Abbie Duggar of ‘Counting On’ Admits She Might Break With This Major Duggar Family Tradition

Abbie Duggar might be breaking with Duggar family tradition. The wife of John David Duggar says she isn’t necessarily planning on being a stay-at-home mom after she welcomes her first child in January

The Counting On star told Us Weekly that she intends to keep her nursing license current and that she may even return to the workforce at some point. If that happens, she’d be the only woman in the Duggar family to have a formal job outside the home. 

Abbie Duggar was reluctant to give up her career as a nurse 

nurse with patient
A nurse takes a patient’s blood pressure | Rui Vieira – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Abbie, 27, worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in her home state of Oklahoma before she wed John David, 29, in November 2018. She left her job prior to getting married and has since let her nursing license in Oklahoma lapse. But she seemed to have mixed feelings about quitting her job

“I just love taking care of people. But I left my job a couple of months ago so that I could plan for the wedding,” Burnett said in a 2019 episode of Counting On. “I do hope to go back to nursing one day, especially so I can keep up my license and my skills.”

She might work as a nurse again 

Though Abbie is not currently working, she explained to Us Weekly that she’s keeping her options open by making sure her nursing license is current. 

“I’ve got my license transferred over to Arkansas so that I have that availability if I want it,” she said. “I know I’m planning to keep up my license by doing the continuing education hours.” Arkansas, where Abbie currently has an active license, requires 15 hours of continuing education for LPNs every two years. 

Abbie also said that she and her husband had discussed the possibility that she might work outside the home. 

“We’ve talked about looking at some options of getting a job,” she said. “We just haven’t yet. We’ve just really been enjoying being married and traveling a lot this year. So we’ll just keep it as an option and see what happens. … We may wait until our little girl is grown. We’ll just have it as an option if we want or need it.”

Right now, the couple is waiting to see what life is like after the baby arrives before they make any decisions about Abbie’s career. 

“I think [we’ll] wait until the baby’s born before we make any big decisions for us. … Then maybe several months down the road after the baby’s here, we can look at … different places for options for her to even work part-time or something like that,” John David told the magazine. 

Duggar women are usually stay-at-home wives and mothers 

While the majority of women work outside the home after having children, according to data from the Pew Research Center, that’s not the case for the Duggars. Women typically don’t pursue higher education, nor do they get traditional jobs, even before they are married. And once they get hitched and start having children, they opt to be stay-at-home moms. So, the fact that Abbie Duggar is considering returning to work after having her baby is a pretty big deal.  

But even though the Duggar women aren’t commuting to an office every day, some do contribute to their families financially. Jinger Duggar, Jill Duggar, and Joy-Anna Duggar have all shared sponsored posts on Instagram, which brings in some cash. And Joy-Anna Duggar works side-by-side with her husband Austin Forsyth in the couple’s house-flipping business. She’s also listed as a “staff member” in a video promoting Fort Rock Family Camp, which is run by her in-laws. However, it’s not clear what that position entails. 

Jana Duggar, 29, who still lives at home with her parents, also seems to have gotten into the family’s renovation business. In August, she shared a post on Instagram about an old schoolhouse she and her siblings are renovating. She is also the registered agent for a company called Arbor Acres Group, according to Arkansas state business records, though what that company’s business is in not clear.