, fortunate so long as this was their choice and not something they felt they had to do based on their parents' religious beliefs. As for new mom Jinger, she has always had an eye for photography and did some light work as a wedding photographer before, but it seems to have become a hobby. Which means she is likely getting in stay at home mom gear as well.
Romper reached out to the Duggar family for comment and is awaiting a reply.
While the Duggars have never gone public with their actual religion, it's believed that they subscribe to a fundamentalist sect of Christianity called the Quiverfull movement. According to Doug Phillips, the former president of Vision Forum Ministries who is frequently described as a leader of the Quiverfull movement, this particular religion preaches "biblical patriarchy," where the man is in charge of the family and the woman is in charge of bringing as many babies into the world as her body will allow. No birth control, no working. Phillips once explained to Religion News Service, according to The Huffington Post, that it's a man's responsibility to rule a household but "the God-ordained and proper sphere of dominion for a wife is the household.”
So not exactly a big feminist religion, I suppose.
To be fair here, one Duggar daughter does work these days. Jill Dillard, who is mom to sons Israel and Sam with husband Derick Dillard, currently works as a midwife. Whether or not she took maternity leave or simply works around her husband Derick's schedule is anyone's guess.
There's obviously nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. I was one myself for awhile, and it was great. But it was a choice that I made, knowing I had the luxury of choosing to go to work or choosing to stay home with my son at the time. It's not a luxury every new mom gets. It wasn't even a luxury I got when I gave birth the second time around.
And I seriously doubt it's a choice the Duggar women are allowed to make either. Which is seriously wrong in 2018.