‘Counting On’: Abbie Duggar Just Proved How Serious She Is About Going Back to Work

Members of the Duggar family do things a certain way. One of the reasons this larger-than-average family rose to prominence with the show 19 Kids and Counting is because they reject modern culture, choosing a more unique path for how they live their lives.

Now many of the Duggar kids are all grown up and raising families of their own, a process documented through the spinoff show on TLC, Counting On. Fans aren’t surprised to find that Duggar sons and daughters are subscribing to the same strict rules that they were raised with at Jim Bob and Michelle’s house. Except for a few glaring exceptions.

One Duggar wife seems especially adamant about doing things her way. Abbie Duggar (nee Burnett), who is married to John David, has repeatedly made it clear that she’s unwilling to give up her career completely. This latest move proves that beyond a doubt.

John David Duggar and Abbie Burnett
John David Duggar and Abbie Burnett | via Instagram

Duggar wives stay home and raise children

The Duggars follow a patriarchal family structure where the husbands work outside the home and financially support the family while wives stay home and raise the (many) children. So far, everyone in the Duggar family has continued this tradition. The women might have side projects that generate income, but none of them work full time.

That’s what made John David Duggar’s choice of bride so intriguing. Abbie Burnett was slightly older when she got married, and before these two started courting, everyone wondered if she’d quit her career. As a registered nurse who loved her job, it seemed like a real shame.

Abbie Burnett reluctantly left her job as a nurse

As predicted, Abbie did decide to quit her job even before she and John David got hitched. But even as she was leaving, she was already dreaming of her return to a field where she found so much fulfillment.

“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,” she 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’s planning to return to nursing even though she’s pregnant

John David and Abbie Duggar are expecting their first child soon. But even though she officially has a new full-time job in the near future — motherhood — it doesn’t mean she’s letting go of her nursing goals.

“I’ve got my license transferred over to Arkansas so that I have that availability if I want it,” she told Us Weekly. “I know I’m planning to keep up my license by doing the continuing education hours. We’ve talked about looking at some options of getting a job. We just haven’t yet. We’ve just really been enjoying being married and traveling a lot this year.

She continued: “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.”

John David seems more hesitant about the idea

While Abbie seems thrilled at the prospect of returning to the workforce, her husband John David seemed much less enthusiastic. He seems to think a slow approach will work best.

“I think [we’ll] wait until the baby’s born before we make any big decisions for us,” he said. “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.”

We’ll have to wait to see what they decide to do. But now we know for sure Abbie Duggar really wants to keep being a nurse, even if she’s a mother too!