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Nefernandes2019

Clara Nolkamper: I Have 11 Children

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Carol

In my town vocational high schools are making a comeback.  Whomever thinks they are for the "too poor for college" is full of it.  Everyone needs a plumber, an electrician, a beautician, a welder, etc.  These jobs don't disappear during a recession.  

I have a friend who is a beautician and she makes about $95,000.00/year(including tips).  From the tips, alone, she's taken vacations and helped pay for her grandson's college.

Not everyone is cut out for college.  I wasn't until I was in my 30's.

 

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Caroline
46 minutes ago, Carol said:

In my town vocational high schools are making a comeback.  Whomever thinks they are for the "too poor for college" is full of it.  Everyone needs a plumber, an electrician, a beautician, a welder, etc.  These jobs don't disappear during a recession.  

I have a friend who is a beautician and she makes about $95,000.00/year(including tips).  From the tips, alone, she's taken vacations and helped pay for her grandson's college.

Not everyone is cut out for college.  I wasn't until I was in my 30's.

 

I've been a high school teacher for almost 4 decades, and I can usually predict with accuracy who will make it in a four year program and who should have waited.  Unfortunately, the state I work in has taken away a lot of vocational opportunities for kids in regular high schools and is really pushing for all to go to four year colleges.  This is absurd to me.  A lot of parents who don't have college degrees don't always understand their kids' abilities and think that all will succeed in college just because they were accepted.  Unfortunately, college is a business like everything else, and I stress to kids that they should only consider going if they know they have the ability to finish.  If they've struggled in high school, and even if they were accepted to a state college, they don't always have the self-discipline to complete the degree.  This leads to student loan debt with nothing to show for it.   Our school has access to an excellent vocational program but it is off-site and a lot of kids don't want to spend the time it takes to get there and home again on the bus.   The kids with the biggest challenges are the ones who don't have any direction at all.  They may not be academically inclined, but they may not be suitable for a trade either because they haven't had any exposure to those kinds of jobs.    I wish more parents realized that schools and school guidance counselors are barely managing to do the basic job of educating kids and helping them apply for higher education because of all the social problems that are getting worse each year.  Kids need so much more guidance in these areas today and schools definitely can't handle it all (yet many  seem to think nothing's changed :( )

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theotherelise

I follow her on IG and honestly I have very little to snark about. They do not advocate for everyone to have a big family or say that it's what you have to do to follow the Bible. Clara has a degree in something like early childhood education and from what she shares about homeschooling, it seems to be very thorough. Her posts about the children are positive, demonstrate knowledge of their individuality, and don't read as preachy.

Her husband stays busy with work but doesn't seem to travel. They use a health-share program instead of health insurance, but the cancer treatments seemed to be covered. She homebirths with a midwife providing prenatal and birth care and all the recent births were really easy.

I believe it's against policy to share things from private IGs, but she has expressly stated that the older children are never given the responsibility of taking care of younger children and that it is solely her and the dad's responsibility because they are the ones choosing to have children. But yeah, a couple of the older children do a lot of baby cuddling and she says they like to help a lot. 

Financially, they seem to live in a modest house and cook economically. Her parents live nearby, not sure about his. I would bet they've gotten quite a bit of help covering the flights for treatment. She said they mostly use bonuses for christmas and buy things throughout the year when on sale. Bikes alone were over $500, but probably a pretty good choice IMO. They provide tons of active play and can be passed down easily. 

The biggest snark for me is definitely how often she comments on other mega-family posts. She and Courtney Rogers actually interact and seem to know each other now, but the rest feel very leg-humpery. 

I know it's certainly not uncommon for hidden scandals or terrible things to come out about large families. But I mostly think this family is just an extreme outlier. The relationship lasted through teen pregnancy, both parents got some kind of employable training, and they generally seem to enjoy and manage a large family without resorting to blanket training or buddy parenting. The cancer diagnosis right after a miscarriage was of course pretty bad, but otherwise things have worked out pretty okay even with this lifestyle choice.

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Caroline
1 hour ago, theotherelise said:

I follow her on IG and honestly I have very little to snark about. They do not advocate for everyone to have a big family or say that it's what you have to do to follow the Bible. Clara has a degree in something like early childhood education and from what she shares about homeschooling, it seems to be very thorough. Her posts about the children are positive, demonstrate knowledge of their individuality, and don't read as preachy.

Her husband stays busy with work but doesn't seem to travel. They use a health-share program instead of health insurance, but the cancer treatments seemed to be covered. She homebirths with a midwife providing prenatal and birth care and all the recent births were really easy.

I believe it's against policy to share things from private IGs, but she has expressly stated that the older children are never given the responsibility of taking care of younger children and that it is solely her and the dad's responsibility because they are the ones choosing to have children. But yeah, a couple of the older children do a lot of baby cuddling and she says they like to help a lot. 

Financially, they seem to live in a modest house and cook economically. Her parents live nearby, not sure about his. I would bet they've gotten quite a bit of help covering the flights for treatment. She said they mostly use bonuses for christmas and buy things throughout the year when on sale. Bikes alone were over $500, but probably a pretty good choice IMO. They provide tons of active play and can be passed down easily. 

The biggest snark for me is definitely how often she comments on other mega-family posts. She and Courtney Rogers actually interact and seem to know each other now, but the rest feel very leg-humpery. 

I know it's certainly not uncommon for hidden scandals or terrible things to come out about large families. But I mostly think this family is just an extreme outlier. The relationship lasted through teen pregnancy, both parents got some kind of employable training, and they generally seem to enjoy and manage a large family without resorting to blanket training or buddy parenting. The cancer diagnosis right after a miscarriage was of course pretty bad, but otherwise things have worked out pretty okay even with this lifestyle choice.

About 20 years ago a girl a 15 year old at my high school got pregnant and decided to keep the baby.  She and the baby's father took complete responsibility and both sets of parents helped a lot.  The girl lived with her parents till she graduated and then she married the baby's dad.  They applied to the same state college and were able to live in student family housing. They both finished their degrees on time while working and taking care of their baby together.   When they were established in careers (she became a teacher) they had more children and went on to have a nice life.  We all agreed that all the parental support and their non-judgmental attitude is what helped their kids succeed.  Teenage pregnancy isn't always a disaster, and it seems those two teens were really in love and unusually mature. 

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JermajestyDuggar
5 hours ago, Caroline said:

About 20 years ago a girl a 15 year old at my high school got pregnant and decided to keep the baby.  She and the baby's father took complete responsibility and both sets of parents helped a lot.  The girl lived with her parents till she graduated and then she married the baby's dad.  They applied to the same state college and were able to live in student family housing. They both finished their degrees on time while working and taking care of their baby together.   When they were established in careers (she became a teacher) they had more children and went on to have a nice life.  We all agreed that all the parental support and their non-judgmental attitude is what helped their kids succeed.  Teenage pregnancy isn't always a disaster, and it seems those two teens were really in love and unusually mature. 

I’ve read that girls from lower income families are more likely to keep a teen pregnancy. Meaning they are less likely to abort or put the baby up for adoption. I imagine this makes the stats on teen motherhood much worse. Because they are already set up to fail. If you come from a poor family, it’s unlikely your parents can help you much financially. Unfortunately like most things, it all comes down to money. And if you are poor, you are more likely to get pregnant and keep the baby, making you more likely to drop out of high school, making you more likely to have a low income job, making you more likely to break up with your child’s father, making you more likely to raise your children in poverty and the cycle just continues.

This Clara likely didn’t come from poverty and had family support. It’s why she and her husband were able to succeed. So many other teen mothers aren’t so lucky. 

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Jencendiary
11 hours ago, theotherelise said:

I follow her on IG and honestly I have very little to snark about.

There is no responsible way to have 11 children in 12 years and make sure each child has individual attention. And it doesn't matter if she claims the older children aren't being 'buddies' to the younger ones. They are, and they are not getting the proper enrichment from their parents, who are constantly dealing with infants and toddlers. 

[Edit] Ugh. I missed that they are homeskoolers. Well. Good luck with that. 

Edited by Jencendiary
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theotherelise

I don't know, I don't feel like the point of being on this site for me is to issue carte blanche judgments about family size or homeschooling in general. Identifying and calling out the dangers of fundamentalism is different from saying that all large families are bad. 

This family is not part of any fundamentalist cultish sect. They don't advocate for their way being more holy and they don't proselytize. I'm a bit uncomfortable with there even being a thread because she doesn't run a blog or have public social media and it's pretty invasive to calling the family out based on assumptions simply because she comments a lot on other people's instagrams. She went private on IG after writing that single blog submission and clearly don't want to invite tons of attention now.

They take care of their children, they aren't trying to make money off the children either, they use modern medicine, and they don't have any message. 

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Kailash

@theotherelise I don’t think the issue is the size of the family per se, it’s the lack of spacing between children. 11 kids in 12 years? How in the world could each child be given individual attention in any given day? This reminds me of elephants. When there is a drought, often mom is so busy taking care of the youngest calf that it’s the 2 or 3 year old calf that dies. Granted humans are not elephants but the basis of care is comparable, if only to me.

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Jencendiary
51 minutes ago, theotherelise said:

They take care of their children, they aren't trying to make money off the children either, they use modern medicine, and they don't have any message. 

They still have far too many children to give adequate care and attention to, much less a passable education. 

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JermajestyDuggar

I just want to throw this out there. We talk about non-fundies on FJ. We talk about the Nogs and the Radford. Neither are fundie. But they both have large families so we talk about them. Like Clara, Sue Radford was a teen mom and now has a riduliysly large family. But at least she doesn’t homeschool. If Clara keeps this up, there will be major issues. She will be assigning a buddy system and paring down the homeschooling. It’s inevitable. It is just not possible for her to keep this up with a new baby every year. 

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Peppery

I personally would like to know why she feels the need to post on everyones (I feel like I even saw her on Jennifer Garner's but can't say for sure) Instagram posts that she has 11 children. Even when it doesn't relate to the topic at hand. Is it for validation?

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dripcurl
Posted (edited)

I believe it is very possible to homeschool 12 kids successfully, but the spacing with this family is just too insane. Even if the children were in public school, there would still be just too much to do. I would even argue that having them all in public school might not make too much of a difference. Just think of all of the homework she would have to make sure got done, think of all the lunches that would have to be packed, think of how by the time the younger ones got picked up from half-day Kindergarten (since she probably has two that are Kindergarten age), the older ones would be home soon. Let’s say there is a rural bus route - imagine getting all of her school age children out the door on time fully prepared! While she would probably need a nap by the time they did all get out the door, she now is responsible for doing a lot more of the laundry and cleaning. For a family of this size and spacing, public school would mean less time “teaching” and more time spent prepping. And if she has no caregivers to help with the child with cancer, then she definitely has zero time to do much of anything as it is.

Edited by dripcurl
typos

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Zebedee

OK, I read her article on lovewhatmatters. I have not ever given birth, but is it a normal thing for someone who has had her first 4 babies go to NICU to choose a homebirth? Plus, a 9 month spacing? Also, the whole husband cancelling his vasectomy bit - I'm sure it is meant to sound sweet, but, it just sounds odd. Perhaps she never wanted him to have it? Because otherwise you would hope this was a decision they would make together and him just saying, "nope, more kids" would be really presumptuous on his part, if he didn't think actually he had been forcing her to agree to the vasectomy.

I get that they may be lovely, and not preachy (though that article - which she wrote - had distinct signs of that, though maybe it's my godless heathen lapsed Catholic European perspective) but the whole unmarried teen pregnancy to "god wants me to have all the babies, and homeschool them" U-turn seems suspect. I suppose it is the homeschooling thing that really bothers me - no way, with all those irish twins, can she be focused on several different year groups at the same time. And will she be letting her children go to public school for secondary ed? She is only qualified in education for younger children, right? Still, much more than Kelly-Jo, or MD.

She certainly deserves a lot of credit for working so hard, and getting her degree, and she does, in fact, still look really young. But, she's 30. At this rate she could easily get to 20+ kids. We've seen how Michelle Duggar looks a bit fragile (understandably) now - after looking amazingly young for so long after so many children - but does she not realize what she may be setting herself up for? I'm 41, and I had three times as much energy and willpower at 30 as I do now. She seems to be an energetic woman, but I am 99% certain she will be exhausted in 10 years - but still with tiny children, likely pregnant, and trying to homeschool mid-late teens!

Also, 11 bio children? Does she not believe in over-population and finite resources? Though not the deciding factor, Mr Z and I eventually cast the final vote about children on an environmental basis. We realized he was ambivalent, I might've had one if he really wanted - but environmental factors were the deciding factor.

I don't know, I'm still waiting for NYD in Hawaii (I'm in EU, just prolonging the celebrations, and putting off all my good resolutions, so a bit tipsy too). I don't want to be mean, and certainly not to offend anyone here, I'm very sorry if I have done, have very likely been a bit rude. Also, she seems like someone who, unlike the workshy Duggars or Rods, for example, will a) not slack off on educating her kids - as far as is possible with the limit of 24 hrs/day, and b) as long as she didn't proselytize, she'd probably be good company - which makes me feel much worse being rude about her.

In any case, sorry for any offense, and happy new year, may 2020 be wonderful for you all, and not see a deluge of babies born into the Rods, Duggars etc.

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mysweetetc

I'm glad to see her discussed here, because she's an interesting follow for me and I go back and forth as to whether she's nuts.

My impression of her has always been that she has to be getting help behind the scenes. No matter how little sleep one thrives on (she claimed that she only needs 4-6 hours), I don't see how there are enough hours in the day to feed, homeschool, entertain, and supervise 11 kids that young. Add into that the fancy birthday tablescapes, the travel to deal with B's cancer, and BF'ing three kids at once while being very likely to become pregnant again in a few months... I call bullshit. When does she clean? Take them to doctors' appointments? Find time to make all that homemade bread?

I'm a (part-time) WAHM of three kids, and I still feel like I am treading water most days during the school year. That's with all three in school. Surely one can only stretch so much into 24 hours, right? Am I crazy?

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JermajestyDuggar
17 minutes ago, mysweetetc said:

I'm glad to see her discussed here, because she's an interesting follow for me and I go back and forth as to whether she's nuts.

My impression of her has always been that she has to be getting help behind the scenes. No matter how little sleep one thrives on (she claimed that she only needs 4-6 hours), I don't see how there are enough hours in the day to feed, homeschool, entertain, and supervise 11 kids that young. Add into that the fancy birthday tablescapes, the travel to deal with B's cancer, and BF'ing three kids at once while being very likely to become pregnant again in a few months... I call bullshit. When does she clean? Take them to doctors' appointments? Find time to make all that homemade bread?

I'm a (part-time) WAHM of three kids, and I still feel like I am treading water most days during the school year. That's with all three in school. Surely one can only stretch so much into 24 hours, right? Am I crazy?

No, you definitely aren’t crazy. It’s just common sense. And as we all know, families (both fundie and non-fundie) can make their lives seem perfect on social media while it’s actually far from it. She could get tons of help like Braggie. She could neglect their schooling like Zoo. But we would never know it. Because people only share what they want you to see online. 

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theotherelise

Yeah I certainly don’t think her life is as rosy as depicted and that she receives tons of help. And I agree that even if she’s managing right now, it’s impossible to give enough attention to each one.

But if I had to pick, I’d take claras positivity over Braggie abbies disdain. And I will continue counting it as a good think when fundie or mega moms go private and stop exploiting their kids for influencer points.

Hopefully they prevent more babies soon. 

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JermajestyDuggar
45 minutes ago, theotherelise said:

Yeah I certainly don’t think her life is as rosy as depicted and that she receives tons of help. And I agree that even if she’s managing right now, it’s impossible to give enough attention to each one.

But if I had to pick, I’d take claras positivity over Braggie abbies disdain. And I will continue counting it as a good think when fundie or mega moms go private and stop exploiting their kids for influencer points.

Hopefully they prevent more babies soon. 

There’s definitely a ranking of families talked about on FJ. You can tell which are the worst by the amount of threads they’ve had. We talk about the worst families the most. Because there’s just so much to cover! The worst families are probably the Nogs, Rods, and Anderson’s. That doesn’t mean there aren’t worse fundie families in the world. Those families just don’t have social media. There’s a reason why we don’t talk a lot about the Radfords, Clara’s family, and even Courtney Rogers. Because they aren’t as horrible as the Andersons or Nogs. Clara’s family is definitely ranked differently from them. 

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squiddysquid
Posted (edited)
On 12/30/2019 at 11:52 AM, Caroline said:

I've been a high school teacher for almost 4 decades, and I can usually predict with accuracy who will make it in a four year program and who should have waited.  Unfortunately, the state I work in has taken away a lot of vocational opportunities for kids in regular high schools and is really pushing for all to go to four year colleges.  This is absurd to me.  A lot of parents who don't have college degrees don't always understand their kids' abilities and think that all will succeed in college just because they were accepted.  Unfortunately, college is a business like everything else, and I stress to kids that they should only consider going if they know they have the ability to finish.  If they've struggled in high school, and even if they were accepted to a state college, they don't always have the self-discipline to complete the degree.  This leads to student loan debt with nothing to show for it.   Our school has access to an excellent vocational program but it is off-site and a lot of kids don't want to spend the time it takes to get there and home again on the bus.   The kids with the biggest challenges are the ones who don't have any direction at all.  They may not be academically inclined, but they may not be suitable for a trade either because they haven't had any exposure to those kinds of jobs.    I wish more parents realized that schools and school guidance counselors are barely managing to do the basic job of educating kids and helping them apply for higher education because of all the social problems that are getting worse each year.  Kids need so much more guidance in these areas today and schools definitely can't handle it all (yet many  seem to think nothing's changed :( )

And there's a typical mistake school teachers make: your high school grades are in no way indicative of how you'll do at university.

In fact a lot of those straight A high school students drop out because high-school usisally encouraged learning stuff by heart rather than logic and they can't prioritise what is important with the large volumes at uni. And those who relied heavily on the structure in school can't deal with the eat or die style of uni.

I hated school and skipped as much as I could but loved uni. Did a double degree and I'm working as a doctor now. Thankfully my country doesn't give a rat's ass about school grades - you take an entry exam specific to the course you're applying for.

Some people do a lot better without the structure of school, being able to choose how they learn and which resources to use, having a choice to skip lectures if they don't like the professor's teaching style and of course choose the subjects they really enjoy -

let's face it a lot of the stuff you learn at school is completely useless (just thinking how many of my class struggled with French...) I was actually good at languages but the teacher hated my guts and tried to fail me every year - to the point where other french teachers intervened reassessed my tests and gave me an A - that was lucky, mostly you are at the mercy of that one person

in a country where you high school average counts for uni they can do immense damage to your future. Or they wrongly convince your parents early on that you aren't "academically inclined"

While I very much appreciate trades and actually did a sort of combined high school vocational thing - I think having the option of trying uni should be encouraged. Our country actively tries to get kids interested in academics, especially the ones who have the odds against them,(like the ones you mentioned with parents who didn't go to uni) going to schools letting them try uni for a couple of days and get them motivated instead of discouraged.

Edited by squiddysquid

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nelliebelle1197
On 12/30/2019 at 2:01 PM, theotherelise said:

I follow her on IG and honestly I have very little to snark about. They do not advocate for everyone to have a big family or say that it's what you have to do to follow the Bible. Clara has a degree in something like early childhood education and from what she shares about homeschooling, it seems to be very thorough. Her posts about the children are positive, demonstrate knowledge of their individuality, and don't read as preachy.

Her husband stays busy with work but doesn't seem to travel. They use a health-share program instead of health insurance, but the cancer treatments seemed to be covered. She homebirths with a midwife providing prenatal and birth care and all the recent births were really easy.

I believe it's against policy to share things from private IGs, but she has expressly stated that the older children are never given the responsibility of taking care of younger children and that it is solely her and the dad's responsibility because they are the ones choosing to have children. But yeah, a couple of the older children do a lot of baby cuddling and she says they like to help a lot. 

Financially, they seem to live in a modest house and cook economically. Her parents live nearby, not sure about his. I would bet they've gotten quite a bit of help covering the flights for treatment. She said they mostly use bonuses for christmas and buy things throughout the year when on sale. Bikes alone were over $500, but probably a pretty good choice IMO. They provide tons of active play and can be passed down easily. 

The biggest snark for me is definitely how often she comments on other mega-family posts. She and Courtney Rogers actually interact and seem to know each other now, but the rest feel very leg-humpery. 

I know it's certainly not uncommon for hidden scandals or terrible things to come out about large families. But I mostly think this family is just an extreme outlier. The relationship lasted through teen pregnancy, both parents got some kind of employable training, and they generally seem to enjoy and manage a large family without resorting to blanket training or buddy parenting. The cancer diagnosis right after a miscarriage was of course pretty bad, but otherwise things have worked out pretty okay even with this lifestyle choice.

How on earth did she manage to get an actual degree with all those babies?

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Nefernandes2019
On 12/27/2019 at 7:34 PM, albireo said:

 

 

 

11 hours ago, theotherelise said:

Yeah I certainly don’t think her life is as rosy as depicted and that she receives tons of help. And I agree that even if she’s managing right now, it’s impossible to give enough attention to each one.

But if I had to pick, I’d take claras positivity over Braggie abbies disdain. And I will continue counting it as a good think when fundie or mega moms go private and stop exploiting their kids for influencer points.

Hopefully they prevent more babies soon. 

Elliot the Eleventh is 1 month old... Soooo Will be another irish twin next?? Could she already be pregnant with #12?? 

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Calypso
On 12/30/2019 at 5:41 PM, JermajestyDuggar said:

I’ve read that girls from lower income families are more likely to keep a teen pregnancy. Meaning they are less likely to abort or put the baby up for adoption. I imagine this makes the stats on teen motherhood much worse. Because they are already set up to fail. If you come from a poor family, it’s unlikely your parents can help you much financially. Unfortunately like most things, it all comes down to money. And if you are poor, you are more likely to get pregnant and keep the baby, making you more likely to drop out of high school, making you more likely to have a low income job, making you more likely to break up with your child’s father, making you more likely to raise your children in poverty and the cycle just continues.

This Clara likely didn’t come from poverty and had family support. It’s why she and her husband were able to succeed. So many other teen mothers aren’t so lucky. 

This is totally off topic but I read an article recently that argued that women in lower income and especially minority families actually do not see as much of a loss in their income and productivity potential as women from middle class and more well off backgrounds do from having children young. The argument was that they are statistically less likely to be together with the childs father in the long term. So their partner in raising the baby is often their mother. It's to their advantage in some ways to have kids younger because their mother will be young enough to actively help raise the child. If they wait until later in life their mothers are older and not able to take on as much child rearing responsibilities so the women are held back when it comes to earning potential because more of the child caring duties fall solely on them.

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JermajestyDuggar
4 minutes ago, Calypso said:

This is totally off topic but I read an article recently that argued that women in lower income and especially minority families actually do not see as much of a loss in their income and productivity potential as women from middle class and more well off backgrounds do from having children young. The argument was that they are statistically less likely to be together with the childs father in the long term. So their partner in raising the baby is often their mother. It's to their advantage in some ways to have kids younger because their mother will be young enough to actively help raise the child. If they wait until later in life their mothers are older and not able to take on as much child rearing responsibilities so the women are held back when it comes to earning potential because more of the child caring duties fall solely on them.

That’s interesting. I actually knew a woman who not only raised her granddaughter, but was trying to raise her great granddaughter. She was actually having a hard time because she was quite old and trying to raise a teenager. 

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Caroline
9 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

That’s interesting. I actually knew a woman who not only raised her granddaughter, but was trying to raise her great granddaughter. She was actually having a hard time because she was quite old and trying to raise a teenager. 

Every year there are a number of kids at our high school who are being raised by their grandparents (usually just the grandmother).  Those grandparents look and sound exhausted when they come to school for different reasons.  They have a very hard time keeping up with all the new technology that kids are using, and often don't know how to help them with the complications of social media.  (Though I know that helping kids navigate social media is hard for everyone raising kids.)  I always feel so badly for these grandparents who are really doing their best.  Unfortunately, some of the cases have to do with the kids' parents' drug issues.  It's horrible.

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Calypso
12 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

That’s interesting. I actually knew a woman who not only raised her granddaughter, but was trying to raise her great granddaughter. She was actually having a hard time because she was quite old and trying to raise a teenager. 

I work in social services and see situations like this often. We have to certify grandparents to care for their grandchildren or great grandchildren all the time. It's really difficult when the grandparents are too old to really keep up with the children but we place them there anyway because its that or going into care. 

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Giraffe
On 1/2/2020 at 7:56 AM, nelliebelle1197 said:

How on earth did she manage to get an actual degree with all those babies?

Lots. Of. Help. (Regardless of what she claims)

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