Just imagining what it might be like to be in a household with 19 kids is exhausting enough, but thinking about actually living there sounds kind of terrifying, especially when you consider all the mess that must come with it. But for the Duggars, dealing with all the dirty dishes and laundry is just a part of life. And yet, the scope of which they have to do it still leaves us feeling dizzy. And it apparently leaves them feeling pretty dizzy, too, considering how messy all of their houses are, even as adults with just a few kids. Somehow, though, they manage to get it (mostly) done by putting every single kid to work with a little something called jurisdictions.
“Jurisdictions are the chores that we’re supposed to keep on a daily basis,” Jill Duggar explained in an old episode of 19 Kids and Counting back in Season 1 when there were just 17 kids. “For each one in our family, they have their own jurisdiction that they’re responsible for to keep clean,” Michelle Duggar continued. And they’re serious about that “each one in our family” thing. Even the littlest kids are doing chores around the house pretty much as soon as they can walk.
In an old episode where the boys and girls swapped jurisdictions — aka traded chores — the Duggar fam gave us a look into what it’s really like trying to take care of all the household chores. “The girls do a lot of work around the house,” said Jim Bob Duggar. “The girls are the ones that actually keep the house going.” The producers picked up on that too, asking Jill why the girls were stuck with all the hard work, an answer to which she hemmed and hawed before finally trying to say it’s because they’re older — despite the fact that Josh Duggar and John-David Duggar are also older kids.
While the girls got the chance to learn how to change the oil in a car and fix a flat tire, the boys handled cooking and cleaning. And while all of those are useful skills, I just want to take a second here to point out that the “girl” chores are a bunch of daily tasks whereas those “boy” chores are something you do like twice a year, maybe. Just saying. Anyway, check out the gallery below to see what goes into keeping the Duggar household running.