This week’s Large Family of the Week is the Roberts family from England. Please leave them a warm welcome!
Introduce us to your family (names and ages & tell us a bit about yourselves):
I’m Janice, 31, work full time, studying for an English Language and Literature Degree (with hons) at Open University. Hubby is Peter, 49, Full time Homemaker (and a really good one!)
Then we have Ashby, 12, eldest boy. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He wants to be a palaeontologist. His idols are Einstein, Prof Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking.
Casey, 10, our eldest girl. She is very much into reading and singing. Both Ashby and Casey performed in the local panto production-only the chorus but it takes courage to get on stage and sing/dance so incredibly proud. Casey wants to be a civil engineer when older-I think her talents lie in the story telling she is very apt at!
Next would have been our angel Amelie. She would be 9. She was born with Trisomy 13 and sadly only was with us for 16 days. Hardest thing was saying goodbye.
Our rainbow baby is Rowen, 8, a middle sister. She is query Asperger’s Syndrome and possible sensory issues. She loves Maths, problems, logic and writing stories. Rowen would like to be a singer/songwriter/spy and nursery teacher “because you can boss nursery kids about”. I have a feeling the maths and logic solving might lead her into a more scientific role.
Next is Rosie, 6, another sister. She is an amazing artist already and has plans to become a fashion designer and live in New York. She is so far our only left handed child. She can plait hair better than her sisters and is always coming to show us new designs on her dolls.
Then it’s Sandy, 5, a little brother with a loving personality. He is very different to Ashby but idolises him. Sandy wants to be either a helicopter driver or a policeman-he’s not sure yet.
And last but not least is Susie, our 1 year old. We were told after Sandy there would be no more children (hubby and I had been poorly and it had affected our fertility to the point we were told we were both infertile and unless we wanted to have IVF we would never have another child) so when Susie came along after 4 years, completely naturally we were all very happy and a tad shocked! She is a very funny and clever little girl who is still breastfeeding (which I find amazing). No idea what she wants to be but possibly a tornado chaser as she likes creating paths of destruction!
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 think we must be a large family as everyone we meet is shocked when I say I have 6 children. I find it too hard to mention Amelie to strangers. I think if you have more than 3, you tend to get the negative reactions.
Did you ever think you would have a large family?
We always planned on four children. But when Amelie passed we both felt that whatever babies we were lucky enough to have we would find room for, both in our hearts and home.
What is your best moneysaving tip?
Write a shopping list where you’ve planned each days meals.
What is your best tip for organisation?
Sort things the night before (packed lunches-just add the fresh stuff such as sandwich in the morning, uniform, etc.)
What is your favourite recipe?
Mommy’s Soup (or my stew on a hob). It’s whatever meat, veg and stock. Crusty bread “for dipping” is a must!
Do you cook the same meal for everyone or cater for different tastes?
Rowen has texture issues so often has a variation of what we’re eating. We plan for this within the dinners for the week so it’s not really an issue.
What is the best thing about having a large family?
Support! So nice that the older ones are able to help if needed. It’s good for them to support each other emotionally. I would have loved having a sibling at school to help me cope with day to day life.
And what is the most difficult?
When people are poorly. An illness can wipe out 3 weeks. Our most recent was Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Even I caught it which being the main earner severely impacts everything.
If you could offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?
Go with your instincts. If it feels right/wrong then go with it. Only you can parent your child (says the co sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing mother)
Don’t you have a television?
Four actually…but none in our bedroom (wink wink)
Do you know what causes it?
Apparently a Stork visits a Gooseberry bush or something???
And finally, will you have any more children?!
If we are blessed with one more it can only add to the love in our family x