We have a lot of kids. And yes, it's intentional. We like kids. We are perfectly happy to have a big family and it works for us. It's totally normal for us to be asked, "Are you guys the Duggars," when someone finds out how many kids we have. And typically we just laugh and shrug it off. But I now find it necessary to make a broad and definite statement that, yes, we have a lot of kids, but no, we are not like the Duggars at all.
We raise our children in a very relaxed, relationship and respect- oriented way. Our kids are allowed to question us, question authority, say no, have their own thoughts, opinions and desires. Our kids may believe what they want, though of course, it is likely that much of our beliefs will rub off on them. They know that they can question those beliefs, come to us and discuss differing beliefs and explore as God leads them.
Unlike the Duggars, our kids can dance, our girls can wear pants, there is not a tie in our house. We are against punishment, we are against forcing our kids to be a part of raising and caring for the home and big family that we chose to have and therefore are responsible for, and we encourage our girls to do what they want to in life; whether that be marry and raise a family, go to college, pursue a career, or all of the above.
Though we feel that sex is best left for a committed relationship, we do not teach our kids that purity is the only way. We give our kids information, talk to them, answer their questions, let them know our opinions on God's intentions for sex and relationship (which I can guarantee is nothing like what the Duggars think) and let them make their own rules for their own bodies, teaching them to always be respectful of other's rules for their bodies.
While we are comfortable with a big family, we do not impose that on anyone else, our children included. People can have the families they want.
We teach our children that God is love and love wins and kindness, peace, respect and love are always right.
On any given day in our home, you will see our children running around free outside, people reading YA novels, kids playing minecraft, tv shows, emotional littles yelling, a toddler outside naked, pre-teens questioning us, asking why, saying no, you'll hear cuss words from someone, see the sweetest hugs, kisses, snuggles, be privy to an Elizabeth Mitchell or The Cure dance party, watch us laugh and have the very best time. You won't see order, or bed times, or everyone cleaning together, you won't hear rules spouted off or see big meal times, or any punishment at all. You'll see lots of love, discussion and friendship.
I'm telling you, we have a big family, but we sure as hell aren't the Duggars.