If you’re a fan of the Duggar family, then you’ve likely heard by now that 19-year-old Joy-Anna is pregnant with her first child.
The news came just three months after Joy-Anna married Austin Forsyth, and it caught fans by suprise for a number of reasons.
For starters, there’s the matter of Joy-Anna’s youth.
Even by Duggar standards, 19 is awfully young to be starting a family.
On top of that, there are questions and concerns about how soon Joy-Anna got pregnant after her wedding.
When she announced that she was expecting, Joy-Anna was already visibly pregnant.
The family says she conceived on her honeymoon, but fans have been perpetuating the theory that Joy-Anna’s was a "shotgun wedding" and that she was already expecting at the time she said "I do."
Whatever the case, insiders say Joy-Anna is thrilled about the prospect of becoming a mother.
And fans are excited for her, of course, but their enthusiasm is tempered by concerns about Joy’s future.
After all, this was the Duggar daughter who seemed most likely to break away from her designated role as professional wife and mother.
Joy-Anna was never a rebel like her sister Jinger, but there was a time when it was believed that she was being groomed to follow in her father’s footsteps, career-wise.
Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives, and he and other family members have reportedly encouraged Joy-Anna to enter politics.
Joy-Anna interned in the Arkansas capital building last year, and many assumed it was the first step in what would likely be a successful political career.
Of course, the best step Joy could have taken after her internship would have been enrolling in college, and for the time being, it seems she has little interest in furthering her education.
As a result, articles about Joy’s pregnancy have received a mixed response from fans, with many bemoaning Joy-Anna’s apparent abandonment of her career goals.
"It’s sad when she’s only 19 and hasn’t lived her life. She doesn’t know anything else though besides [how to] be a wife and have kids," wrote one commenter.
"Like her mother and sisters. It’s crazy how not ONE dugger [sic] wants to go to college or do something actually important with their life and have children later."
Obviously, it’s important to remember that Joy is only 19, and she has many years ahead of her to pursue whatever career path she chooses.
And should she decide to stay at home and focus on raising her child, that’s perfectly alright, too.
We understand the frustration of Duggar aficionados who had hoped to see one of Jim Bob’s daughters break out on her own, but we have to keep in mind that true freedom means choice.
And if Joy, of her own volition, made the choice to be a stay-at-home, then those who call themselves fans should wish her well in that endeavor.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.