The plight of 19 Kids and Counting star Jana Duggar hits home with Paul Lamar Hunter, an author and the 19th child of a 21-sibling family himself.
The Duggar family of TLC fame has, as their show name implies, 19 children, meaning myriad challenges for the parents and older children alike.
No one knows this as well as eldest daughter Jana Duggar, 24.
To say that she is asked pitch in with babysitting, housework, and other family duties is the understatement of all time, as 19 Kids fans are increasingly aware.
It’s a "system" - making Jana exhausted from a lifetime of raising kids and not letting her leave the nest - that has received a lot of criticism from outsiders.
Paul Lamar Hunter understands this better than most.
As a man who grew up in a similar family, he laments her plight, insisting that life inside a giant collective can be a struggle when the families aren’t rolling.
“It is not [kids’] responsibility to have to raise their brothers and sisters,” Hunter, the 19th of 21 kids, says. “It is Jim Bob and Michelle’s job to be the parents.”
On recent episodes of the hit TV show, these Duggar family secrets (open secrets as they may be) are being exposed, and they are jarringly familiar to Hunter.
“Jim Bob and Michelle need to stay at home with their children and let Jana have her life,” says Hunter. “The children are not Jana’s responsibility."
"She is an adult who [probably] wants to have fun with her friends and go on dates,” he says. “She might despise her parents and confront them later on in life.”
From his own background, he says, “my family experienced the same situation and it ended with some of my older siblings not speaking with my mother.”
“Jim Bob and Michelle need to hire a nanny [and] let Jana live her life.”
Hunter, whose enormous family now has 63 grandchildren and 61 great-grandchildren, is the author of No Love No Charity: The Success of the 19th Child.
Do you agree with his stance on Jana and the Duggar family? Discuss.