This week’s Large Family of the Week is the Head family from Norwich, England. Mum Kerry-Anne and Dad Andrew have four children, and here is Kerry-Anne to tell us all about them:
Introduce us to your family (names and ages & tell us a bit about yourselves):
Hey there, I’m Kerry. I’m a 31 year old mother of 4.
I spend my days at home, doing chores, running errands and looking after the children.
I spend 4 nights a week doing the exact same thing. The other 3 nights, I head out to work at Vue cinema.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. It has taken me some time to figure out how to manage this with a young family, but I think I’ve finally found a sort-of balance that works for us, although it has been quite the struggle.
Andrew is my husband. He works full time as a civil servant. We have been married now for just over 2 years, although we have been together for almost 14! Drew, as I call him, is not only my husband, he is my best friend. We’ve been through a lot together, and although I sometimes moan about him not washing the dishes or for playing on his PS3, I really couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather spend my life with.
Lauryn is our eldest and has just turned 10. She is super petite and super headstrong! She lives in ‘Lauryn Land’ most of the time. She is intelligent, insightful and greatly talented in the English language. She writes stories, songs, poems and plays, at levels far beyond her years. She is a no nonsense kind of girl. Lauryn would like to be an author when she grows up!
Ashley is our middle girl, aged 8, however there are only 13 months in age between her and Lauryn. Ash is sensitive, kind and caring. She is ‘Memory Girl’ Nothing gets past this one.
She is very sociable and has an extensive group of friends. Her social life is better then the rest of ours put together! She is very artistic, and adores being a second Mummy to the little two. She always aims to please.
Ash and Lauryn are almost like twins. They finish each others sentences, they know what the other is thinking, they are the best of friends, they can not be separated. Ashley would like to be Lauryn’s illustrator when she grows up!
Bailey is our baby girl. She is aged 6 and is our Princess. Bai is extremely girly. She changes her outfit at least 3 times a day! Everyone that meets her comments on how angelic and cute she is. At home, she is known as ‘The Terrorist’. She has a unique ability to look completely innocent despite being surrounded by chaos and destruction. She has overcome a substantial speech problem and is now becoming more and more confident in her academic ability. She is the most resilient child I have ever met. Bailey would like to be Rapunzel when she grows up!
Che (pronounced Chay) is our baby. He is also our only boy. He has just had is 4th birthday, and attends morning nursery sessions. Che is popular and cute. He has the sweetest grin and the biggest blue/green eyes! He is a typical boy, he loves cars, aliens, dinosaurs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! He is very sweet natured and is a total Mumma’s boy! He has an obsession with monkeys and the colour yellow. Che would like to be a monkey when he grows up!
Do you consider your family to be large? If not, what do you think is the magic number which turns an average sized family into a large one?
I don’t consider my family to be large. I have never understood why 3 is acceptable but 4 is ‘too many’? I come from a large family myself, my husband on the other hand only has one sibling, so he considers our family as “big”!!
I would say that a larger family would possibly be one that you couldn’t count all of the children on one hand, so maybe 6 and up?
Did you ever think you would have a large family?
I always wanted a larger family. However, I honestly don’t consider mine to be ‘large’! I would Ideally have loved 6 children. My husband was most definitely done at 4 though.
What is your best moneysaving tip?
Shop at more then one grocery store. I know it sounds like more hassle, but we save on average £30 each week by not getting everything in one place. We also save our Tesco Clubcard points and spend them on family days out over the summer. It saves us a fortune!
What are your best tips for organisation?
Find something that you like working with. Something that you can have with you at all times. Mine is my iPhone. I am lost without it. I program in timers and alarms for *everything* Pick up times for after school clubs, days the kids need to take extras, like PE or Swim kits etc..
Keep everything in one place. I have a big tubs near my front door that hold everyone’s school bags, kits, shoes, wellies, hats, scarves and gloves. Each child also has their own coat peg, at a height that is easily reachable for them. These little things save so much time in the mornings.
Oh, and invest in a slow cooker!
What is your favourite recipe?
Do you cook the same meal for everyone or cater for different tastes?
We have a couple of very fussy eaters in the family. I don’t agree with sending children to bed on an empty stomach because they didn’t like the food they were given. It’s just not the way I parent. I completely understand why some do it, it’s very frustrating and time consuming making more than one meal a night.
What is the best thing about having a large family?
The extra cuddles and smiles and love.
And what is the most difficult?
Sick days. When you only have one pair of hands and you’ve had no sleep, there is nothing worse then having 4 children vomiting simultaneously.
If you could offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. You only get one shot at this.
Don’t you have a television?
Yup, we watch it in bed.
Do you know what causes it?
Ooooh, hang on I know this one..
And finally, will you have any more children?!
Unfortunately for me, no. (My husband is currently doing the ‘thank goodness I’ve had a vasectomy’ dance..) Although I would like to look into the possibility of fostering in the future.
Read more about Kerry-Anne and her family at her blog Life Through a Sippy Cup.