There is something definitely unique about having a large family in today's culture. There is something even more unique when you have a family Duggar-sized. Many people, including myself, are intrigued by this special family and how they make everything work.
To get a glimpse into their daily lives and glean wisdom from their experience, I've read their books (The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It and A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work). Recently Vision Forum offered a free Tea With Michelle Dugar video download if you liked the ministry on Facebook. From listening to Michelle share about motherhood in a conference setting, I desired to learn more from her on how she handles various challenges that come with raising multiple children. So I talked my husband into downloading the latest season on his computer, and we could watch the episodes on our TV through Apple TV . I also put in an inter-library loan request for 18 Kids and Counting: Season 2. We just finished watching all the episodes. Today (Black Friday), Christianbook.com has 17 Kids & Counting, Season 1 on sale for $3.99 (plus lots of other great family-friendly movies on sale)!
What we all love about watching these videos is they offer inspiration and serve as a fine model for family life. Quite frankly, whether you have one children or eleven, they're just a great example to us all. You may not agree with all their personal convictions (such as making sure their knees are always fully clothed), but you can't help but appreciate (and learn from) Michelle's calm and gentle spirit with her children. I can certainly strive to emulate that same grace with my children--a family one-fifth the size of hers.
In an era where not much on TV is wholesome or family-friendly (I heard Glee just featured a teen girl losing her virginity and two teenage boys lost theirs to each other), watching the Duggars is family-viewing at its finest. Unlike Jon and Kate Plus 8, which left me feeling sad and depressed to see how she treated her husband (while they were still married), watching the Duggars is uplifting. I love that we all, from our three-year old to my husband, can find a nugget of wisdom to take away from each episode, whether it's watching how the siblings treat each other, how they handle homeschool, how Michelle and Jim Bob respond to the children's energy and activity levels in the house, and more. They're a great example to me of not easily becoming agitated or short-tempered, but understanding that kids are kids--rules within reason but don't hyperventilate when a child is climbing on top of the couch or trying to climb up the window.
If you didn't come from a home where Christian family-life was modeled well, or even if you did, I think you'll find taking a peek into the Duggar's home can help us all learn to do it better. At the very least, you'll be inspired and encouraged that raising your family to love God and each other is one of the most important things you'll ever do.
The Better Mom Mondays