Editor’s note: Cat Koehler is on vacation this week. Here’s a blog from Cat that was originally published on Nov.14, 2011.
I have a confession. A big confession.
There is a TV mom I want to be. She has been called a supermom, and she has a remarkable way of managing her children.
You may look at me with doubt after I tell you. My daughter, after all, was nearly an only child, and I’ve never been described as supermom.
I secretly want to be Michelle Duggar, the reality-show mom who announced last week that she was expecting her 20th child in the spring.
While she has been criticized for having so many kids, Michelle is a mother I want to emulate.
It isn’t the 20 children part of her life that draws me in. The Duggars decided they would have as many children as God wanted them to have. My husband and I decided we would have one child, then were thrilled when No. 2 came along. We have no intentions (none, zero, nada) of having a third.
Once you get past the number of Duggar children (and trust me, that can be a tough thing to get past), you see a wonderful family and that perhaps there is something we all could learn from this super-sized clan.
The Duggars teach their children to be good people. Whether it’s traveling abroad to help less fortunate people, volunteering with the fire department, or helping each other, the Duggar children have been given a foundation of service to others by their parents.
They learn responsibility and self-reliance. When you are one of 20 in the house, relying on Mom to make your bed, do your laundry and cook your meals isn’t a luxury you have. Mom also doesn’t have time to referee every spat between brother and sister and brother and brother and sister.
All of the Duggars have responsibilities that would make many children cry. When was the last time you asked two of your kids to make dinner for 20 people, or — gasp — do laundry for 20 people?
As Madonna would say, “We’re living in a material world,” but Mrs. Duggar doesn’t listen to Madonna, and her family prefers to buy used. The children don’t have fancy clothes or toys, and most everything they buy comes from the thrift shop, or it is made. They believe that by buying used, they can save the difference. And with 20 children, they need all the difference they can get!
The bottom line is that this family has learned to live simply. They know that true joy comes from relationships, not things. Whether you subscribe to their religious beliefs or not, finding fault in this family is difficult.
Like all of us, they surely are imperfect. They just have a much larger team to help them through any challenge.
This TV family may not warrant a good gossip session with your co-workers the next day – you won’t see any sex, booze, indecency, or 72-day marriages.
But perhaps more people should be talking about the Duggars. Maybe more families should be concerned more with the character of their children than the toys of their children.
I would rather have my children aspire to be more like the Duggars than the Kardashians. Wouldn’t you?
Cat Koehler is married with two children. She works full-time. Watch for her blogs every Monday.