It takes a village to raise a child, but for the Bonell family out of Queensland, it’s quite the opposite – it takes just two adults to raise a village of 16 children.
And they make it look incredibly easy.
As one of Australia’s largest families (with 16 kids, ranging from ages 26 to two), there is certainly never a dull moment at the Bonell household. And parents, Jeni and Ray wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, they are happy to go again. Because, when you have 16 mouths to feed, what’s one more?
Happy Birthday to a truely incredible Mum. You inspire us each and every day x we love you so much <3 <3 <3
Jeni and Ray, who reside in Toowoomba, never expected to have so many children but they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Their kids, Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Karl, Samuel, Cameron, Sabrina, Timothy, Brandon, Eve, Nate, Rachel, Eric, Damian and Katelyn are all singletons and there is no more than two years between any of the siblings. Plus, three of their older children are engaged so grandkids will most likely be in the picture soon.
With so many children, the family have a birthday to celebrate every three weeks.
Like every other parent in Australia, when I first came across the Bonell family through a story on Sunrise, I thought to myself, how in the hell do they do it?
And the answer? Organisation. It’s all about the organisation.
The family rely on rosters, colour-coded charts and shared family duties to ensure the housework gets done, the homework gets completed and the household remains happy. They have converted an old school bus into their family vehicle and admit that running the household does involve a bit of “military precision”.
“Each room is themed and it’s colour coordinated so I know what linen goes in what room,” Jeni explains on Sunrise. There’s the Jungle Room, the Princess Room, the Fairy Room, the Ocean Room and the Bear Room.
However, it’s not just Mum and Dad who are busy. Every one of the children pitch in with the chores. The household runs much like a community and there is plenty of laughter, love and hugs!
But, at the end of the day, it’s Mum who rules the roast. As Ray boasts, “Under her guidance, her motivation, her organisational skills, the household really runs itself.”
There is one other critical ingredient that allows the family to run so well. And that is support.
There are “plenty of hugs, plenty of company,” Jeni says. “You’ve always got somebody to talk to.”
Managed to get 11 kids together for the Santa photoThanks Tamara for a great pic :-)
If any of the kids have a problem or an issue, it’s not just Mum and Dad they can turn to. They have a household of siblings who are there to offer help, comfort and advice.
And this is what makes family such a powerful thing.
I want to say thank you to the young "P" plate driver who yelled out at us on our holiday.We were pulled up at a set of…
Meet the Queensland family so big they have a birthday every three weeks.More: http://bit.ly/weekendsun7#sun7
Posted by Sunrise on Sunday, 11 September 2016
Check out some of our other featured families, including the Aussie mum of seven boys…and another one of the way, as well as the family with a set of triplets and twins, born only seven months apart.
And, if you’re looking for an excuse to add to your clan, make sure you check why more kids is actually easier (and more fun!).
(Top image via Facebook)