It seems like an insane question to impose on a mother of 19 children, but fans of Counting On have noticed that Michelle Duggar doesn't exactly have a job. And sure, you're probably thinking that her job is raising her 19 children — no easy feat. But Michelle has been very vocal on the show about the "buddy system" she has in place. Basically, the older kids take care of the younger ones. The older Duggar daughters have all talked about the responsibilities they've had with cooking, cleaning, and pretty much raising their younger siblings. Since the daughters do so much housework, it's prompted many fans to wonder what exactly is Michelle's role in the house? Does she do anything?
In fact, the whole "Michelle does nothing all day" backlash has been going on for some time. Fans even attacked her back in June when daughter Jana posted a Mother's Day tribute to her. Jana is the oldest of the daughters and, at age 27, is still unmarried with no children — which is considered ancient in the Duggarverse. While waiting for the right man, Jana has been busy taking care of all her younger siblings, nieces, and nephews. "Jana has done everything short of giving birth," one fan wrote on Facebook in response to the tribute video. "[Jana has] done more child rearing than [Michelle] ever has," wrote another. It definitely makes you think.
"An empty nester — in a house full of children."
If Jana raises all the children, and women in the Duggar family aren't allowed to go to college or get a job, what purpose does Michelle serve her family? Michelle's last birth was in 2009, and it was incredibly complicated. After that, she attempted to give birth a 20th time but had a miscarriage. Now that she's 51 years old, Michelle is most likely going through menopause, which means no more baby Duggars. On the show, it seemed like giving birth and nursing babies was Michelle's No. 1 job. But now that the youngest Duggar is now seven years old, what is there for Michelle to do next?
A commenter over at Free Jinger said it best when they called Michelle "an empty nester in a house full of children." It's quite a conundrum the famous TV mom is in. After all, she's a grandmother to several grandkids and yet she still has many children of her own, and eight of them are still under the age of 18! At 51, this is normally the age when parents start doing new things with their lives, start traveling the world, and thinking of new possibilities — and it looks like that might be happening, at least in her own Duggar way.
It pays to be a reality TV star!
Although the Duggars aren't what we typically think of when we think of "celebrity," they're probably the biggest stars on TV right now. They're one of the few reality TV faces to grace the front pages of gossip magazines. The only other TV family that does that is the Kardashians! Because she's famous, Michelle can use her star power to make appearances, whether it's speaking at an ATI conference or hosting seminars. Add in the fact that she often plays the role of the loving, supportive wife to her husband, Jim Bob, when they participate in political events (from anti-abortion rallies to Republican debates), and you have something that's close to a full-time job.
We also have a suspicion that it's Michelle who runs her official family blog and Facebook page. After all, the majority of the Duggar clan aren't even allowed on social media yet, and secondly, she's the only Duggar to regularly update her blog. So it's almost like Michelle is the Kris Jenner of her family.
Think about it — Michelle is pretty involved when it comes to the older girls, from wedding planning to giving bad marriage tips. She's active when it comes to making family announcements and coordinating that whole part of the Duggars' lives, which sounds like a "momager" to us.
Maybe she's reached her breaking point.
It wouldn't exactly be a shock if a woman who's changed about a million dirty diapers and washed about a million loads of laundry finally reached her stopping point. Back in 2015, she admitted to having a "breakdown." "It was 1:00 AM in the morning as I stood folding laundry with tears streaming down my cheeks," she wrote on her blog. "Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, 'LORD I NEED YOUR HELP, I can't do it all! I feel so inadequate! Diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kisses, correction…' My list seemed to go on and on."
Yeah, it doesn't sound easy being a Duggar wife. After Jessa posted pictures of her dirty house, it appeared the full-time job of being a housewife was making its way through the entire fam. And trust us, we empathize. However, many fans have been skeptical of Michelle's "perfect wife and mom" image and have scrutinized her for pretending to "do it all" when it was actually her older daughters doing all the work. Perhaps Michelle decided a couple of years ago that her job will be managing her kids and taking a supervisory position to all the chaos in her house. After all, we can't think of anything else she might be doing with all that free time.