The untold truth of Jill Duggar

Premiering on September 29, 2008, TLC's 19 Kids and Counting introduced America to the Duggar family, consisting of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, plus — you guessed it — 19 kids (and counting). The Duggar family has been making a splash (and quite a few headlines) ever since, as many of the older children have grown up, gotten married, and started counting kids of their very own. 

Jill Duggar, the second-oldest Duggar daughter, has certainly made a name for herself as a favorite amongst fans of the Duggar clan. The mother of two cute little boys, Israel David Dillard and Samuel Scott Dillard, Duggar seemed to transition from living at home with her giant family to being a wife, mother, and homemaker with ease and confidence. 

However, there's always more than what meets the eye — and Duggar is no exception to this rule. Here's the untold truth behind one of your favorite Duggar siblings. 

No stranger to mommy shaming

When you're a well-known public figure and reality star, you're subject to the court of public opinion quite often — for just about anything and everything. No one knows this better than the Duggar clan, who are no strangers to having their every move (and social media post) scrutinized by fans, followers, and, of course, the haters. 

Jill Duggar has definitely seen her share of criticism throughout her time as a reality television star — especially from those who have opinions about her parenting techniques. In September 2017, the mom-of-two posted an adorable photoset to Instagram featuring her young family enjoying a day in the sun, feeding cows, and going on a hayride. However, one of the photos featured her youngest child, Samuel Scott Dillard, donning a tortilla as a hat. What was likely meant as a joke soon turned into Instagram users and media outlets bashing Duggar for using the tortilla as sunblock for her son. Sheesh! 

Rebellious jeans

As with most things in the Duggar family, the children are required to adhere to strict rules regarding their clothing. In a post on the Duggar family's blog, Michelle Duggar reveals that the family worked together to decide just how they would engage in "modest dress." 

"[For us], we felt like we needed to be covered from our neck to below our knees mainly because God talks about the thigh being uncovered, and how that's nakedness and shame," the Duggar matriarch writes. And as you'll notice by taking a gander at any one of the Duggar daughters' social media accounts, the women in the family definitely seem to take this modest dress decision seriously, even foregoing pants and opting for long skirts and dresses.

However, eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice when Jill Duggar was spotted seemingly going against the grain by wearing pants during a Christian speaking engagement, as well as an above-the-knee dress on a date with her husband! What will this gal do next? 

"I was in love with someone I had never met in person"

Have you ever felt like you're in love with a person you've never even met? According to Jill Duggar, she knows the feeling all too well. But while many of us feel this way about our celebrity crushes that we'll probably never meet, Duggar totally fell in love with her husband before ever seeing him in person!

According to Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, the two lovebirds were brought together by none other than Duggar's father, Jim Bob. Interestingly enough, the Duggar patriarch also played matchmaker for daughter Jessa and her now-husband, Ben Seewald!

"When I was working in Nepal, Jill's dad was one of my prayer partners," Dillard wrote on the family's blog. "We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were." Soon, Jim Bob realized Dillard might be a perfect match for his daughter and gave the young missionary Jill's contact information. After texting, skyping, and emailing for months, the pair fell in love. "I was in love with someone I had never met in person," Duggar told People

"I was praying to God to give me strength"

It's no secret that the Duggar ladies have experienced rather difficult, sometimes life-threatening childbirths. In 2015, Jessa Duggar suffered through ten hours of contractions, followed by excessive bleeding post-birth — an incredibly terrifying experience that resulted in her being rushed to the hospital after delivering her baby during a natural, at-home birth. Even the Duggar family's matriarch, Michelle Duggar, had a scary birth experience with her youngest daughter, Josie, in 2009. She ended up needing an emergency c-section at only 25 weeks along, when she was 51-years-old. A high-risk situation all-around.

Jill Duggar has certainly had her share of scary childbirth experiences, too. And though the Duggar daughter has trained to be a midwife, nothing could prepare her for actually giving birth herself. In fact, the second-oldest Duggar girl endured close to 70 hours of labor! 

Thankfully, Duggar found comfort in her faith and relied on it to see her through the long and painful hours. "I was praying to God to give me strength," the reality television star revealed to People. "I was really scared and nervous, but I was praying."

Her husband is no longer affiliated with TLC

Derick Dillard, Jill Duggar's husband, found himself at the center of some major controversy in late 2017 when he took to Twitter to criticize the transgender reality star, Jazz Jennings, from TLC's hit reality show, I Am Jazz.

"I pity Jazz, 4 [sic] those who take advantage of him in order 2 [sic] promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 [sic] be made by a child," Dillard tweeted, notably foregoing Jennings' preferred pronouns, she/her/hers. The backlash to Dillard's tweet happened immediately, with users calling him out for bullying the teenager — something many believed a person of such staunch Christian faith would never do. 

Though Dillard insisted he was simply "expressing [his] view of what should be treated as reality," TLC was quick to respond: "We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future," read the network's official statement.

Her first kiss was on her wedding day

If you know anything about the Duggar family, you know the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have some pretty strict rules for their kids — especially when it comes to their romantic relationships. 

In Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships (via E! News), Jill, Jana, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar detail the strict rules for dating a Duggar daughter. "When we say true love waits, we mean that couples should not act like they're married when they're not or share physical intimacies that married couples share."

But the Duggars aren't just referring to sex when they mention "physical intimacies that married couples share." If you're a Duggar kid, you can expect your first kiss to be on your wedding day! Thankfully, Jill Duggar seemed to have no qualms about patiently waiting for her first smooch with Derick Dillard. "It was worth the wait," the new bride revealed to People after marrying Dillard on June 21, 2014. 

She's a bit of a bookworm

You might think that an ultra-popular reality television star with two small children wouldn't find much time to sit back, relax, and immerse themselves in a good book — not the case for Jill Duggar. 

Just one look at the 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On star's Instagram, and you'll quickly realize that this gal loves to read! And luckily for her social media followers, Duggar is more than happy to share the books she loves. A few of the titles she's shared with fans include The Story of Reality by Gregory Koukl, 10 Things Every Minister's Wife Needs to Know by Jeana Floyd, and Meditations for the Missions Heart by Gene Daniels. 

However, Duggar doesn't just read books — she's also a published author, herself. Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships, written with sisters Jinger, Jessa, and Jana, was published in March 2014. 

She served as a missionary in Central America

It seems that Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, have made it their mission in life to — well, embark on missions themselves! 

In February 2017, the Duggar daughter and her husband announced they would be jetting off to Central America to serve as missionaries. According to People, the couple informed fans, friends, and family of the big news via a now deleted post on their family blog. Of course, the announcement was a surprise to many, as the young couple had only recently returned from a previous, year-long mission trip to Central America in August of 2016. Even more surprising was the fact that Duggar was pregnant with the couple's second child together during their second mission trip — though, as the reality star revealed to People, the couple had made plans to return to America for the birth of their baby. 

"So grateful to be back in the States and get to go to our church this morning," Duggar captioned an Instagram post upon the couple's return home in May 2017.

Just call her Chef!

Search "Duggar family recipes" online and you'll find a treasure trove of delicious, easy-to-make, homemade recipes for your cooking pleasure. Say what you will about the Duggar family, but there's no denying that this clan — especially the women in the family — know how to throw down in the kitchen. And Jill Duggar is no exception. 

On the Dillard family's website, Jill frequently posts recipes to the meals she prepares for herself and husband Derick Dillard, accompanied by photos that will almost certainly make your tastebuds tingle and your mouth start to water. In fact, there's an entire section of the website dedicated to these recipes! From various breakfast casserole recipes, to a "fancy cornbread" recipe, to vegetarian chili — this gal has got you covered in the recipe department. 

She even has a recipe for "Mama's Homemade Baby Wipes." And while baby wipes are definitely not edible, they are pretty exciting for any DIYers out there. One look at these recipes will have you running to your nearest grocery store for ingredients.