[AMA] I Have 7 Children Ranging from 1 Month to 12 Years Old, 3 of Which Are Toddlers

Not much more to say really.. one is a baby, 3 are toddlers and the other 3 are 8yo+

Will reply when I find some time in my hectic life :)

closed Comments

  • +1

    One of my work mates has 10 children, all boys!!
    With only 40k wages :s

    • +9

      We (tax payers) are effectively paying for some (most) of them.

  • +5

    Ever considered the world is already over populated… Anyone having more than 2 kids are completely mental, and in reality downright irresponsible/selfish.

    • depends on what you live… countries with aging population needs more youth.

    • +2

      I always found these kind of comments interesting - well-intentioned, but ultimately a very shallow view of resources, and also comes across as kind of priveleged and self-righteous

  • +5

    You are doing incredibly well mate, I am exhausted with just one toddler.

    I am on $170k salary and wife staying home looking after one single 1.5 yo toddler. And we both ended up very poor -( no savings) and exhausted every day.

    Eg, today after work I cooked two dinners for the kid coz he refused to eat the first one (wasted time and food). Then I cooked dinner for me and wife.

    Spent 1hour feeding him, shovelled my dinner in 5 mins coz kids wants to play with daddy, then I spent 1.5 hours actively playing with him after dinner, while my wife prepares lunch. I give the kid a bath, 30 minutes bed time story. Then clean up toy mess, wash and disinfect milk bottles, clean kitchen, throw out garbage, prepare breakfast, go to bed at 23:00 and browse ozbargain.

    Tomorrow at 6:30 I need to get up and cook chicken stock and keep in the fridge, use that to cook kid’s meal as it tastes better.

    This is driving me nuts, I am under extreme pressure from work everyday and after work doesn’t give me a single minute of break time.

    We must have done something terribly wrong, raising kid shouldn’t be this tough.

    • +2

      Parents often find they are a lot more relaxed about not having to do everything with subsequent kids.

      • First, Second or (n-3) kiddies don't need to have any kiddies in the future, they busy looking after their own siblings.

    • +7

      I admire your efforts unswgeek but you are making things difficult for yourself. There seems an awful lot of time spent on food preparation. By 1.5 years a toddler can be eating the same meals as you, perhaps with slight modifications if necessary. If they don’t eat the first meal then perhaps they’re not hungry. Unless they happen to have specific medical requirements or they are not thriving then just look at their intake over a week period not fussing about every meal. A toddler can have simple meals eg porridge for breakfast, fruit, vegetables, dairy for snacks, maybe a sandwich for lunch and whatever you are eating for dinner. There is no need for bottles for a 1.5 yo so perhaps he’s filling up on milk and not hungry for other food. He could be drinking cows milk or water from a cup to encourage independence. Providing there isn’t a choking risk then foods of different textures are important to strengthen muscles for speech and eating.
      Anyway it sounds like you’re really trying to be a great Dad but perhaps ease up a bit to make life less stressful for yourself and make some time for your partner too as your little one is loved and will be fine.

    • Throw in a terminal illness in there too and you’ve just described my house (but half the income lol)

  • Amazing effort on your wage.
    Think of each kid going to say 10 parties a year or alike and theres a stack of money in gifts alone. Kids sports, Going out for dinner as a family, movies. You must manage your money very well
    Hats off to you

  • +3

    Thanks for the informative answers, but still in my mind WHY.

  • +1

    You sir @marc kay are an inspiration and I mean that in the most admirable way. Before I started planning for baby no 1 as I am doing now, I've got all these worries and thoughts about not being able to afford it etc but you have made it clear.

    Can I ask, did you plan to go to 7 in the first place? Or did you just let life take you on a ride?

    Also, are you going for more?

    Thanks for your answers in advance!

  • +1

    Another question that personally bugs me at times: from reading your answers, I can tell that Marc is the main family income with the small home business that hopefully keeps you afloat. Did you have any concerns about, say, if you are let off from your work and became unemployed for an extended period of time? Did you plan for such scenario?

    • +2

      We've been in a similar situation before so although it would be a bit of a struggle, we know how to handle it. All of our bills are in credit and we have money set aside for emergencies. We stock up on things we use regularly and are also aware of resources available for financial hardships so although it would mean a lot of sacrificing luxuries and fancier meals, we would be able to manage :)

  • How would you convince someone to have kids, if they are not a kid person?

  • How often do you fight with each other (your spouse)? How do you manage this with kids in the house?

    Have you guys ever have a strong disagreement with each other on certain way in raising up kids?

    Is there a reason why you and/or your spouse do not consider a religion?

    Does your kids attend any additional classes/activities/clubs?

    Have your kids ever asked for expensive toys? How do you manage their expectation when the funds are shorts in that period?

    Keep up the good work both of you! I admire both of your dedications to your big family. Thank you for being honest and sharing some of your life stories here. Ignore those with negative comments.

    • +2

      Our kids have learnt they can't always have what they want, but have the opportunity to save up. They save their birthday and Christmas money and we give them money for doing jobs around the house. Our oldest saved up for a RGB keyboard and mouse last year!

      If they ask us for something expensive and we can't afford it at that time, we consider if it's doable at another time and if it is, we consider if they have been well behaved, good grades etc, and is it worth it. Sometimes we save up for something nice for their birthday, other times they get what we can afford or what we think they'd enjoy instead. They often don't expect anything fancy so they're quite grateful when they get spoilt!

      Our older 2 kids currently have music lessons and the younger ones will be starting tumble tots soon :)

      We've never had an interest in religion. We have our own values we stick to instead. We are respectful of those who practise religious beliefs though!

      We don't fight often. We make subtle comments like "someone left the sauce out on the bench again" knowing that someone was definitely the other person lol. We have disagreements about minor things but usually it's over in minutes. The last big blowup we had was probably last year, and it's usually a result of not communicating expectations and bottling things up.

      As for parenting if we disagree with something the other parent has done, we usually call them out on it, and discuss why. We're both usually on the same page now though

      • +4

        Thanks for taking time in sharing the story, I enjoyed reading them.

        Just an idea where you might be able to take some Q&A from this and write a book/ebook about it. Maybe add some more information that was not here that might be benefiting other families as well. For example
        1. How to budget. The $ amount might not be too relevant for all, but the allocation % based on the income can be beneficial
        2. How to manage/pay expenses, for example like you said putting some fixed money aside for monthly expenses
        3. Tips on how to deal with different stage of kids development (e.g. sleep training, siblings jealousy)
        4. How to handle tension between couple
        5. Food prep tips for family with busy schedule
        6. Budget friendly family fun ideas
        7. Etc

        You never know if it becomes a best seller or even a side gig (passive income), or even just a precious memento for your kids when they grow up and read the story of your family.

        If I may, God bless your family!

  • F***!
    I only have 2 and you’d have to pay me at least $5 million to even consider having a third! The difficult pregnancies/complications and babies that never slept due to silent reflux and colic seriously scarred me and my hubby forever!

    1. What things do you let “slide” to have enough time to do everything most important to you? Eg. Do you let go on having a super clean house, take cooking shortcuts, give up personal free time etc

    .2. How did your wife physically handle having so many pregnancies? It is such a burden on the body. Has she lost the baby weight and any tips on how she looks after herself post birth?

    • +1

      We've definitely given up the idea of a spotless house. I take shortcuts if I don't have the time, like folding my clothing, taking a day off doing laundry in general, going to bed without cleaning up just to get a decent sleep. It wasn't worth staying up til 3am cleaning only to have a mess by 7am again. We try prepare meals early to save time when it gets more chaotic in the afternoon, and prepack school/daycare bags the night before. We try think ahead and prepare as much as possible at night. I've also sacrificed time on hobbies and catch ups to get other stuff sorted. I like to take the little ones out once the house is clean though to prolong how long it stays that way lol

      Pregnancy is brutal. I have chronic back pain and have since I was 10. Some pregnancies eased it, some made it worse. I learnt what caused it to flair up though and avoided doing anything too strenuous if possible. I set reminders for myself to eat and drink and always had something quick and easy on hand for when I was too exhausted to put any effort into meals. After birth, I have probably neglected myself a lot but always shower every evening, fresh clothing, and speak up when I'm desperate for some help. I have lost the baby weight almost every time just from healthy eating and mild exercise but that's also because I didn't gain much (healthy eating / food aversions and nausea) so it wasn't too hard. I haven't lost the Covid kilos though. I gained 15kg from all the baking we did and it isn't budging! Although currently down 2kg this week after starting to put some effort for the past 9 days.

      • Thanks for the answer! In awe at your time management skills and that you survived 7 pregnancies while losing the weight each time! Yes covid comfort baking weight gain has sucked!!! But tasty lol!

  • Thank you Marc and Sleepless for your answers and stories! It's been really heart-warning to read all this!

    Do/how often do people comment on the fact you were teenagers when you met and have only had one relationship? I was married at 19 to my high-school sweetheart, and have had a few comments over the years. Only 2 kids so far though ;)

    What was life like with kids 1-2/how has it shaped you into what you are now (both as individuals and a family)? You were both pretty young, and imagine there were some tough times. Kudos to you for getting to where you are today ☺️

    Marc, you mentioned your family emigrated from Germany. Do you speak the language? Do you have much contact with your mum or any family over there?

    Would you be willing to elaborate a little more on your side gig Sleepless?

    • +2

      We often get the "you're too young to have 7 kids". Weve been met with both positivity and negativity about our age when we had our first. Most people are pleased to hear we took on the responsibility with no hesitation though. I think most negativity came when I was pregnant with our second when I was 18 and Marc was 20. People don't often expect a planned pregnancy at that age, especially following an unexpected pregnancy. But, any doubts people had in us, we proved them wrong. It was important to us to exceed everyone's expectations of us.

      Having kids young, particularly the first 2, we learnt how to manage money really well because neither of us had much of an income, and at one point we took a massive unexpected financial hit and had to manage life and bills with $700 a fortnight. It was a huge struggle, thankfully only temporary though and that situation was actually what paved the way for us to be where we are now.

      I also found that because we wanted to prove everyone wrong we were both more motivated to achieve as much as possible in terms of income, parenting ability and personal education. We've also learnt how to manage stressful situations and juggling the needs of multiple kids at once! It's not much different having 7 to the initial struggles of having 2-3 kids!

      Marc's German is not very good haha. He can understand it and speak a couple words but primarily speaks English

      For my business I make custom clothing and hair accessories for babies and children. I also take advertising photos for companies but that's on a casual basis :) when the little ones are in school, I'll either put my counselling diploma to good use or work towards becoming a paramedic but for now, I love what I do!

      • Thanks for your answers :) It's great to hear about your life experiences, and that you are clearly loving your current life!

        Do you use any apps for budgeting, or just a spreadsheet?

        • +2

          I use pen and paper, and the notepad on my phone for things I need to remember to factor in (like school photos, health appointments, and other odd expenses). I do up a budget each fortnight, but also re-evaluate our expenses halfway through the fortnight incase something has popped up or we've wanted to buy something out of our luxury limits. I also like to keep track of afterpay repayments so whenever I do up a budget, I also take a look at 2 months worth of expenses. Any money leftover each fortnight is split between luxuries and savings :)

  • I have another few questions if I may :)

    What do you (both) find the most challenging part of parenting?

    Did you find out genders before they were born?

    Did you have trouble deciding names, and have you done anything cool with them (e.g. alphabetical order, all starting with one letter, etc)?

    • +1

      Hardest part is knowing how to handle every situation, especially with the older kids. Defiance, big emotions, bullying. It's all tough to know what to say and do to be supportive, encourage good behaviour, but also ensuring we don't reward/promote bad behaviour or unhealthy practices. Our 8 year old has ADHD and the parenting methods that worked with the older 2 didn't work for him so we had to learn a whole new way of parenting to help support him. It was quite an adjustment but something that helped us be better parents. We're still learning though

      We found out the genders each time. I like being able to prepare, get decor and customised items before they're born, so I couldn't handle waiting lol

      Names were tricky after the first few haha. We asked friends and family for ideas and spent hours on baby name lists. We create a shortlist each of names we like then go through it together and decide from there! Middle names are always named after someone in our lives (grandparents, siblings, parents, close friends). The youngest 2 have similar names (boy and girl, both start with the same 2 letters, 4 letters long) and the 2 and 3 year old both start with the same letter, and end with the same. The oldest 2 are less common names but we couldn't find any uncommon names we liked after that haha. All their names are in the top 100 though.

  • I just became a dad 5 days ago, I've already been struggling with it, loss of sleep, back pain, etc.

    Any tips for new parents?

    • +1

      The lack of sleep is hard, especially when you have become used to a normal sleep routine! It takes time to adjust but the saying "sleep when the baby sleeps" can be helpful. Sometimes you have to sacrifice cleaning and hobbies to be able to function but it did improve. The back pain is tough. Find out what's causing it and find a new method. If it's leaning over to change nappies, try a different location. Kneeling on the floor and using the bed worked well for me. If it's holding your bub, then perhaps a baby carrier to take off some of the strain. It's all trial and error to see what works for you!

      Make sure you're each taking some time for yourselves, shower, eat, have a nap so you don't burn out. Then try and enjoy every moment you can. The crying and sleepless nights can get frustrating but change how you think of them. The wake ups mean more time together, and the crying means your little one needs/wants you because only you/partner bring them the comfort and essentials they need. Babies are just trying to communicate their needs in the only way they know how.

      Also, once you get into a routine, things get a LOT easier. Our little ones usually set their own routine and we adapt to it. They sleep longer, more content when awake, and everything just seems to flow a lot easier :)

  • +2

    Thanks for the AMA!

    How do you feel about your late teenage years/twenties being largely consumed by raising children?

    • +2

      Personally for me it wasn't much different to life before having kids. I had no interest in parties or drinking or anything like that. Marc was the same. I already loved looking after my brother (who is 3 years older than our oldest) and younger cousins. I never felt like I was missing out on anything and continued to do the things I wanted to (studying counselling, starting a business, having hobbies etc) while working around kids. Having kids young never impacted our freedom, we just had extra people to share our time with :)

  • +3

    You mate are an unsung hero, and should be held as a model human being.

    Love of having many children is a dying trait in modern society. People focus so much on their pleasure in their 20-40's, that they don`t think long-term about family. Being just an uncle/aunt to someone is not the same as having people in your life, who will unconditionally love you until you die (assuming you raise them right).

    • My and my partner put off kids for years because we would like to own a good large house near family and raise them well as we're currently busy with work. Sorry that we have pleasure with condoms!

      If you know the secret way to cut our mortgage/rent costs, then we can focus on our kids.

      • +1

        Its all about a mindset mate. If you are aiming straight out of the gate for a large house before you consider if you want to have children - I do not condemn, go you for it.

        My point is, that people who decide on having a large family from the get-go, and make things work as they come rather than spending career-building years to prep for it, are owed respect because of hardships they accept early on to endure. From my point of view, they accept these early-on hardships with a perspective of having grown children by the time they are in their mid-career, which will give they a better boost later on, and quite possibly a lot of pride in their family.

        As a bonus, dad will be able to kick ball with all of the children, before his knees give up ;)

    • -2

      What a joke of a comment. Women are waking up to the fact they're not breeding machines. 1 kid, maybe 2 max. Anything more and you're just living off the tax payer unless you earn over $150k/year.

      • +4

        What a joke of a comment. Each women chooses "if" and "how" many children they want to have. The ones which decide to go for 2-3 (statistically speaking 2.1, but 0.1 of a kid is rather unsightly ;)) contribute towards 1:1 population replication in each generation. If they choose to do so, together with their partners they are owed praise and respect for life-long commitment they are making, not underhanded comments about "living of my damn taxes".

        • -2

          owed praise and respect for life-long commitment they are making

          Do you also give this same praise and respect to people who decide not to have any kids? Such a shitty arguement lol, I'm not going to bother with you further

          • +1

            @DisabledUser193539: I give praise to everyone who deserves it.

            You show no respect to people with different perspective in life than your own, and earn none in return.

  • +2

    I read your posts but I am skeptical. How do you manage:
    - Food prep
    - Food cook
    - Food eat
    - Food cleanup
    - Shopping
    - Event clashes with one car? Ie soccer game 10 AM. Ballet recital 10 AM too?

    What are the costs for food, clothes, rent, mobile phones, computers, toys, school fees?

    What are some common dishes the family eats?

    • +4

      We have 3 cars, 1 with 5 seats, 1 with 8 seats and 1 with 12 seats so if we ever need to be in 2 places at once, we can use either one of the spare cars. As of yet, we haven't had a situation like that arise but we're prepared for it!

      Food prep is chaotic. Marc and I often have kids at our feet, too impatient to wait or wanting to eat all the ingredients before they're cooked. It's probably the most frustrating part of the day for me because our kitchen is rather small and is hard enough to move in without 3 little ones getting under your feet!!

      We usually make meals that can be cooked in the pressure cooker or oven so they're prepared prior to school pickup and turned on early so it finishes around 5:30/6. I also like to get things ready during nap times for just a little less chaos.

      Favourite meals are home made burgers, home made pizza, home made sausage rolls, goulash, porcupine meatballs, lasagne, tacos, hot dogs, pasta bake, roast, steak and chips, miso katsu, bolognaise and we also have a 'make your own' dinner night where the kids raid the cupboards and fridge and pick something they want. It can be leftovers, microwave meals, sandwiches, or even cereal! We do that about once a month

      Eating is mostly done in the lounge room. We previously ate at the kitchen bench with bar stools but they became too dangerous to use, so we removed them and haven't yet replaced them with anything.

      Cleanup - it's usually a matter of wiping down any spilt food with baby wipes then doing a more thorough clean when the kids go to bed. Kitchen bench gets a tidy up before sitting down to eat (ingredients put away and utensils moved to the sink) and then dishwasher is loaded and turned on right before we go to bed so it's finished by morning

      Shopping I usually do on my own while Marc watches the toddlers, or we order online delivery. Sometimes I take all kids with me and it's not too bad, just a lot of "mum, can we buy this?" Over and over lol. The youngest 2 go in the pram, one of the big kids will push it and I'll push the trolley with one toddler in the seat and one walking. If I'm on my own with the 4 youngest, I just use the pram and the other 2 walk.

      Food shopping is around $600-$700 a fortnight at the moment, depending what type of meat we buy. This also includes nappies. Steak and parmigiana are probably the most pricey of all our meals so we don't have them as often.

      per week Rent is $150, mobiles are $100-ish,
      School fees are between $50-$450 per year. I buy toys on sale, usually during click frenzy/Black Friday sales and when on clearance, then store them until their bday/Christmas or when they get bored of their current toys. I probably spend around $600 a year between all the kids. The oldest 2 prefer small gadgets rather than toys.

      • we buy cheaper cuts like roasts and slice them myself can get it down to $10kg or have a look online some wholesalers offer it for a lot less then the bigger supermarkets,

        We usually do the shopping on laptop and select click and collect saves us time walking around shops and impulse buying.

  • Well done on bringing up so many children!

    Do you remember all development milestones of all your kids? Did any of them miss any milestone in their first two years?
    I have a three-month daughter and she doesn't seem to smile / laugh very often, a lot less than crying.

    • I remember their milestones but Marc probably wouldnt be able to recall them as easily! Our oldest daughter didn't smile often and rarely laughed. She spent most of her time crying and throwing tantrums. It wasn't was around 1.5 that she started smiling more. Our second oldest son smiled but didn't giggle often. 3 months old is still quite young, and they're still learning that they're a human being, still can't quite see clearly and trying to process things beyond how being hungry or tired makes them feel.

      • You now have a 3 month old?

        Did you pick up another one?

        • +2

          The 3 month old is the commenters baby :)

  • Do your kids go to public or private school?
    Which extra curricular activities do they do?

    • Public school. The oldest 2 have music lessons. Previously they were doing gymnastics and boxing but both have taken a break this year. Our 8 year old has no interest in anything at the moment and the toddlers will be starting tumble tots next term (now that I'm no longer pregnant and will have the energy/mobility to do it with them!)

  • Looking at some of the comments it looks like the government (tax-payers money) pays a lot if we have more than 2 kids. How much do the parents get ?

    • Not enough to cover the expense of 7 kids……. Also a lot of the payments are mean tested, i think if you earn <$250 a couple a week you qualify for full payments (parenting payments, austudy, Newstart etc) after that it gets decreased per dollar you earn to $0 if you go above a certain amount, which OP would be hitting alone.

  • Are you after help turning your 7 kids into an income stream? there's loads of drug testing companies that pay pretty well?

  • New dad here (1 month), how do you dispose all the nappies and general rubish? With just 1 kid I found that my bin always full every week (nappy, foof waste, etc)

    • Anything recyclable gets recycled and we recently got a second rubbish bin for everything else!

    • Get as much out of your general landfill bin as you can. For us, dirty nappies go straight out in the outside bin, otherwise nappies go into a change-table bin rolled up small.

      We try and get as much as possible into the recycling and green waste bins (almost all food waste can go in green waste, as well as things like paper towels and tissues). Another thing that helped keep our general bin emptier was recycling soft plastics at Coles/Woolies. We collect it all in a larger plastic bag, and then stash them in the garage until we go to Colesworths next and then recycle them there. That made a substantial difference to how full our regular bin was each week.

  • Pregnancies can be hard on the body. How is your wife coping after 7?

    • +2

      The SPD during pregnancy and the first 2 weeks after birth was horrible! Walking was challenging! But now that almost everything is back to normal, I'm coping quite well :) I have meralgia parasthetica in my right leg, and some pain in my hip when laying on my side but my back pain isn't as bad as pre pregnancy. My iron levels are still low though so I'm considering having another infusion to boost them back up!

      • Thanks for answering.

        It's good to hear you didn't get any severe chronic issues due to the pregnancies and you love being mom to a big brood.

        7 kids sounds daunting and unnecessary, but the biggest gift kids can get is loving and smart parents like you both so all the very best to you all.

  • Congrats with the 7 kids! Tough work indeed, washing must be a bloody nightmare!

    Biggest questions i have,
    What time do you go to sleep?
    How much decent sleep do you get a night?
    Any tips on bed time routine?

    • We go to sleep anywhere from midnight to 4am. It really depends on how much we want to relax after the kids are asleep, if we want to catch up on work or if one of the kids wakes up and needs comforting. I typically get 2-6 hours a night, and Marc gets around 4-8 hours. We could easily get more sleep if we wanted to, but prefer to stay up enjoy doing what we want haha

      Bedtime routine .. the best way we've found is to make the kids feel comfortable and safe and reassured that you're never far away, and will always be there when they need you. They feel more secure and don't have as many insecurities about going to sleep or feeling alone. We allow up to 60 minutes before bedtime to do a quiet/calming activity to help wind down. Sometimes it's reading, sometimes drawing or building blocks. Some times it's just playing with toys or having a chat before bed. We like to reflect on the kids day before bed and they often use that time to talk about any issues they're facing with school or friends or general worries they have about life.

      Once in bed, we say goodnight and walk out, then if they cry or call out we go to them right away or acknowledge them and say "I'll be with you shortly" so they know you're listening/coming. Once settled they usually lay quietly until they fall asleep. When they're sick we sit with them and rub their backs which helps a lot :)

      • I think an iPad in front of them is a bit easier when they are falling asleep :)

        • +1

          iPads and screens in general can be quite stimulating and often make kids more alert than tired. It can lead to overtiredness as well. It may work for some people but it's not something we use when winding down :)

      • 2-6 hours doesn’t seem like a healthy amount of sleep

        • I can't sleep any longer, even if I try. I wake up repeatedly or can't fall back asleep. I manage quite well on little sleep, and it doesn't seem to affect my ability to function throughout the day. It's probably not a healthy amount, but I've adapted to it!

  • Are you worried about finances in the future? I'm married with no children as I don't think I'm financially ready.

    e.g. when they all go to school for uniforms, music/art/sport lessons?

    • Hardly anybody thinks they are ready mate. Talking from experience here.
      When it happens, it happens, and then you play with the cards you are dealt.

    • It's easy enough to adapt your finances and lifestyle to accommodate children. Uniforms are around $150 per child per year but you can buy a larger size and get 1-3 years out of it, or buy second hand.

      Sport lessons, music and art are typically $50-$200 for a term.

      We're not worried about finances. We're confident in our budgeting skills and ability to adapt to the ever changing financial needs of everyone :)

  • How do you manage newborn at night when they cry their heart out?

    • It's very rare for him to get to the point of screaming, but if I get overwhelmed by the crying, I walk away, take a breath and come back the try work out why he's screaming.

      1. Nappy, does it need changing?
      2. Is he hungry?
      3. Does he have wind?
      4. Hair tourniquet? Check all fingers and toes!
      5. Is he overtired?
      6. Is he too warm/cold?
      7. Is he unwell?

      Through process of elimination it's almost always overtiredness or wind. Usually some gentle rocking and gently rubbing his back or head helps calm him down. Otherwise a warm bath can often help!

  • Do you guys enjoy the movie Cheaper by the dozen?

  • -2

    I think it's very environmentally irresponsible having 7 kids. The planet needs less of us, not more.

    • -1

      I love how people are downvoting this entirely rational and objectively correct position. Human overpopulation directly drives pretty much everything we do that causes environmental damage.

  • How do you manage birthdays/christmas presents…. Seems like it'll cost an arm and a leg

    • We suss out what they'd like and keep an eye out for sales, then store them until their bday or Christmas :) black friday sales usually offer the biggest savings!

  • +9

    If there's any doubt in anyone's mind as to how they manage everything, look no further than how they've both managed this AMA. The OP started this AMA and the wifey has chimed in about halfway through and has managed it well since then :-)

    From their answers I see that they're pretty much on the same page in their mindset and, if not for their respective usernames, I personally wouldn't have guessed who was answering when. To me it looks like I'm seeing a well oiled machine (no pun intended)! They both seem to complement each other and understand the responsibilities that come with raising children.

    Each to their own in terms of how many kids (or none at all) they want to raise, I have one and I can't see my partner and I capable of raising more than one.

  • +2

    I probably get negged for my thoughts but here are some concerns that makes the OP and his wife quite irresponsible and could lead to unfairness to their children and to the parents mental and physical health:

    1. Pregnancies can leave a major toll on the female body body and mental health, especially as she’s grows older.

    2. While the OP and his wife are managing their finances well but what if Marc loses his Job? Or worse one of them end up with Illness or god forbid death or divorce? who is gonna look after 7 young children?

    3. If you have that much capacity to breed children, why not try to adopt or foster? I’d arguably say that adopting one child is far more rewarding than breeding 7 children.

    4. Are you certain that you will both manage when they are demanding teenagers? Their expenses will be much higher and they will probably need far more attention?

    5. It seems like you guys don’t own a property and not renting, what if you lose the current arrangement of living at someone’s place for free?

    6. Have you guys asked yourself what are you getting out of this? Are you guys just challenging yourself to see how many children you can raise in this lifetime?

    This is what came to mind for now.
    Having said that, good luck with your journey.

    • +7
      1. Pregnancy generally has the same impact each time. The most recent pregnancy had some minor complications though which was stressful, even with a positive outcome. After birth, I still have some pain when laying on my side but my back pain isn't as bad as it previously was so I'll take the good with the bad! I do miss my flat stomach though! Mental health wise, I have a history of postnatal depression, and depression and anxiety in general. I've learnt what to look out for though and what support and coping methods I need to get through it.

      2. We've already planned for a possible loss of income (we've been through it before) so we're prepared to handle that if it were to happen. If we were to both die, our families would band together and raise our kids. At one point one of our kids were on life support and his outcome wasn't looking good so while Marc and I stayed at the hospital, our families took shifts to care for the others. They may not help much in every day life but they'll always be there when in times of need.

      3. Have you seen how difficult it is to become a foster parent in Australia?! And adoption takes 10+ years! Most people choose to go overseas to adopt because of the lengthy process, but that's not an option in current times.

      4. Pre-teens and teens are a whole new level of complicated! We learn as we go though, and if we've managed this far, I'm sure we can manage through those tough years with a little understanding, guidance and ensuring we do as much as we can to teach our kids to cope with those overwhelming emotions and complicated issues they have to deal with.

      5. The Property we live in is owned by Marc's dad and is set up to be an inherited property after he passes. I don't see there being any reason that we wouldn't be able to live here, however if the situation arises we'll look at purchasing our own home, and cut back on luxuries to afford it, or rent until we can. We do currently pay a reduced rate of rent though :)

      6. We get the pride and joy of watching them grow. Seeing their differences in personalities and interest. The feeling of being loved, when they shout "mummy" or "daddy" when you walk into the room, and seeing their kindness towards others or their willingness to help others when out and about. A couple years ago we were late to gymnastics because the kids wanted to help clean up some paper that had fallen off a truck and littered a park. No prompting, and I explained it would mean we would be late, but they all decided it was worth doing. That's just one example of times they've made me super proud. They achieve so much and are so kind and it's refreshing to be surrounded by people who care so much as opposed to the nastiness you see in the world. There's also a sense of pride in ourselves that comes from learning how to manage when we've conceived unexpectedly, and facing whatever life throws out way.

      • “support and coping methods I need to get through it”

        Can you give some hints/advice on what you find works.

        • +4

          I occasionally see a psychologist if my mental health gets really bad but what I've found to help me most is challenging my thoughts. Asking myself if the negative thoughts or emotions are coming from misinterpreting something, if there's a different way I can look at a situation, and is there anything I can do to change the situation or how I'm feeling. If I ever feel unloved, I try spending more time with those I care about. If I feel overwhelmed, I ask for help. If I have no energy or motivation, I try and find an activity I want to do, rather than something I'm expected to do. If I'm feeling self conscious, I may ask for reassurance or do something to make me feel good about myself - a new item of clothing, eating healthier, taking the time to exercise, put on make-up for no reason.

          There have been times that Ive felt suicidal, and in those moments I tell myself to not act on anything, and wait atleast 24 hours and see how I feel. If that extreme feeling doesn't go away, I contact friends or family and sometimes just a chat or a visit can help. Hospitals also accept walk ins if you're suicidal although I've never gotten to the point of needing to go.

          It's important to focus on self care, especially when responsible for caring for others.

          Also, for short term comfort, I like to make a warm milo, wrap myself in a blanket and sit down doing absolutely nothing for 10-30 minutes. Reflecting through old photos is also a nice way to shift negative emotions :)

  • +1

    Much respect OP. Kids are amazing, you have done well.

    I think the average is about 1.9 kids per family, which long term will likely lead to an overall population decrease. You are playing your part in maintaining humanity for future generations and hopefully getting lots of enjoyment along the way!

    • +1

      It's good to see there are some people who like children in this thread. Having read most of the comments, my impression was that every other user considered having more than 2 an irresponsibility, without even fully understanding OP's circumstances.

      • -3

        Becaue majority of humanity realised that female role in society is more that just breading children and looking after them. Also, people realised that there are far more things in life than just breeding.

        • Nice strawman you made there to not address my point mate. I would be really interested to read about your thought pattern, which led you from my argument above to conclusion that I view women that way.

          • @Greem85: I have shared my thoughts earlier. You’re more than welcome to view them :)

            I’m simply addressing your impression why ppl think having more than 2 is irresponsible.

            • @Amer: Yeh nah, your earlier post does not click with the accusation you threw my way one bit. It only shares your POV on why you think people should behave the way you like.

              Still waiting for that chain of thought from my "being happy with children, being all for people who want to have them" to your "women have other things to do". Unless it is just a straw man, as we are on the internet after all, not in an academic discussion club ;)

              • @Greem85: It wasn’t an accusation, as stated before it was simply addressing your impression. Each to their own :)

            • @Amer: Also, "majority of humanity realised" is quite inaccurate, considering world population chart. Didn`t you mean more something along the lines of "my nearest social group"?

              • @Greem85: I should have said first world countries tend to have less or no children.

      • +3

        I like children too and want to give my children the best I could and still don't understand why would people have 7 children.

        I mean how do you give them the same amount of care and attention compared to families with 2 children? Not even to mention the financial aspect of raising them. On OP's income, I imagine they would have to forgo a lot of activities/purchases due to the cost. In a way, this is irresponsible.

        Maybe it's a personal choice here, but I plan to help my children when they set their foot in the property market and definitely not keen to see my children rent for life. I don't see how OP's family plan to do that given they are still renting, albeit for free.

        • +2

          No one misses out. If the kids want to do an activity/sport, we fully support them. There's always money available for their interests :)

          As for the time/attention, the older kids prefer their independence at their age so they dont want to spend as much time with us. We stop and listen when they want us for anything, and are always available for hugs, affection, and support. We help them if they need help with homework, we take them out for one on one time and regularly offer time to sit down, chat or do an activity together. They sometimes accept but other times they're happier to spend that time with friends or doing a solo activity.

          As for the younger kids, we do a lot of activities as a group. We still have one on one time, particularly during nap times as they're scattered, but a majority of the day is spent playing with them and offering hugs, taking turns swinging them through the air, building blocks. We make sure that everyone gets acknowledged and as of yet, there's been no jealousy or negative emotions stemming from missing out. They're all quite happy.

          As for their future, we put money away in an account for when they're older. Mother in law has been doing the same so they'll each have a sizeable amount to do as they please with when they're 18 :)

  • I havent read all comments. You've done awesome with this thread.

    Can you already determine what each of your children will be professionally in the future?

    I'm proud of you and I respect you for having such a big family. I want what you have. I dont want an AMG.

    • +3

      It's hard to say what path they'll take as they get older as they're constantly changing their minds about their future but if I had to guess,

      (1) would probably end up in IT, or game development

      (2) vet, artist or prime minister (she likes telling people what to do haha)

      (3) construction, demolition or maybe a mechanic

      (4) very hard to say, he's a quiet, shy kid who loves being independent. Perhaps an artist of some sort, IT, or a CEO of some sort!

      (5) probably the same as child 3

      (6) based on her love of 'pretties' I'd say a fashion designer, seamstress, or hairdresser. Or perhaps a mechanic.. she likes understanding how things go together so who knows!

      (7) at his current rate - couch potato :P he's too young for any interests so far so it's impossible to even guess! Whatever it is, we're excited to see :)

      • +1

        You tell a beautiful story of your children. I hope you can preserve this thread (well the good stuff) for the future.

        • +2

          once the thread is closed, do a print command and save as pdf. keep it as an achievement guys.

  • first of all… kudos to that wife of yours for birthing.

    my question is: how many were c-section, and natural?

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