Watch out, Duggars: The 21-member Bates family is here, and their TLC reality special, Baby Makes 19, premieres tomorrow. Like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Gil and Kelly Bates have 19 children. But, unlike the Duggars, that means 19 actual births—Kelly has had no twins and no C-sections. But she has had a few miscarriages, so she is now on hormones to strengthen her uterine wall. What does 19 kids add up to? Six loads of laundry per day, seven gallons of milk and nine loaves of bread per week—and the family does it all in a Tennessee home with just five bedrooms, they revealed on Good Morning America today.
If that sounds difficult, there are some definite advantages: One of the Bates sons had never heard of Snooki ("Is that a dog?") or the Kardashians. (The children are homeschooled, and do not watch TV.) The kids have, however, heard of the Duggars. As for the perceived competition between the two families, there is none, says Gil Bates. "The Duggars are some of the kindest-hearted people. People ask us all the time, are you trying to keep up or in competition with the Duggars? And I say no, we're all in a race against time to finish whatever work God has for us."