What is it really like…having 7 children

having lots of children

I am one of those people who has always wondered how some folks manage in having lots of children..you know, not four…but seven…while I seem to be losing the plot with only one child. Inspiring? Quite possibly? Machines? Yes maybe. So when I had the chance to interview one mum who has seven children about what it’s like to have THAT many children as part of my “What is it really like…” series, I of course jumped at the chance. Curious too? Read on…

Can you tell us a little about you family?

 We are a normal family,  one mum, one dad.  We have seven children, our oldest T is 19, we had him when we were at Uni so I put everything on pause to look after him, whilst my husband carried on. When T was 2 started going to night school & my friend said why don’t you go back to uni so I did & qualified as a Pediatric nurse in 2001.

Then had a bit of a career, moved to the country for my husbands job, got married 2003 & built a house. then along came H (1) he is now 11.  Next came R, she’s 9, H (2) he’s 7, I, she’s 5, H (3) he’s 3 and baby D who is nearly 11 months.

Did you always want lots of children or is it something that just sort of evolved?

My husband always wanted 6 children. So we had 2 then got 2 Corgi’s which I thought might make up for two of the children – but no! After R I thought that might be it as we now had a little girl. I have to say found the jump from two to three the hardest. When we reached six we thought we’d stop – then our oldest left home and 40 was fast approaching so we decided if we wanted another it was now or never. We decided to try for three months and see what happened – I conceived first try!

Can you talk us through a “typical” day and how you get everything done?

I try to get up about 6:30am but its usually more like 7! The older children will get up and get themselves breakfast & help the little ones – except the baby. Then they with bath and dress themselves, I only have to help the smaller three.

Off to school we go – whilst they are gone, my day revolves around looking after Baby D & Toddler H (3). Whilst trying to do the washing, cleaning, preparing tea, baking a treat for when they get home, whilst breast feeding on demand, potty training, sorting out two dogs. Then when they get back home there is usually a club to get someone to, an audition or rehearsal. Then tea. Bed time routine normally takes two hours from the first to the last. Bedtime stories, teeth & cuddles. The older ones will look after the younger ones whilst I sort out the middle ones. I have my dinner with my hubby when he gets back from work (we eat with the children on weekends). Then tidy up, ironing for the next day, then coffee & chocolate then bed about 12:30 -1am. Then next day start all over again!

Mealtimes….ermmmm…how do you make these work?

To be honest it’s probably like being at school we tend to have the same meals every week e.g Monday – spaghetti bolognaise, Friday – homemade pizza, Saturday – chicken curry! I’ve worked out what everyone likes and tends to be variants on main meal for fussy ones. If they dot eat their dinner – no pudding!

And how do you manage on the budgeting front?

The fact we have a similar menu helps with the family budgeting. I make everything from scratch, cookies, cakes, pizza etc. are much cheaper and tastier than shop bought. My budget is £110 a week includes food, dog food, toiletries, cleaning products and nappies. I do my main shop at Aldi and top up from one of the others e.g. Morrisons or Tesco for some things.

There must be some incredible high of having seven children – what are they?

We can have our own party without inviting anyone else! Life is never boring – there is always something going on with someone. Lots of cuddles and kisses. Christmas is amazing!

And the lows?

No alone time, can’t even go to the loo on my own (not even joking)! It’s hard trying to fit in all children’s hobbies  so they all feel special and no one feels left out! It’s expensive – even a trip to the cinema costs a lot.

Do you attract a lot of attention as a large family?

We do attract attention, people often ask if they are all ours? They comment that they don’t know how we managed. They say it must suit us as we look too young to have 7 children. I always laugh and say I have good concealer to hide the bags under my eyes.

Could you sum up what it’s like having seven children in one word?

Hard – but I wouldn’t change a thing!

What one golden nugget piece of advice would you give to others hoping to have a large brood?

As long as they are clean, happy and fed everything else can wait!

What did you think of the above? Was this an eye opener? Or perhaps you’re a parent of lots of children and can totally relate to this? Do leave a comment and let me know.

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  1. Amazing! I love the way, even in the first paragraph, she just casually drops in that they built a house! Are you, in fact, superwoman?!

    I also love the comment that there is enough of them to have a party without needing to invite anyone else – that is lovely. And so nice to hear how the older ones help out with the younger ones. #coolmumclub
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Farm Animal Buns for BeginnersMy Profile

  2. Wow! She spends the same on her weekly shop as I do for a family of 3! I struggle with just the one… Having said that I had my 10 & 7 year old nieces staying recently as was quite worried about how I would cope. They were amazing – looking after the baby was so much easier with 2 little helpers to fetch nappies, tidy up and help with dinner, I thought it was just novelty but maybe large age differences are the key! #coolmumclub

  3. She’s got all bases covered! I’ve had 6 kids at home (2 step) but not with a baby and toddler. You do learn not to sweat the small stuff. It sounds as if she is truly amazing…cooking everything from scratch…gulp! Alison x #coolmumclub

  4. And I thought my days were packed with just my 2!!! You’re my hero, I always wanted a huge family growing up but after having 2…exhaustion his and I quit 🙂

  5. Wowzers, in total awe! I’m already entering the phase of after school activities and with just one it’s a flippin nightmare – this woman must be a superhero, literally.

    Don’t worry Talya, only another 6 babies to go and you’ll be there too ha ha! #coolmumclub
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  6. I always wanted 6 kids, I had it all planned (when I was 12) I was having 2 boys, followed by 2 girls an then twin girls identical of course. As it turned out I had girl, followed by another girl and then abby and yep no twins. My hubby wanted 2 kids, I wanted atlas 4, we compromised on 3. I often still think I would love another one, but after a heart condition with my last pregnancy and 3 miscarriages, we have decided it is safer and more financially survivable to stop at 3. And 3 is hard work! I think she is wonderful having 7, just amazingly blessed. #Coolmumclub
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  7. Wowzers hats off to you! I can’t even go to the loo on my own and I only have two! I am seriously impressed at the food bill too! And you’ve done so much like building a house and qualifying as a nurse to. Really inspirational! Xx #coolmumclub
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun Week 2My Profile

  8. She is an inspiration to us all isn’t she – I know she was really pleased to read all your lovely comments so thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this everyone! x

  9. Wow! I errr I ummm am a bit speechless! I am feeling a bit ridiculous because I can’t manage to do two shops (ie Aldi and Tesco) which I would like to, to save money but can’t do it because of my one baby and one toddler logistics! Also she cooks everything from scratch! This lady is amazing. Personally I think I would crumble but she obviously thrives and I bet Christmases are indeed amazing!!! Wow. Great post Tayla. #coolmumclub

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