Jinger Duggar Vuolo Reveals She Was ‘Afraid’ to Have Kids Because of Her IBLP Upbringing

Jinger Duggar Vuolo, well-known for her role in the reality TV series “19 Kids and Counting,” has opened up about her once deep-seated fears of motherhood. Despite growing up in a household with 18 siblings, Jinger’s perspective on having children was heavily influenced by her upbringing in a religious environment that emphasized large families.

In a candid discussion on a recent episode of “The Unplanned Podcast” with Matt and Abby Howard, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, 30, and her husband Jeremy Vuolo, 36, shared how her early experiences shaped their approach to parenthood. Jinger revealed that while she always wanted children, she harbored significant fears about the prospect of having a large family.

“I was never the one that was like, ‘Give me your kid, I’m going to go babysit your kids for you,’” Jinger confessed. “I wanted to have kids, I was just really afraid of the thought of having as many as possible.”

This apprehension stemmed from her upbringing under the teachings of minister Bill Gothard, whose interpretations of the Bible formed the foundation of her family’s religious practices. Jinger recalled how Gothard’s teachings often twisted scripture to support his own agenda, leading her to believe that her destiny was to marry and have numerous children.

Understanding Bill Gothard’s IBLP Teachings

Bill Gothard, the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), advocated for a highly conservative and patriarchal interpretation of Christianity. His teachings emphasized strict gender roles, with a strong focus on the duties of women as wives and mothers. In Gothard’s view, women were expected to marry young, remain submissive to their husbands, and bear as many children as possible, seeing motherhood as their primary purpose in life.

According to Gothard’s principles, the ideal wife was one who supported her husband unquestioningly and dedicated herself to homemaking and child-rearing. The teachings promoted a lifestyle where the husband’s authority was paramount, and the wife’s role was to fulfill his needs and manage the household. This often resulted in large families, as birth control was discouraged and having numerous children was seen as a blessing and a duty.

Jinger shared that this doctrine left her feeling that her only future was to marry and have many children, without any room for personal aspirations or preferences.

“[I thought] that was what my destiny [would be],” Jinger explained. “That was going to be it. I was going to get married and have a lot of kids.”

The turning point came when Jinger met Jeremy Vuolo, who helped her see through the rigid doctrines she had grown up with. Jeremy noted that the Duggar children were taught what to think but not how to think, which left Jinger uncertain about her own preferences and desires.

Jinger’s observations of the women in her community further fueled her fears. She described seeing many mothers overwhelmed by the constant cycle of pregnancies, often to the detriment of their health and well-being.

“I saw so many moms in that setting who were so beat down,” she recalled. “They were having child after child, they were on bedrest. They were so sick, the younger siblings were having to take care of the other kids for the nine months that the mom was sick.”

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
ForEveryMom staff contributed to this article.

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