There are lots of programs and press coverage about big families, and we always seem to be portrayed as either spongers or as parents who expect their children to be brought up by their elder siblings and to do all the chores.
We are currently expecting our 9th and last baby, after reading a post on a mother and baby bulletin board last night with my wife, I thought it was time to put the record straight.
Our day begins at 5am when our youngest two Harvey and Joseph decide it’s time to get up. A cup of tea for all and some toast is the first order of business then I split some logs and light the log burners down stairs, catch up on emails and check the website to make sure all the deals have imported correctly.
Meanwhile Helen gets all the children’s school uniform is ready as well as Jordan’s (19) work clothes and Nicole’s College clothes(18) then makes packed lunches.
I go out and feed the chicken’s and ducks about 7am and muck out our 6 horses 1 mine 1 the wife’s and the others are the children’s. Meanwhile Helen is waking up 4 more for school, 1 for work and 1 for college, poached egg, egg and soldiers, the full English, scrambled eggs, toast, porridge, cereal, crumpets or bacon sandwiches all round.
Then it’s the school run, money for trips, swimming, ingredients for food tech, PE kits, permission slips etc and its in the car and off to 2 schools.
Next is a cup of tea and just one and a bump left at home, Helen and Joseph go upstairs to make beds and tidy up, Joseph doing more messing up than tidying.
I clear the breakfast pots and load the dishwasher it’s now about 10:30 then sit down and do some work, Helen and Joseph re-appear, music’s on Helen’s doing her best heavily pregnant dancing with Joseph as she takes some washing out of the machine and bundles some more in and picks up round the front room, dining room, kitchen and family room.
Joseph meanwhile pops in and out shutting my laptop on my fingers, pressing as many buttons as he can until I chase him round the house and tickle him.
Hoovers on and some how its 11:00 I wiz down to the horses give 2 a quick groom and put the 2 horses I let out in the morning back in their stables, and let 2 more out and check they all have enough hay.
12:30 its time to pick Harvey up from pre-school and pray he’s in a good mood, how was your day Harvey?
Helen or I will make some lunch and the four of us will sit and eat, Joseph will pick the filling out of his sandwiches in double quick time and then come to raid mine and Helens.
Helen will then sit and build car tracks with the boys and I will try and ride at least one horse to keep them sane.
It’s now getting on for 2:00pm Harvey and Joseph are both tired and grouchy if they don’t have a sleep now there not having one and they are awful!
I have an hour and 10 minutes to squeeze in some work, Harvey and Joseph allowing, Helens exhausted being heavily pregnant and having been on the go since 5am.
3:10pm It’s time to pick Millie up, how was your day Millie? Stop off at the shop for some logs and milk, Helen’s picking up all the cars and track, I get back and stock the fires up and we discuss what’s for dinner and what time it should be ready, will Jordan be working late, does Nicole have to got to work after college, do Harvey and Joseph need an early dinner (did they have their sleep)?
3:45pm Tom, Ben and Rosie are home how was your day chimps? Get changed out of your uniforms kids, Tom and Ben Take out the rubbish and recycling and make sure your room is tidy, Rosie and Millie one hover the dining room and the other the front room and make sure your room is tidy. Tom will then go off and climb the tree in the back garden or shoot his bow and arrows, bens off on the Xbox, Millie’s watching anything girly on her pad, Rosie plugs her headphones in music’s on.
Time for me to muck out the horses again it’s 4pm, Helen cleans the kitchen and family room with Harvey and Joseph undoing everything as she goes, we take turns cooking so she will then either prepare the dinner or grab 2 minutes to check her hospital bag, check her emails etc.
4:30 – 5pm Nicole appears back from college How way your day Nicole? 5:30pm – 9pm Jordan gets back from work how was your day Jordan?
Chickens and ducks have gone to bed its getting dark, time to shut the coops.
Dinners done we all sit at the table with the exception of Jordan if he’s working late, Joseph eats his in double time then shares Helens for good measure, Harvey tells everyone where they are allowed and not allowed to sit.
Helen or me or both of us will scrape the plates put the dining table back to the wall and load the dishwasher.
Homework – does anyone have any? No honest (with the exception of Tom, he needs no telling it’s done), lets see your homework diary’s then, well would you look at that! Helen and I might have to look up how to do it ourselves but we always sit and help them with their homework and listen to them read.
6:30pm Harvey and Joseph bath time, 7pm Yippee Harvey and Joseph off to bed, where is honey bunny? That rabbits a nightmare he knows he’s required for bed yet he goes on a jolly and gets lost daily, Honey bunny found I carry them both up to bed one in each arm, with Harvey telling me the whole time not you Mummy!
Helen reads the owl story this settles them for about 20 minutes then Harvey demands the trumpy honey bunny story from Dad which makes him giggle and keeps him awake long enough for him to shout down for the three bears story from Helen about half an hour later, getting me in trouble for winding him up.
Both fast off, now its Rosie and Millie’s turn to go to bed at 7:30 phones and ipads on the table, Rosie protests she is older then Millie and its not fair she should go to bed later then Millie, I try to reason then Helen gives her the look and that’s the end of that!
Now I sit down and get some proper work done, 8:30 comes and Tom and Ben are off to bed too, phones and pads on the table boys.
Joseph will wake up once or twice for a bottle which has to be run up as soon as humanly possible.
Helen will put a wash on and take another out to dry and I will continue to work, she usually then goes on her baby forum and I continue to work until about 11:30pm when we go to bed unless I have a lot to do, in which case I will take my laptop to bed and keep going until the early hours.
5am the next day it all starts again, that’s just an average day in our house, today the kitchen tap decided to give up so I had to replace that, Tuesday nights the recycling has to go out (there’s a lot of it), Wednesday the black bin or green bin needs to go out, Saturdays the manure trailer I muck the horses out into has to be towed a couple of miles away and shoveled out onto a heap into a local farmers field.
Then there is always the weekly shop which you couldn’t imagine unless you have a large family your self.
The day to day maintenance of a 300 year old cob house, stables and paddock, expensive running costs in heating oil, logs and coal and a mortgage which isn’t getting smaller anytime soon, all way heavy on your mind when Google love you one minute and hate you the next.
Our nearest family are 4 hours away so there’s no Grandma to pop round or take the kids for a bit, all though they both would and are brilliant.
Yes its hard work and yes it’s our own doing, but we have an incredible family and are so proud of each and everyone of them. Our kids are happy content and want for nothing and so are the children of many other big families.
Yet we still manage to bring you the very best mobile phone deals on the internet every single day, cheaper deals than the carphone warehouse, uswitch, compare the market and the money supermarket and much more of them too.