The cover story of the new issue of People is about the Duggar family’s willingness to have another baby despite the fact that the premature December birth of #19, Josie, was life-threatening to both baby and mom.

The People headline reads, “We’re ready for more” with the subtitles, “The Duggars under fire again,” and “With fragile daughter Josie finally home, the controversial parents say they’d welcome another child. Is this good for their family?”

Read the online People teaser story here. I picked People up in the airport last night, and here’s more:

Some dark clouds remain. Their position on adding to their brood continues to cause controversy, and after the family recently appeared on the Today show [see video on page 2], the program’s website was flooded with more than 3k messages – many of them harsh. “Pregnancy is hard on a body,” wrote 1 commenter. “I have to wonder if she will survive to raise all these children that ‘God has given them.'”

Added another: “I would think that the problems they had with the last one would make them stop and think before wanting any more. 19 is enough! Stop already!”

Agrees Jeanne Safer, PhD, a psychotherapist and author: “This seems like utterly obsessive behavior on the part of the parents… without regard to the impact on their family.”

The Duggars, however, are unfazed. “Before we had a heart change about children, I thought it was very strange for people to have more than 3,” Jim Bob says. “We don’t expect people to understand.”…

But nothing can shield Michelle or Jim Bob from those who say that having more children is not only unfair to Michelle but also places a burden on the other Duggar children, who – as with [19yo] Jill during the chicken pox outbreak – are called upon to help with their younger siblings.

Jim Bob remains resolute – and sees the upside of his family’s all-hands-on-deck philosophy. “Our children are growing up to become responsible citizens and are going to try to help others….”

What stings the most is when critics have a valid point – such as those who question how she can possibly give each of her children individual attention. “It stabs my heart when there is truth in it,” says Michelle. “As a parent, you think you can always do better, and I do worry there is not enough of us to go around. I want to finish my conversations with my kids. I want to be connected to them and be the best mother I can be.”

So, Michelle says, she does the best she can – trying to eke out one-on-one time through trips to the market, school lessons and sometimes staying up until the wee hours of the morning to catch up with her older children after the younger ones are asleep. “I can sleep later,” she says. “This is important now.”

Love how the psychotherapist thinks its “utterly obsessive behavior” to simply refuse to contracept, or to refuse to stop having sex, which is what all this controversy boils down to.

And I seriously love Jim Bob’s perspective: “We don’t expect people to understand.” The Duggars aren’t defensive, nor are they pushing their beliefs. (They’re actually living their beliefs by example – much better.)

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