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Michelle Duggar's Mother's Day Message: Sweet or Guilt-Inducing?

The Duggars express gratitude on Mother's Day.

Mother’s Day may be two days gone, but we moms are still smelling the bouquets of flowers on the dining-room table, admiring our (store-bought or homemade) gifts and (if we’re lucky) enjoying a last piece of cake.

Lots of celebrity moms wrote and tweeted to say how much fun they had on Sunday. And who has more reason to appreciate the holiday than Michelle Duggar, mom of 19 Kids & Counting? Not only is she a mother many times over, but a grandma as well.

She blogged about Mother’s Day on the family website, mentioning such details as her special dinner – sometimes a meal out, sometimes a Duggar-cooked plate of her favorite chicken and dumplings – and the handmade messages she gets from her children. “[A]ll the Mother’s Day cards with pictures that they draw and their cute little notes that some of them write backwards (and you have to use the mirror to read them) – those are my keepsake moments that I just treasure,” she writes.

But one part of the Duggars’ Mother’s Day comes across as more weird than heartwarming.

See, Michelle and her husband, Jim Bob, make a point of telling their 19 children how lucky they are that their mother went through the ordeal of having them in the first place. Jim Bob “explains it that it’s like a mom going through the valley of the shadow of death to give birth, and so he always tells them, ‘You be grateful to Mom and tell her, ‘thank you,’ and don’t ever take for granted that you’re alive.’ ”

That’s a pretty weighty load to lay on a child, isn’t it? Does a toddler or a 3rd-grader need to hear that having a baby is dangerous business? When you think of Mother’s Day, is the word “death” the first thing you think of?

Sure, our children should be grateful to their moms – but shouldn’t it be more for their loving care, kind deeds and wise guidance than for their physical sacrifice?  Your Mom could’ve died just to bring you into this world, so you better darn well give thanks for every single breath you take, kid.

It just seems a little heavy-handed for a holiday that’s more associated with hugs and brunches than with the Meaning of Life.

But then, what do I know? My 9-year-old son wrote me a poem this year that described me in adjectives whose first initials spelled out “Best Mom Ever.”

The second M? “Mortal.”

He shrugged and said, “What can I say? You’re gonna have to die sometime.”

I think I’m going to the Duggars’ next year.

[Photo: via TLC]

Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.

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