Michelle Duggar's Advice for First-Time Moms

Photo credit: DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What was your biggest challenge when you became a mother with your first few babies?

With Josh, the first baby, I was just delighted. I just loved being a mom. I was so excited and I really enjoyed it. We were very busy even then because we had a car business at our home -- we sold cars from out of our house. So I was parenting my first baby, and learning to be a momma with car sales going on in my living room!

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But I loved it, I really did, and I think as the next children came, it was twins for us, we realized that I needed some sleep. It wasn't as easy the second time around. (I guess it was really the second and third time all at once!) I realized that when those babies went down for a nap, I better take a nap, too, if I could. 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. Some of those things that I thought were so urgent before I became a mom just weren't as important any more. I really needed my rest or else I wasn't going to be able to function properly and keep up with my babies.

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With my first baby, it was a little more relaxed, but when the second and third ones came along, I realized that when those babies were sleeping I needed to rest, even if I didn't sleep. I always kept my hands laid across the bassinet to make sure they weren't moving or going anywhere.

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It was really hard because I really did have to do it myself. I was the mommy and Jim Bob was working long hours during the day. Of course, I knew I could call my mom or Mary (Grandma Duggar) at any point and they would be there in a heartbeat, and half the time they would drop by just to check on us, but I really wanted to do it myself and I needed sleep.

I would encourage all those new mamas: take a nap when the babies nap! You can do your housecleaning another day.

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