Friday, February 04, 2011

Motherhood and Michelle Duggar

As I mentioned previously, I spent the first trimester of this pregnancy watching countless episodes of the Duggar family's television show. I had horrible morning sickness and I valued the Duggar family perspective on having children which helped me keep focused on the fact that the condition I was in was a blessed one. At the time, I wrote down a list of reasons why I liked Michelle Duggar and kept it to myself to remember. I figured I would share them with you now as I prepare to share my thoughts on their book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting!.


Of course, when you are pregnant, you find it easy to commiserate and spend time with other pregnant women. However, at the beginning stages of pregnancy when you can't leave the house for fear that something bad and embarrassing might happen, you are left at home with Youtube. And so you find other ways to interact with pregnant women. What better pregnant woman to "interact" with than Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting?

Here are the reasons I REALLY like Michelle (and Jim Bob) Duggar:

  • She does get tense if there is a deadline that needs to be met and things aren't coming together. In other words: she's human. She feels stress.
  • She never raises her voice to her kids.
  • She suffers morning sickness until the 11-13 week mark. This makes me like her and find her easy to relate to at the moment.
  • She says that little boys are harder to take care of whether you are pregnant or not because they are so full of energy. Because that's just true. (Even though boys are not bad as I explained earlier this week.)
  • She says that the most difficult period of parenting was when she was just getting started and had 5 under five. She said that was HARD! (It's nice to hear her say that parenting isn't just a cake walk. She is realistic and honest. I appreciate that.)
  • All of their friends who are interviewed about the family share that the Duggars are the most friendly, welcoming hosts. They seem like it.
  • They apparently throw parties and gatherings for their friends because one friend remarked, "Michelle throws the best parties! No one ever wants to miss one of her parties!" So if the woman with 19 kids throws "the best parties" then what's wrong with the rest of us? I love it that they make a point to practice hospitality - to people with 18 kids themselves (i.e., their friends the Bates) as well as to others in their community.
  • Michelle and Jim Bob have well thought-out, reasoned opinions and they present their convictions very well. Because they do such a great job communicating the things that they believe - without a lick of condemnation attached! - even when I don't agree with them, I respect them.
  • Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar love each other very much. And the kids are all aware of this fact and will be quick to tell you so.
  • They accept the fact that people are not used to the idea of seeing so many kids in one family, but they aren't apologetic for it either. And I don't think they have to be. Clearly, what they are doing is working and it's a blessing to see them together.
  • Michelle and Jim Bob say that they are agreeable to doing this show to "encourage others." That phrase might not make sense to the world, but it sure makes sense to me!

I would have to say that they've succeeded in encouraging this pregnant mommy-on-the-couch with the little ones who just want to play, play, play!!!! We won't be having 19 children. I can tell you that right now!! (If for some unknown and very hard to understand reason we do - I vow to you that I will not have birthed them all.) But it's encouraging to hear and see such a positive outlook on parenting from a husband and wife who have had plenty of experience and truly love their family. It's fun to see all of the kids interacting with one another and working as a team to get things done.

The Duggar family show is really all about faith and family and the two are not separated from one another. I think it's really a beautiful testimony and, yes, an encouragement. I feel I'd like to know them. In the meantime, it's a very calm and relaxing show to watch and I'm enjoying it.


Unknown said...

I also think that watching their show is wonderfully encouraging. Viewing her patience and true enjoyment of motherhood is inspiring. I see how their children interact with each other and respect their parents, and I want my family to be just like that (with fewer children, of course). I will say, however, that at my house, the girl is the harder of the two and always has been!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I'm still wondering over the never raises her voice part. Wow! I have a long way to go! I like the Duggats, too, though. I especially like that they give their critics no fodder.

Shonya said...

I think you'll enjoy the book. In fact, your talking about it is making me want to pull it off the shelf and read it again (but I have this MOUNTAIN of books I want--or need--to read and I'm actually getting a little overwhelmed by it!)!!

I also like many of the things you like about Michelle. I think the biggest reason I like her is her humility. She seriously seems to be one of the most humble people I have seen. She doesn't think (or at least ACT like) she's better than others for having many children and she doesn't seem to have her identity wrapped up in being a mother of many--rather, she's a child of God, a wife, and a mother.

I haven't seen many of her shows (just a couple when staying in a motel or something--are they on youtube??), but I heard her speak at a homeschool conference and I can say there is one thing I don't like--she seemed kind of whiny. That turned me off at first, as one of my first exposures to her. She would share a trial she had gone through and then say (in a really whiny voice) "God, I can't do this". Ugh, I can't stand whining in my kids and it's worse in adults! lol But, ya know, no one is perfect so I decided to overlook that. :)

I have implemented many of her ideas, including quiet time on a blanket (wonderful and absolutely effective!) and teaching Scripture to young ones with a sing-songy rhythm. She seems to be marvelously patient with her children--a virtue which I am sadly lacking!!

Enjoy this fun read and I look forward to your review!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I give them a lot of credit because I couldn't do it.

L.A.C.E. said...

I like watching their shows occasionally. They are interesting. I don't know how she just it. I just had my fourth and I spend most days muddled. Maybe I should invest in this book, however, I don't have much time to read these days.

Kudos to the Duggars.

Taia Gelhaus said...

Your comment about not leaving the house in the first trimester reminded me about one of the best "diversity" stories from HP.

One of my friends was in her first trimester and working for a manager who'd grown up in the Middle East. She was at his desk for a one-on-one meeting about her work when she suddenly grabbed his trashcan, started throwing up and ran to the bathroom.

When she came back, he expressed concern and she said, "I wasn't planning to tell you I'm pregnant yet. But since this happened, I'll tell you I am so you know I'm not contagious. And I'm sick everyday."

He was very gracious about it but we joked about how he probably never expected THAT in his job, growing up in the Middle East.

Stephanie Kay said...

As usual, you make me want to read the book.

She does yell? Really? sigh. I wish I could say the same thing.

Krista said...

Hi, it's me, I'm here! ;)
I've never seen their show, but I've poked around on their website a fair bit. I have to say that while I don't necessarily agree with everything they do either (seriously, I would go crazy if I had 19 kids!) I definitely like how they do it. And the fact that they are doing it in such a way that makes their critics look ridiculous! ;)

Anonymous said...

I have this book on my shelf waiting to be read. I am the mother of eight (and DONE!!) children (by birth and adoption), and think the Duggars are excellent role models for families of any size. I think I haven't read the book yet, because I know it will remind me how far I have to go to be as good a mother as Michelle Duggar. Never yells??? *sigh* I have a LONG way to go! ;-)

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

As one who gets stares at Walmart herself ("Those aren't all your children!" "No, you're right, there are three more at home.") I have huge admiration for a woman who never raises her voice. I've got better about it, but it still happens. I assumed her kids must be little robots, but the first episode I ever saw it was bedtime, and the littler boys were all bouncing on their beds while their older sisters tried to chase them down. Hey, look, my house! I was hooked from there on.

Carrie said...

Michelle apparently had to really work at not raising her voice. It didn't come naturally to her, you'll be happy to know. ;) But she committed to it and practiced it.

Shonya - Yes, I watched all the episodes I've seen on Youtube. (You have to watch them in parts but it's not that big of a deal if you aren't planning to be very mobile while you are watching. ;)

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Good to know! Oh, and Carrie, if you're still having morning sickness at all, make your OB give you Zofran. No side effects to baby, and it works for most women - you can even get it in tiny dissolving pills, if, like me, swallowing things makes you even more sick:) It has made a HUGE difference in this pregnancy! I think they should just hand it out as soon as that little stick turns pink...

Carrie said...

Zofran has been my best friend! It's what got me up off the couch. (Instant transformation. I'm a huge fan.)

Now it's a whole 'nother set of "third trimester" issues when the body is saying, "Enough already!" and there are still little children around full of energy who want to play!

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Oy - and you can't breath, and you have no balance, and you have to pee every two minutes...understand!

Carrie said...

;D You got it!

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