Jill Duggar has been in the spotlight quite a bit these past two weeks.
And it’s all pretty impressive, especially when you consider that she hasn’t shot a scene for her family’s reality show in over a year.
Much of the controversy has had to do with Jill’s seemingly troubled marriage.
The scrutiny started with rumors of Derick Dillard cheating on Jill last year.
They intensified when the couple seemed to distance themselves from one another on social media and when they spent no time with her family over the holiday season.
In her own indirect way, Jill has addressed the divorce rumors, and it seems that for the time being at least, she and Derick are not going their separate ways.
Of course, if she thought that would put a stop to the rumor mill, she’s got another thing coming.
Instead, Duggar obsessives have merely switched gears and are now focusing on Jill’s child-rearing methods.
Like so many of her sisters, Jill has been mom-shamed on numerous occasions.
She’s been accused of neglect, of improper nutritional practices, and of forcing her children to walk several miles for Chick-Fil-A.
But these days, most of the criticism of Jill’s parenting skills has to do with her decision to homeschool her kids.
Many have pointed to Jill’s kids’ lack of verbal and mathematical skills as evidence that she’s not up to the task.
And the problem, these people claim, is not only that Jill has no experience as a teacher, but also that she’s relyingÂ on seriously flawed methods and materials.
The Duggars homeschool curriculum has been heavily criticized in the past, largelyÂ due to a leaked lesson plan which teaches children sexual assault victims are often to blame for their assailants’ crimes.
But that’s not the only reason that the Duggars’ methods have drawn criticism.
Like her siblings, Jill relies on materials from the Institute for Basic Life Principles, a highly controversial organization founded by disgraced sex offender Bill Gothard.
The curriculum relies on Â “the teachings of Jesus Christâ€� to teach homeschooled children the basics in â€œlinguistics, law, history, science, and medicine.â€�
Nothing like a 2,000-year-old book to help your kids stay up-to-date on science!
We kid, but perhaps if Jill’s kids appeared to be up to speed, her followers would be more accepting of her controversial methods.
As it is, she may want to brace herself for more criticism.
For months now, we’ve been hearing rumors that Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are headed for divorce.
It may sound like an inherently ridiculous notion.
After all, divorce is almost as frowned-upon as premarital sex in the Duggars’ world.
But believe it or not, Jill and Derick have given us real reason to believe there’s trouble in Dillard Ville.
It all started when Derick was fired from Counting On after launching a transphobic tirade against fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings.
Jill quit the show as a gesture of solidarity, but she didn’t seem to happy about it.
After all, she and Derick are now raising two kids with virtually no income entering their household.
And then, when the Dillards were at their lowest point, rumors that Derick had been caught cheating on Jill began to make their way across social media.
Again, it’s the sort of thing that would mean banishment from the Duggars’ ultra-religious community, but a growing pile of evidence seemed to indicate that Derick had been caught in some sort of inappropriate behavior.
Whatever the case, word within the Duggars fan base was that Jill was ready to leave Derick.
In 2019, the situation seemed to come to a head, as Jill didn’t post anything on social media about Derick for a period of more than a month.
That streak has now come to an end, however, and it seems that Jill is once again 100 percent in Derick’s corner.Â
As you may already know, Derick is in law school at the moment, and he enjoys documenting his education on Instagram.
“Enjoyed checking out the Federal Public Defenderâ€™s Office the other day and learning about the work they do!” he captioned the photo below.
One of the first comments came from Jill — and it caught some fans by surprise.
“And lookin’ stellar,” Jill remarked, followed by the requisite heart-eye emoji.
Some fans expressed shock that Jill seems to have thawed in her feelings toward Jill, but let’s be honest — these two were never really gonna get divorced.
But for all the shock and chagrin surrounding the fact that Jill and Derick are over their rough patch, many were just as surprised that Derick is still wearing braces.
Asked when he might be getting them off, Der had this to say:
â€œItâ€™s been 4 yrs now; hoping to get them off soon,â€� he wrote in the comments.
â€œThe surgery accidentally moved the midline over, and now thereâ€™s not an easy way to make it go back.â€�
Well, it there’s an upside to waiting until marriage to lose one’s virginity, we suppose it’s that it really teaches you patience!
For the most part, Duggar women are very strongly encouraged to eschew careers in favor of devoting their adult years to child-rearing.
There is, however, a short list of money-making endeavors that they’re permitted to pursue.
At the top of the list is midwife work, which is one of the few professional avenues open to Duggar women.
(The other one is flipping cars or otherwise assisting in one of Jim Bob’s many business ventures, but this is only permissible until such time as the woman finds a suitable sperm donor.)
So Jill Duggar has continued working as a midwife even after tying the knot with Derick Dillard.
Insiders say Jana Duggar recently followed in her sisters’ footsteps and is now delivering babies in and around her native Tontitown, Arkansas.
And like Jill, it seems that Jana has yet to obtain the proper licensure.
The Duggars have long taken a rather libertarian approach to state and local ordinances.
For example, Jim Bob has pissed off his neighbors numerous times by basically ignoring zoning regulations.
Of course, delivering babies is a pretty high stakes procedure, so the Duggars’ neighbors are a bit less forgiving of the alleged gaps in Jill and Jana’s training.
To be fair, no one is claiming that the women didn’t receive any kind of training at all.
It’s just that it appears they went through the sort of un-regulated faith-based program that the Duggars prefer for, well … everything.
“This is hands-on apprenticeship style,” Jill once said in reference to her training.
“So we are really getting in there and getting to experience what the midwifery and doula roles look like, hands-on.”
Jill defenders have frequently pointed to the above photo, which does show Jill proudly displaying a certificate to work as a midwife.
But the photo doesn’t tell the whole story.
Jill is holding a Certified Professional Midwife’s competency license, which is very different from a Certified Nurse Midwife license, generally considered the standard in her field.
So she and Jana might be able to work as midwife’s assistants, but they’re not qualified to perform such work on their own.
The situation has attracted a considerable amount of controversy in recent weeks for a number of reasons:
1. Jill’s midwifing mentor, Vanessa Giron, is currently being sued by a mom who claims she nearly died during her deliver.
(Sources say Jill was on hand for the delivery.)
On top of that, it’s now rumored that several other Duggar daughters are beginning careers as midwives.
Needless to say, this situation may not resolve itself as quickly and quietly as the Duggars are hoping.
Prior to marriage, members of the Duggar family are forbidden to engage in any sort of physical contact with members of the opposite sex.
But after they tie the knot — something strange happens.
No, we’re not talking about the fact that the Duggars immediately begin churning out babies like they’re trying to start their own infant football team.
That’s expected in a family in which children are taught from a young age that their only reasons for being are procreating and praising God.
The surprising part is that married Duggars go from “side-hugs” and timed hand-holding sessions (a maximum of 15 seconds) to packing on the PDA on social media.
Now, they’re still the Duggars, so they tend to prefer especially chaste public displays of affection, and the whole thing always seems both calculated and oddly showy.
It’s as though the goal is to send the message that despite all the bizarre rules they lay on their kids and the many Duggar sex scandals, Jim Bob and Michelle’s adult children are actually perfectly well adjusted when it comes to sex.
The latest members of the Duggar clan to send the message that they’re not asexual fundamentalist androids — despite rumors to the contrary — are Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard.
Jill and Derick posted the above selfie this week, along with the following caption:
â€œHad fun this weekend with this girl!â€� Derick wrote in his Instagram caption.
From there, Der went on to promote his and Jill’s website:
â€œCheckout some fun pics of our adventures at www.dillardfamily.com. @jillmdillard youâ€™re my favorite, and I love you more each day! Merry Christmas!â€�
â€œYouâ€™re my fave,â€� he added.
The post is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is all their recent promotional efforts and sponsored content have bolstered the rumor that Jill and Derick are broke.
As In Touch Weekly points out, the pic attracted a number of bizarre comments.
Many fans noted that this photo was more provocative than what we usually see from Jill and Derick.
Some took issue with Derick’s backwards hat (“this isn’t working”), and at least one person thinks Jill and Derick look like brother and sister:
â€œWhen a beloved married couple live together and share everything,” the follower wrote.
“They start to look alike and one is the others soulmate to complete tasksâ€¦ You both are evolvingâ€¦ LOL.â€�
That “LOL” at the end doesn’t negate the creepiness that preceded it.
As usual, many commenters had little interest in the pic and wanted to talk about unrelated Duggar gossip.
“Is your sister Jana gay?” one fan asked.
“Cause that ‘FAMILY FRIEND’ seems to be always next to Jana. I think this is another family secret that your family doesnâ€™t want to spill.
Yes, there have been rumors of Jana being gay for quite some time now.
But something tells us Jill won’t be eager to offer up the scoop on that.