It’s not easy raising a family, especially with ELEVEN children.
Mother Joanne O’Rourke, who is raising a veritable “mega-family,” said she and her husband are a team when it comes to taking care of the family.
Despite this, people often look at her as a single mother and ask if the children have the same father.
Speaking to LoveThatMatters.com, she said: “People often ask me how I manage to be a mother to so many children, and sometimes I feel like they think I’m a single mother and I’m doing it all by myself.”
“When he comes home, we sometimes find that the children are all at school, and we have lunch together, or we spend the afternoon preparing dinner together.”
She also said that Tommy was present at the births of all the children.
She said: “I’ve been supported during all pregnancies; we share the daily tasks equally, whether it’s the children’s school work or shopping or cooking, we’re a team.”
“He’s a great father to the kids; he loves and supports them, and he’s always there for us when we need him.”
Despite the amount of work that comes with such a large family, it also has its advantages, such as almost always having someone to celebrate a birthday with.
“You can imagine that we are always busy. Everyone does their job; everyone knows what they have to do as a member of the family,” she said.
“It’s very important that everyone does their job and that we follow a well-established routine. We really like to do things together as a family; birthdays and celebrations are always wonderful because there are so many of us that every birthday feels like a real party.”
“Our house is always full; there’s always something going on; there’s always shouting, laughing, and joking, but that’s just the way we are. We are very close; we do everything together. We have a minibus, so we go out on our days off.”
Tommy and Joanne have been together since 2000; they met at a nightclub, and their first child, now 18-year-old Mitchell, was born in 2003.
Joanne said: “After Mitchell was born, we moved back to London to be closer to our family, and soon after, our daughter Lauren was born.”
“In fact, since then, we’ve had a baby continuously, practically every 18 months, after Lauren, Joey, Ryley, Tommy, Ashlee, Dean, Freddie, Danne, and Neave.”
“In addition, we are raising my niece, so we have 11 children, 3 girls, and 8 boys – we are slowly running out of boys’ names!”
Joanne’s youngest child, Brody, was born during last year’s quarantine; he is their 11th child.
The “mega-mom” loves her huge family very much, but sometimes people’s comments annoy her.
She said, “With so many children, we have often been asked the question, why did we take on such a large family, and what is it like to live in such a large family?”
“The most common questions they ask are whether all the children have the same father and whether we have a TV. If I had a dollar for every question like that, I’d be rich.”