A couple who ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴘʟᴀɴɴᴇᴅ to have any children have revealed they now have a ʜᴜɢᴇ ʙʀᴏᴏᴅ of eleven. Fast forward 15 years and the pair now share 11 children – eight daughters and three sons. Two years after Fᴀʟʟɪɴɢ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ with Rhiannan, their daughter Lacy was born, now 12 – followed quickly by Mackenzie, 10, Skylar, nine, Henley, seven, twins Cobi and Parker, six, Hadley, four, River, three, Ocean, two, Navy, five months and Hallie, who was sᴛɪʟʟʙᴏʀɴ ʟᴀsᴛ year.
Nicole and Joseph Sutton met back in 2005, they ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ think children were on the cards for them and were picturing a quiet life together. Nicole recalling: “Sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ was my first reaction when I Fᴏᴜɴᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ I was ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ with Rhiannon. I had the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴇᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛ so I ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ expected to Fᴀʟʟ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. We ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ Fɪɴᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ until I was already four months gone. I took ᴀ ᴛᴇsᴛ because I was ᴘᴜᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴡᴇɪɢʜᴛ on, but I ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ thought it would be ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ. I had ɴᴏ ɪᴅᴇᴀ how we would manage but any child is a blessing so we ᴊᴜsᴛ ʀᴏʟʟᴇᴅ with it. The more I had, the more I loved it.” They all live together in a three-bedroom home in Aspatria, Cumbria. And even though visions of fancy cars were swapped for a 17-seater mini bus, the couple say they could ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ have dreamed of being so happy, and love their big family. Having so many children has meant that the couple have to be super organised and Nicole is often in charge of keeping things ᴜɴᴅᴇʀ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟ during the day, with Joseph taking over for the bedtime routine. Organised mother Nicole lays out toothbrushes, school uniforms and dishes for breakfast in the evening, wakes up at six before getting the children up at seven to spend an hour dressing the eldest eight kids, doing the school run and spending the day with the youngest three. Nicole spends half an hour making 12 beds, washes three loads of washing a day and hoovers five times every day. All food shopping is done online with an average of 12 baskets being delivered weekly.
Nicole said: ” It’s all about routine, everything is laid out the night before, uniforms, toothbrushes, dishes. I gave up on ironing years ago and just use the dryer. I pick the kids up and we eat at five, so I set the plates out while dinner is cooking and assign everyone to seats. Six fit at the table in the kitchen, three in high chairs and the rest sit on the sofa for some peace and quiet. It’s ᴀʙsᴏʟᴜᴛᴇ ᴍᴀᴅɴᴇss. I make ʜᴜɢᴇ batches of spaghetti Bolognese and roast dinners so every meal is like Christmas dinner but sometimes I’ll chuck in chicken nuggets and chips. Don’t we all. Picking up toys is constant and Joseph does the bath and bed routine because he leaves before the kids wake up so misses all the action. Friday is usually the ᴡᴏʀsᴛ washing day because I have to do the PE kits so that’s an extra two washes and Saturday is bed changing day so there’s even more washing but it’s all fun.”
The pair say their ʙɪɢ ʙʀᴏᴏᴅ attracts attention when they go out of the house and Nicole has made t-shirts with numbers on to make sure they are all accounted for. The family fork out £1,500 a year on school uniform alone, and live in a three-bed house after converting one of the downstairs rooms into a bedroom. Nicole said: “When we’re out I’m constantly head counting without even thinking. I just seen us as a normal family with a few extra running around. Parenting is the same for us all whether we have one or 12, we are all just doing our best.”
After having their youngest, Navy, five months ago, the couple, who have been together for 15 years have decided not to add anymore members to the family. Joseph said: “We aren’t planning on having anymore, I think we’ve got enough and Nicole has made the decision that we don’t need anymore. When we had Navy, it ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ really make a difference having another one apart from space wise.”