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Why I Want to Be Like Michelle Duggar

I had my first baby at the beginning of a long, gray Minnesota winter. I’m pretty sure I spent 70 percent of my maternity leave breastfeeding. I would nurse and sing, nurse and read, nurse and watch TV. I watched a lot of television: every single episode of "Friends" and countless shows about wedding dresses, wedding planners, wedding cakes and wedding fails.

Eventually, when I became desperate for something new to watch, I turned on “19 Kids and Counting.” To be honest, my intention was to make fun of it—the clothes, the chaos, the weirdness of it all.

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But that’s not what happened. Instead, I ended up kind of falling in love with this family, and in particular, its matriarch. Our politics, spiritual convictions and hairstyles may be very different, but as I watched episode after episode of that show, I came to admire her in a big way. In fact, when it comes to people I’d like to have lunch with, she’s easily in my top five.

Why do I love Michelle Duggar so? Why, when faced with parenting conundrums do I ask myself, “What would Michelle do?”

Three reasons, people.

First, gentleness. Michelle Duggar is a gentle mother. In all of the episodes I’ve watched, I’ve never once seen her yell or use harsh words. From the oldest member of their camera crew to the youngest baby in her home, she consistently treats everyone with kindness. And clearly, her children are picking up on it because they are gentle with one another as well. Of course, the eight-year-olds wrestle around and the toddlers scream—a lot—but as they grow, each and every one of them seems to be taking on the same caring manner modeled by their parents. In this increasingly competitive, angry, loud world, her gentleness is a rare trait and one I’m sure she has worked hard to cultivate. I want to be like that.

I plan to hold onto my short hair, skinny jeans and quiet politics, but when it comes to modeling gentleness, firm convictions and respect in my home, I want to be like Michelle Duggar.

Second, she stands strong in the face of intense societal pressure. I cannot imagine living with little to no privacy, having my personal life broadcast all over the world for people to watch and criticize. The Duggars get a lot of heat—for everything from their politics and religion to the way they handled the loss of their baby. They’re attacked from all angles, and still, they stand strong. They hold tight to their convictions and live in their truth. I want to be like that.

Third, she respects her husband. Let’s face it, Jim Bob is goofy. He seems like a great dad and a great husband, but he’s just goofy. I mean, the man eats BBQ tuna sandwiches and goes through more hairspray than all of the Duggar girls combined. But Michelle consistently shows him respect. She doesn’t roll her eyes at him or act annoyed when he tells dumb jokes. Instead, she builds him up and honors who he is. The respect she has for her husband seems to be trickling down to her children and teaching them to respect others, too. I want to be like that.

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I plan to hold onto my short hair, skinny jeans and quiet politics, but when it comes to modeling gentleness, firm convictions and respect in my home, I want to be like Michelle Duggar. I’ve seen few other moms who can do it as well as she can. That’s not surprising though, considering all the practice she’s had.

Oh, and Michelle, if you happen to be reading this, next time you’re in Minnesota, I’d like to take you to lunch.

I’m serious. You pick the place.

Image via Instagram

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