If you are not familiar with the Duggars, they are a family of 21…that's 19 children (and possibly more someday), from Tontitown, Arkansas. Michelle is a housewife, licensed real estate agent, and recipient of Arkansas's 2004 "Young Mother of the Year." Jim Bob is also a licensed real estate agent and former politician. The Duggars made the decision to forgo using birth control shortly after they experienced the loss of a child due to a miscarriage. This prompted the couple to have as many children as they would be blessed with. Twenty years later, the Duggars are still expanding their family.

Why are we so fascinated with this family? Maybe because no one in their right mind intentionally has 19 children. Maybe because they built their own 7000-square-foot home, rarely watch TV, and seem to live differently from the mainstream way of life, in a very joyful way. Despite their seeming harmlessness, they have become a lightning rod for controversy.

A common complaint about the Duggars, one I've often made myself, is, this: Can they give that many children enough love?

The loving, cuddly, affectionate one-on-one moments between parents and child portrayed on the show seem to be few and far between. Additional instances may be edited out, or it could be that Jim Bob and Michelle sacrifice this rewarding and essential aspect to parenting for overall efficiency in this household. If the choice of efficiency over intimacy were true, then it would seem that the Duggar children couldn't be as well-adjusted, confident and altruistic as children from small families.

Or could they?

According to an interview on Aish.com,  there is no research to support this theory. In fact, this interview maintains that more children in a family actually enhances a child's development by offering them built-in playmates. It’s hard to tell how well adjusted the Duggar clan is just from watching a "reality" TV show. However, from the perspective of the viewer, the clan appears happy, healthy, and well-adjusted…as perplexing as it may be to some…including me.

Money also comes up frequently when “larger” families are discussed. There's a general bias that large families cannot support themselves financially and may turn to the tax payers (i.e., you and me) to support them and their growing broods.

In an interview with Meagan Francis on ParentDish, Francis, mom to five little ones, blasts this assumption.

"The comments about big families being on welfare or costing "the taxpayers" money...is there really proof that bigger-than-average families are more likely to be on public assistance than smaller families? Even if it were statistically more likely, that doesn't make it okay or accurate to generalize about all or even most larger families. The big families I know personally work hard to live financially responsible lives and stay out of debt."

Unfortunately, individuals like Nadya Suleman (mom to 14 children) do not help disprove the assumption. Suleman isn't married, had six children and no job, was behind on her mortgage payments, and was on welfare which she became pregnant with eight children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Suleman’s situation strengthens the perception that all large families are burdens to the average tax-paying individual.

This fear is unwarranted when it comes to the Duggars. The Duggars live a completely debt-free life. They built their own home, purchase most items in bulk or second-hand, and bring new meaning to "stretching the dollar." Based on the current economic condition, most of us have a lot to learn from them.

So how many children are too many for the Duggars? To me, a better question is, Why do we care? If their kids seem happy, healthy and loved, and they are not a financial burden to the community, why do so many of us care so much?