In today’s world, a big family is a rare thing. Courtney Rogers is 36 years old, from Santa Fe County, New Mexico, and she has 10 kids. Those around her always have a lot of questions and some of them are not very nice at all. However, mother who’s given birth to ELEVEN children in 10 years says she’s already planning her 11th child – and insists she will homeschool all of them. She admitted she will be sad when she finally stops having children.
While you might assume that life in such a big family is chaos, they have a well-structured system in place, which is vital as Courtney and Christ homeschool all of their children.
Mum who had 11 children in 10 years explains: “I don’t know why I like it so much – I don’t think I ever imagined having this many children when we got married. I just knew that I wanted children and when I became a mother, I realised how much I loved it. I love being a mother and I would really like to have another one. We’ll probably wait a year or two to try.”
Courtney documents life on the family’s 12-acre plot on her Instagram page Courtney Rogers.
She shares the plot with Chris and their children – Clint, 10, Clay, nine, Cade, eight, Callie, seven, Cash, six, twins Colt and Case, five, Calena, three, Caydie, two, Coralee, 19 months, and now Caris, aged just seven weeks. She admitted she has faced some online criticism, with people questioning how the couple afford to care for their children, or how they manage to give them all enough attention. But Courtney said: ‘They don’t know how much income we have, or that I’ve never sent the kids to day care or school. We do plan on homeschooling all of them, so we haven’t been affected at all by the school closures in the pandemic.”
And Courtney hit back at criticisms of her family set-up, saying she was used to negative attention. She said: ‘We’ve been getting comments since the beginning because they were so close in age. We just learned to ignore them – people say things but they’re people who don’t even know us so how they can judge? We know we’re doing what we wanted, and we love it and we’re giving them a good life. We know how we’re raising them, so we try not to let it bother us.”
Courtney confirms that one of the biggest advantages of the small age difference between the kids is that they are at approximately the same level of their development and interests. Thanks to this, they usually play together well and do the same things together with pleasure. Another thing that she likes a lot is the unbelievable excitement that we feel at Christmas, on birthdays, and during family trips. She hope her kids will grow up remembering all the fun and chaos that they are swimming in together.
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However, there are certain difficulties in trying to manage this many kids. Even though they sometimes make her go crazy, she can’t imagine herself being happy doing something different in her life. Apart from the constant changing of diapers, searching for more than one babysitter for one visit, or booking more than one hotel room, they also need to drive a van that has 15 seats, wash piles of clothing, and constantly clean the house.
COURTNEY’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR LARGE FAMILIES
1) Babywearing. Wearing your baby frees up your hands to tend to other children, go about your chores, and leaves your cart with more room to grocery shop. It can also calm a fussy baby and keep them safe from curious toddlers.
2) Same nap schedule. In the beginning, newborns sleep a lot, but the main goal should be having all babies and toddlers napping at the same time. As babies start sleeping less, eliminate the naps the toddlers don’t share. That hour or two each day allows you to refocus and breathe. You can rest, read, or get some cleaning done. Homeschooling mums often use this time to teach harder subjects.
3) Invest in a good double stroller or wagon. Apart from new tyres, our Bumbleride Indie Twin has lasted us seven years. Good quality items may be more expensive, but they last longer and have better resale value. Our stroller has been perfect for fairs, park days, shopping trips during naptime, and whenever I’m out without another adult’s help.
4) Avoiding jealousy. Learn to lap share while sitting down. If the toddler is interfering with the baby’s feedings, place them on the opposite side of you. With your arm around them, they can still feel held as you read, talk, or entertain with a toy. If the toddler is still clingy, continue to keep them in your room at night. We’ve had up to three babies room share with us. You can use bassinets, portable cribs, a toddler mattress on the floor, etc. Your baby didn’t get replaced when the newborn arrived. There’s now two to care for and yes, it is possible!
5) Toy sharing. With children close in age, I’ve discovered that they usually enjoy playing with the same things. Because of that we buy multiple sets of their favourite toys and store each category in large bins. It’s hard to expect children to share blocks when there are not enough blocks to go around.
Preview photo credit littlehouseinthehighdesert / instagram