The news broke over my morning coffee. News so big that it made The Today Show. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are pregnant with their 20th child. Michelle is 45—totally beating the fertility odds as many women are entering the peri-menopause phase of life at her age. But we already knew that Michelle has won the Ovarian Olympics. Let's face it—after all those years of marriage, the pressures of a preemie baby, home schooling 19 kids, a big house to tend, endless cycles of laundry— it is the sex that has to be happening to make another baby that really knocked me over. No matter how fertile Michelle Duggar is —the fecundity rate for a woman who is 45 is not great. The Duggars are having sex—probably lots of it. And all of that wholesome and healthy sex is going on in a house with 19 children (did I mention that they are all home schooled?) that range in age from 23 months and up. I want to know what kind of vitamins Michelle and Jim Bob are taking!

Now, I don't pretend to know anything about the Duggar's sex life— making this blog pure speculation. But this is what I think we can all learn about sex and marriage from the Duggars.

1. You don't have to be in the mood to have sex.  Let's be real here. I am a mother of two, and I can remember those days of breast feeding, diaper changing and mid night feedings. The Duggars are proof positive that you can show up for sex even when your libido is saying "You have got to be kidding me! You want to do what?" While It's true that exhaustion is a reality; the point is, couples can adjust their lifestyles to avoid too much fatigue and make time for the bedroom.  When in doubt, just think of the Duggars


The Duggar's Doing Laundry

2. You don't have to be a traditional bomb shell to have your man want you.  Now Michelle Duggar is a pretty woman—but she doesn't keep up with the latest styles. We usually see her in a blue jean skirt and man taylored shirts. She doesn't look like she does much spa time and I am sure that she is not on any best dressed lists. Michelle is also not a size 0 when she is not pregnant (which is not very much). And yet, her husband in a recent TLC segment of "19 Kids and Counting" wanted to carry her to Niagra Falls as a romantic gesture.

3. Don't let having children get in between you and sexual intimacy in your marriage. When I think of the times I used having to do something with my kids as an excuse to avoid sex—I hang my head in shame in front of the Duggars. After all, sex is healthy and helps married couples build and maintain intimacy. Married people even live longer than single people, and some studies point to the reason being the strong mutual support that marriage brings AND the frequency of sex— known to be an antidote for stress.

The Duggars Making Music

4.Lighten The Load.  The Duggars do not hide the fact that they ask the older children to help with the younger children. And then there is Grandma Duggar who helps with the little ones. It's really okay to ask for help - and I bet that Jim Bob knows if he wants Michelle to have the energy for loving—he has to help out.

I never thought that I would think of the Duggars as an inspiration for married people to keep the bedroom fires burning. But after this most recent annoucement that baby number 20 is on it's way—I bow to their ability to keep the spark alive in their marriage.

About the Author

Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is the author of Shameless and founder of The American Fertility Association.

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