The Duggars are a household name now after spending over a decade in the limelight.
Whether it was the original “19 Kids and Counting” or one of the subsequent spin-offs, the Duggar family has been on display for many years on TLC.
As the original set of kids grows up, gets married and starts raising their own families, they’re faced with the choice to be involved in a series or break off.
The wholesome-branded family, as public as it is, has been the subject of intense scrutiny, and not everything aired about the Duggar clan has been positive, giving them even more reason to consider breaking with the publicization of their lives.
In 2017, Jill Duggar Dillard, featured on both “19 Kids and Counting” and “Counting On,” decided, with her husband Derick, to step away from the cameras and discontinue their presence on the series.
The couple, parents of Samuel Scott, 3, and Israel David, 5, have continued to share parts of their lives with the world through their social media and YouTube channel, “Dillard Family Official,” but on their own terms.
They cited their immediate family’s goals and controlling aspects of the show that didn’t sit well with them for the break.
“We left the show … three years ago now, because basically our family goals that we had for ourselves didn’t align with what we found out,” Jill said.
“We ended up finding out like we didn’t have as much control over our lives as it related to like the show and stuff as we felt like we needed, so we had to make a decision at that time to kind of put the show aside just to, like, pursue our own goals and everything.”
“It was a really difficult decision, but something that we knew like we really needed to do for our family.”
She emphasized that their problem wasn’t with the film crew, saying that they “loved” them, but alluded to aspects of the show that they felt were not in line with their goals.
The couple said that they do not see themselves returning to the show as it stands.
“We will not go back on the show under the circumstances that we were under at the time that we left,” Derick said.
“Meaning just as a family, we have to be able to make decisions that allow us to navigate our lives and have the information and control so that we know whether or not we can even plan anything for our lives or not.”
“Right now we have no plans to join back into the show or anything,” Jill explained. “We don’t regret leaving the show. We feel like it was the best thing for our family.”
Without going into specifics, the Dillards also said that there were some familial tensions and confirmed that they are, indeed, keeping space from some (unnamed) family members.
“Yes, there’s been some, um, distancing there,” Jill admitted. “We’re not on the best terms with some of my family, we’ve had some disagreements and stuff.”
“But we’re working toward healing, definitely, and restoration, but we’re having to kind of just take some time and heal, and just doing what’s best for our family right now and yeah, just working through it I guess.”
She also said it was “difficult” to be distant, but that they’re hoping for eventual restoration and trusting God as to when that will be.
“We’re praying and trusting God that the timeline is his,” she said. “Definitely appreciate your prayers, but don’t want to go into detail too much.”
Hopefully whatever caused a rift in the family will be resolved and the Duggars will be able to pursue healthy restoration off-screen.
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