As the mother of 19 children ranging in age from young adults to preschoolers, you could say that Michelle Duggar has been around the block a few times when it comes to parenting issues. (More like a few thousand times, really.)
So what was Michelle’s biggest challenge when she and husband Jim Bob had their first children? She answers that question in her blog this week for TLC.
The famous mega-family started off with oldest son Josh (who’s now married and expecting his third child). Michelle had a relatively easy time of it, especially since she and Jim Bob were both working from home.
But things changed two years later with the arrival of twins Jana and John-David. By then, Jim Bob had taken another job and was out during the day. Suddenly, Michelle was spending her days alone with a toddler and two newborns – and her priorities changed dramatically.
“I realized that when those babies went down for a nap, I better take a nap too, if I could,” Michelle writes. “My housework didn’t seem so important at that time in my life. My sleep was more valuable than a perfect kitchen with clean dishes and nothing in the sink.”
She had the comfort of knowing that her mother and mother-in-law were nearby if she needed them, but Michelle was determined to tackle the bulk of the parenting duties on her own, and regular naps helped her maintain the energy she needed to be a good mom.
Things are much easier for her now that the children are older; even the housework is manageable thanks to the Duggar teamwork system of cleaning. But Michelle offers this one valuable piece of advice to women just entering the world of motherhood:
“I would encourage all new mamas: Take a nap when the babies nap!” she urges. “You can do your housecleaning another day.”
Amen to that!
[Photo: via TLC]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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