Raise a child, and you’re bound to pick up a little wisdom along the way. Raise 19 and, well, you deserve a parenting medal. While we may not agree with their entire parenting philosophy, five years into their TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggar kids are still talking to each other -- and frankly, they seem incredibly well adjusted and well behaved. What do they know that we don’t? Here, 10 lessons that all parents can learn from the surprisingly normal and exceptionally large Duggar clan:
Lesson 1: Ask for Help When You Need It Michelle likes to tell the story of when she “only” had seven kids, and the laundry pile was more than she could handle. She was exhausted from staying up until two in the morning trying to get the situation under control, and finally, in desperation, mentioned the challenge and her need to a friend. To her surprise, the friend admitted to actually enjoying laundry, and offered to come over to help Michelle catch up. Sometimes it feels silly to be overwhelmed by things like laundry or dinner prep but those frustrations are real and can add up and can make parenthood a dark place to be. How to make it work for you: Swap childcare with a neighbor -- agree to take take each other's kids for a few hours every week. You can watch her kids while she sneaks off to yoga class on Saturday mornings, she can watch yours while you and your husband grab a bite to eat on Friday nights. A few hours of (free!) babysitting can make a huge difference.