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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