The Untold Truth Of Kendra Duggar

TLC's Duggar family was made famous for their massive, conservative clan, which they proudly showcased on reality television in hit series "19 Kids and Counting" and later "Counting On." The Duggars' 19 children, all born to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, were raised as Independent Baptists in Northwest Arkansas. By most standards, their daily living practices varied from the typical American family, making them unique and intriguing to the masses. Fans couldn't get enough of their unique style of dress, strict courting rules, and often eyebrow-raising homeschooling sessions.

The years have flown by since viewers first laid eyes on Jim Bob, Michelle, and the ever-expanding gang, and those 19 kids are older now. The brood has grown exponentially in a few short years, adding spouses and little ones to the mix every time we blink our eyes. Kendra Duggar (neé Caldwell) married Duggar son Joseph Duggar in 2017, per People. They have three children and keep a relatively low profile (compared to some of the other Duggar siblings). Just because Kendra Duggar doesn't blow up social media or land on tabloid pages every other week doesn't mean she is boring. These are the untold truths of wholesome mama Kendra Duggar.

It's rumored that she set sights on a different Duggar first

These days, Kendra Duggar only has eyes for her husband and father to her children, Joseph Duggar. Feel free to scroll through the pair's joint Instagram for evidence of their unwavering love and admiration for one another. While it appears these two are rock solid, some wonder if Kendra might have first set her sights on a different Duggar brother, Jedidiah Duggar. (Gasp!) 

A supposed insider (per The Hollywood Gossip) let it slip that Jed was interested in Kendra before big bro Joe swooped in and called dibs on her. The source, who claimed they used to work for or with the Duggars, said the brothers had tension over the situation for some time, but they are cool now. No one knows if this is even true, or what smoothed the rift if it is. Per the source, "There's a whole world that goes on that really isn't so. When the cameras aren't rolling, it's a whole different life." 

Regardless of how factual the story of Kendra jumping from one Duggar brother to another is, both brothers have settled into domestic bliss — Joseph, of course, with Kendra, and Jedidiah with his wife, Katey Nakatsu. Per People, Jed and Katey welcomed their first son, Truett Oliver Duggar, in May 2022. 

Kendra Duggar met her husband through a future brother-in law

Kendra Duggar and husband Joseph Duggar first met in 2012 when Joseph attended Kendra's father Paul Caldwell's church, Lighthouse Baptist Church (per the couple's website). Joe was introduced to the congregation by his dear pal, Austin Forsyth. Forsyth was a church member, and here is a fun fact for everyone currently living under a Duggar-free rock: he wed Joe Duggar's sister Joy-Anna in 2017.

A young Joseph and even younger Kendra would see one another from time to time in social circles that overlapped with large families who mingled. A few years later, the Duggar clan became full-fledged members of Pastor Caldwell's congregation. Per Kendra and Joe's website, the Duggars' new membership eventually led to a very telling summer for the couple. Joe began noticing Kendra. "...the more I talked with her and observed her from a distance, the more impressed I became with her godly character and her sweet and gentle spirit. The more I got to know about her as a person, the more I was drawn to her," he explained.

In 2017, Joseph Duggar asked Kendra Caldwell's parents for permission to court their daughter. They said yes, and Joe soon brought everything full circle when he got down on bended knee and asked for Kendra's hand in marriage. They became engaged at Austin and Joy-Anna Forsyth's wedding, per People.

First kiss was at the altar

Duggars have rules — a lot of them, actually. One rule Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have drilled into their big brood is no smooching until you are wed, per Today. As far as we know, all married Duggars have kept their courting PG until the big day. Kendra and Joe Duggar followed this family "tradition," but what is surprising is that unlike other couples champing at the bit to finally lock lips, Kendra Duggar didn't really feel the urge to get cracking. In an episode of "Counting On" (via the Daily Mail), Kendra explained herself. 

"I think my favorite thing I'm looking forward to is probably the first kiss. So we kinda talked about the first kiss a little bit here and there, but I didn't really have the urge to kiss him for a very long time," Kendra revealed. She continued, "But... the closer we got to the wedding, the more I would tell him, 'I can't wait to kiss you!'"

While it might have taken the pair a minute to warm up to and then perfect the whole kissing thing, it seems that they have it down pretty good now. Kendra and Joe welcomed baby number three, little Brooklyn Praise Duggar, to their family in February 2022. 

Kendra Duggar admitted her first year of marriage was kind of hard

Marriage is hard. Period. We have to applaud Kendra Duggar for admitting that her first year wedded to Joseph Duggar was not all roses and sunshine. The young mother to three confessed in "Counting On's" Season 10 premiere (via OK!) that she went into her marriage with lofty expectations of being a supreme domestic goddess. 

Considering she was pregnant within the first month of marriage, those expectations and goals didn't quite shake out how Kendra and Joe expected. When Kendra discussed how difficult wifely duties and household chores were while pregnant, her husband followed her explanation up with similar sentiments, saying, "I think that was something that I expected more, but you didn't know that you'd be pregnant the first nine months of our marriage and that you were going to be so sick for so long." Yikes.

Kendra Duggar was in for a rude awakening when she realized that meshing your life with another person's comes with its fair share of challenges. She might have gotten the impression she needed to be her husband's anything and everything 24 hours a day from her mother-in-law, Michelle Duggar, who famously wrote a blog post about how a wife needs to be "joyfully available" to meet her husband's sexual needs no matter what else is going on.

Kendra and her mom were pregnant at the same time

Going through the journey of pregnancy with someone close to you is a special occurrence and can create an intimate bond between the expectant mothers. Kendra Duggar was expecting her third baby at the same time that her mom, Christina Caldwell, was preggers with her ninth child. In a "Counting On" episode (via Romper), Kendra shared her excitement over them both being pregnant. "We found [out] that my mom was expecting about a month ago. I think this has definitely been really interesting because we've been able to share a lot of things that we didn't get to share before, so I feel like we've become even more like friends. And I guess our relationship has gone more to a different level, I guess."

In Duggar culture, having two generations pregnant at the same time isn't super rare and has indeed happened before. Michelle Duggar was expecting concurrently with her disgraced eldest son Josh's wife, Anna. In 2009, Michelle explained to People (via Access),  "Anna and I will have babies five months apart. My mother and my sister were pregnant at the same time, and it was really wonderful. The kids were really close and still are. I have a nephew who grew up with me, we're just three months apart."

She might be ready for more babies

Kendra and Joseph Duggar have three young children, and it looks like they're in no great hurry to pump the brakes in the parenting department. Kendra, a loving mother who seems born for the role, shared her stance on family expansion with Us Weekly in 2018. "We would love to have more kids if the Lord blesses us. As many as He wants to give us, we'll be happy to take them."

They aren't the only Duggar kids to desire large clans. Many of Joseph's siblings have helped Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's grandkid total rapidly climb over the years. His sister Jessa and her husband Ben Seewald now have four little ones underfoot. Older sister Jill and her husband Derick Dillard have three sons, and a smattering of other newer Duggar couples have become parents, too. 

Kendra's kids will never be without a cousin to play with or an aunt or uncle to help care for them. She also has role models as not one but two family matriarchs are pros at birthing big families. Should Kendra ever need guidance on how to best raise her big brood, her mother and mother-in-law have those bases covered. 

Following the educational examples of her sisters-in-law

None of the 19 Duggar kids have completed a college program. Several Duggars have dabbled in classes through a program called CollegePlus, which Michelle blogged about on the TLC site in 2012. Joe attended Crown Bible College before leaving to work in the family business, his parents shared on Facebook. While the Duggar kids themselves never completed college, many did marry partners who are college grads. Jessa, Jill, and Jinger's husbands earned degrees, as did Abbie Duggar, John-David's wife, who became a nurse before marrying. So will Kendra Dugger be the next in-law with a college degree hanging on the wall?

It doesn't look to be that way. In "Counting On's" Season 8 premiere, Joe and Kenda Duggar take off for their Greek honeymoon. In one scene (via In Touch Weekly), Kendra is heard discussing her big life plans and goals with a fellow traveler. "I was staying with my family, and then when we got married, I've just been traveling mostly," she said. Kendra was asked whether or not she had a job and answered, "No. I'm just gonna stay home and probably help [Joe] with his business. He sells cars." 

Staying home with the kids has become the norm for women in the extended family. All of the Duggar daughters who are already mothers choose to stay home with their children (though some of them do have various income streams).

Kendra basically gave her parents her home

There is an old saying that charity starts at home. This mantra is one that many Duggars choose to live by, including Kendra Duggar. It seems a bit of a Duggar family tradition to give away houses for dirt cheap. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar once sold a home to Kendra and Joe for $5,000. Per The Sun, Joe and Kendra then sold that home to Kendra's parents, Paul and Christina Caldwell. The sticker price on the pad was $10,000, which is still next to nothing for a house.

Kendra's parents have eight children underfoot still. Mom Christina is a homemaker (big surprise there), and dad Paul works in the car sales business when he's not leading his Arkansas congregation. Knowing this, we can deduce that the Caldwells aren't raking in millions, and the steal of a deal house was probably much appreciated.

Don't fret for Kendra, Joe, and the kids, though. They aren't homeless, not by a long shot. The young reality television couple is raising their three young kids in a log cabin that's within the limits of Jim Bob and Michelle's "compound." Joe and Kendra showed off their hard work after remodeling the home in a "Counting On" clip. Jim Bob mentioned that he had lived in the cabin before. If Joe ever has to do other massive renovations, he can always ask daddy for a loan. Jim Bob Duggar is more than well-to-do, with an estimated net worth of $3.5 million.