Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar criticized for leaving kids to visit Central America

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar in Central America

As the winter stretches on, many people are itching for a warm-weather getaway. It just gets complicated when you have more than one dozen kids at home to think about. Apparently figuring out a way around that, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar visited Central America, where they surprised daughter Jill Dillard and her family.

“Jill’s parents surprised us recently with an impromptu visit for a few days,” Derick Dillard wrote on the couple’s blog. “It was great to have them with us and get to show them the work the Lord is doing here.”

Jim Bob and Michelle added on their Facebook page that it was “so nice” to visit Jill, Derick and baby Israel. They also shared some pictures with some of the local people. Based on Derick’s blog post, the “impromptu” visit may have been in response to some unclear challenge the Dillards recently faced. “We have been stretched in ways that we could not have imagined in recent days, of which I will not go into the details on at this time,” Derick said, “but we have confidence and trust in the Lord’s faithfulness in that which He has called us.”

Although Jill and Derick seemed thrilled by Jim Bob and Michelle’s visit, some people who learned about it online had one big question: What about the younger Duggar kids? “Wow Mom and Dad gets to go on vacation? Who’s watching their children? Oh wait, they watch themselves smh,” one commented on a People story about the trip. Another used a bit stronger of language to criticize the parents of 19, saying, “Must be nice ma and pa can just take off and not to give sh**s about all of their kids at home. THEY are useless parents.”

Jinger Joy Jana Duggar

The family didn’t go into any detail about who watched over the younger children while Jim Bob and Michelle were away, but most people have assumed the oldest unmarried daughters Jana, Jinger and Joy were likely left in charge as is usually the case. We may get a bit more clarity — particularly about Jana Duggar’s role — if and when the rumored 19 Kids and Counting reboot premieres.

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