Would you be able to raise 19 children? Probably not, but neither could Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. The supersized family rose to fame for the number of children they have, and the way they organized their lives to accommodate them all. Over the years, though, fans have noticed that something seems a little bit off in the Duggar household, and as more interviews were granted, it became apparent that the Duggar kids basically raised each other.
Joy-Anna basically admitted that Jill raised her
Joy-Anna Duggar has grown up, gotten married, and gone on to have a child of her own. She hasn’t forgotten who raised her, though; Jill Duggar seemingly brought Joy-Anna up. According to Ok! Magazine, Joy-Anna once admitted that Jill had always taken care of her.
In fact, it’s alleged that Jill was even changing the youngster diapers. Joy-Anna and Jill are only seven years apart in age. The pair, thanks to the buddy system, are incredibly bonded and seem to celebrate significant milestones together. Jill posted a tribute to her sibling when Joy turned 21. Frankly, Jill’s post seemed more personalized than the stock birthday shout that Michelle and Jim Bob share on each child’s birthday.
Jordyn Duggar was disturbed by Jessa’s marriage
Jessa Duggar served as Jordyn’s buddy for as long as the youngster could remember. When she married Ben Seewald and started a family of her own Jordyn was confused. In 2014, Michelle took to the family blog to recount how upset Jordyn was when Jessa was leaving to visit the Seewald family. The mother of 19 wrote that she had to comfort the then 5-year-old child by telling her that Jessa would be back and that she wasn’t getting married “yet.”
Jessa also naturally stepped in when young Jordyn was looking for comfort at a dentist office, according to In Touch. When the child asked the dentist for her mother, Jessa rose to the occasion and stepped into the room. Jordyn didn’t even blink an eye at the fact that Jessa showed up, instead of Michelle.
There is proof in the show’s footage, too
If you are looking closely enough, much of the footage from 19 Kids and Counting serves as a reminder that Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger basically raised their younger siblings. There are several instances when the younger Duggar kids find themselves in distress. As any child does, the kids look for comfort, but unlikely kids from traditional families, they are rarely looking to their actual parents for support. The younger Duggar kids gravitate to their buddy leader when they find themselves in need.
In 2009, then 5-year-old Jackson found himself lost in Newark International Airport. The cameras were rolling as an announcement about a lost child came over the loudspeakers, and suddenly it was clear the Duggar family was down one child, according to The Los Angeles Times. Jackson was returned to his family safe and sound, but he was distressed by the experience. Instead of looking to his mother and father for a little reassurance, he went directly to Jana.
In 2011, the Duggar family were in for another fright when Jason Duggar fell twelve feet into an orchestra pit. Jill ran to the screaming she heard and discovered the young Duggar lying in a pool of his own blood. Rushing into action, Jill and John David administered first aid until EMTs arrived. While Michell Duggar rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital, Jackson’s interview segment proved that the Duggar kids are bonded closer to their buddy groups than their parents. Jackson noted he was crying because Jason was his “buddy.” Jackson and Jason were both Jana’s responsibility as young children.