It takes a strong woman to give birth to not one, not two, but 19 kids. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have come a long way from a documentary series on TLC to a very popular, highly rated reality show. For the Duggar Clan from Tontitown, Arkansas, theirs has been a long, but fulfilling journey. Their reality show was originally 16 kids and counting, 17 and counting, then 19 and counting, before the program was discontinued. Later ‘Counting On’ a spin-off of the reality show was introduced.
The Duggar clan is a strict family from the independent Baptist church with high modesty standards. Jim and Michelle do not currently use birth control even though they used it earlier in their marriage before the morality bug bit them, which explains the many children. They believe in modesty, in line with their religion.
The Duggar family has a buddy system where the older child mentors the younger one. Jana Duggar, the oldest of the Duggar girls has taken on the role of surrogate mother. She homeschools her siblings, runs after them and generally takes care of them. Read on to find out the 15 secrets about Jana Duggar.
12 The Media Calls Her 'Cinderella'
Everyone is busy popping babies, getting married or going on chaperoned dates, except for Jana. She is the eldest, but with all the responsibilities heaped on her, the girl has no time for a personal life. She works on every family affair and even on holidays she is left to do all the heavy lifting. According to The Inquistr, there are rumors that Jana is obligated to stay home and help Michelle raise the younger children - that means dealing with toddler temper tantrums, dirty diapers, and feeding bottles. A girl her age should go out once in a while to socialize with her peers, but Jana might be too busy with the household chores to make time for such things.
11 The Jana-Jessa Feud
They say blood is thicker and a girl’s best friend is her sister, but this old adage does not describe Jana and her sister Jessa. While sibling rivalry is part of any family, these sisters never fully got along since childhood. Michelle tried to make the sisters get along as teenagers, even forcing them to share a bunk bed in a bid to bring them together, but the divide between these sisters seems to widen with age.
The rift was first depicted in the book that the four sisters co-authored named Growing up Duggar.
In the book, Jana disclosed that she just did not like Jessa.
Over time, the sisters have repeatedly erased each other from social media, while retaining the other members of the family, which implies it is a deliberate effort on both parts to stay estranged.
10 She Might Be In The Closet
For such a beautiful girl, Jana’s fans are still left wondering why she has not bagged herself an equally attractive celebrity to marry and have kids with. Coming from a religion where women are married off as early as 18 years old, Jana is considered an old maid at 28. Her lack of a mate has set many tongues wagging recently. According to the Hollywood Gossip, rumored are swirling that Jana secretly likes women. It would be scandalous if the unfounded rumors of her sexuality were proven true, not only because of the conservative community she lives in, but also because the show’s ratings highly depend on the conservative standards of morality they portray. Her family has made the news countless times for making anti-gay comments, this according to the Hollywood Gossip.
9 Previous Boyfriends?
Jana’s single status is always in the news and in the minds of her fans. Because of this, she is plagued by numerous stories from every corner. She is still in her twenties and has plenty of time to find Mr. Right. She does, however, seem to be branching out and has on occasion been seen out and about with a guy.
According to InTouchWeekly, Jana was rumored to be dating Tim Tebow, a former NFL quarterback.
His reps, however, disputed the claims saying he had never met her nor was he her friend. She was later rumored to be dating Jacob Wilson who is a family friend, but when interviewed he also vehemently disputed the rumors saying he is just a friend. Their friendship seems to be a little tight though.
8 She Does A Lot Of Heavy Lifting
Jana is depicted as the modern day Cinderella. She is always deep at work. When not looking after the kids, she is doing some decorating projects, gardening or helping the younger kids develop their acting skills. On family holidays, it is Jana who lugs the luggage around and it is she who ensures that everyone’s belongings are where they should be.
Even when the family attends weddings, Jana is on most occasions conspicuously missing as she is left behind to babysit the small children. Jim is strict with his money, so there is no take-out in this family and no restaurants. Jana is usually the one cooking all the meals and even makes homemade detergent for the numerous loads of clothes. The men in this family do not help out with the chores and they are all shared between the girls.
7 She Is A Trained Doula
Jana is a trained doula and even though we are not sure whether she practices it or not, the reason for training was to assist during missions. Jill is also a midwife, but the Duggar daughters are not allowed to assist anyone during childbirth. For example, helping an unmarried pregnant woman is a no-no. In Jana's case, a doula is not a medical practitioner but she can offer emotional support to a pregnant woman during pregnancy and childbirth.
It is reported that Bob and Michelle Duggar would not allow their daughter to assist Susanna Keller, an unmarried woman who was giving birth.
They strongly forbid their daughters from interacting with unmarried pregnant women who they consider impure. One thing is for sure, those unmarried women require more emotional support than their married counterparts.
6 She Is Quite Handy
For a family that has conservative defined roles for men and women, Jana seems to enjoy pushing the envelope. She has taken on roles that are meant for men. As if firefighting wasn’t manly enough, she handles a hammer with such mastery. She has built a large tree house for her sisters and nephews and changing shower heads for this lady is a breeze. Even though she spends her time confined to the kitchen, Jana's creativity is unparalleled. She finds time to follow her passion and if she had the opportunity she would do quite well for herself.
This trend did not start recently though. Jana was quite the tomboy as a child. She is said to have been more outgoing and hyper than the other kids. Jana also enjoyed being in charge and bulldozing the others.
5 She Does Not Have A College Degree
It's important to note that Jana, along with the other Duggar daughters, doesn't have a college degree. While the Duggar ladies don't have higher education under their belts, they are still the ones who homeschool the kids. Interesting? We think so. It is important for a teacher to have more book knowledge than the students they teach. Jana was homeschooled but she has no intention of furthering her studies. This curriculum they use, however, can be seen as tough seeing as the handbooks used were crafted by Doug Phillip. According to Romper, Michelle and Jim Bob talked about their choice to homeschool the kids in 2010.
Michelle said the main goal was to give the kids a "Christian based curriculum" that focused on one's moral character - such as honesty, self-control, and responsibility.
4 A Life Of Rules
Even though they say they are of the Baptist faith, the Duggars prescribe to an order called Institute in Basic Life Principles. This order has strict rules on morality and holds women in a subservient position while the men are there to be respected and obeyed. The women have to dress in a conservative manner to avoid tempting these men. This is why the Duggars are always seen in long skirts. They also avoid going to the beach and have a ban on bathing suits. For the married women, there are no ‘headaches’ allowed. They are expected to be available to the men on demand. Michelle Duggar has openly talked about being there for husband no matter the time or day.
3 She Has A Huge Heart
One would think that she has no time for other interests, but that is not true. Even with such a hectic life that seems to have a 36-hour day, she still manages to find the time to give back to society. She volunteers as a first responder at the local fire station, a role not many women would take up. Her selflessness is what makes her a genuinely good person.
Jana often accompanies her family on missions to spread the gospel and has also gone on missions with her friends where she volunteered at an orphanage.
Even when on these missions, she is still seen picking up after her family who leave their luggage behind for her to sort. One wonders what the rest of them are doing and are these still feminine roles or is she just taken for granted.
2 She Holds The Family Together
After Josh Duggar was exposed by the media for his troubling ways, he made a public apology for since actions. This prompted most of the advertisers on the show to withdraw their advertisements. TLC also announced the cancellation of the show after the scandal(s) broke. During this time, it is Jana who acted as a rock for Josh's wife Anna. Jana helped her cope with the betrayal and it most probably prevented her from divorcing her husband. Anna is not that innocent though, as she disclosed that she knew about her husband’s past before she married him. She says she married him because he received ‘treatment’ and counseling. Jana seems like she cares for her family and even in the darkest of times, she is there to keep the family afloat.
1 Can They Do It Without Her?
Jim and Michelle like to portray the picture of a seamless family that is able to do all its chores without too much bickering, but no one seems to give credit to the real person behind this machine, Jana. All of her siblings are homeschooled. Being the eldest, she has taken on this responsibility. She is also the one who mentors them as most of them are now married with their own kids. Jana is in charge of cleaning the kitchen, doing and folding the laundry. She is also in charge of the younger kids. She feeds and cleans after them. Given a chance, this woman would probably have a career of her own or be married, but her time is consumed taking care of others and picking up after them.