A MUM-of-11 has revealed that her and her RAF husband rely on a military-style routine to keep their kids under control – and it can take HOURS to prepare.
Zoe and Ben Sullivan live in their Scottish seaside home with their 11 children: Elizabeth, 14, Olivia, 12, Noah, Evangeline, Tobias, Agnes and Joseph and two sets of twins, Charlotte and Isabelle and Leah and Erin.
The couple can spend hours preparing to leave the house with their 11 kids[/caption]
Appearing on 5star’s Me & My 10 kids, the parents revealed how they spend hours prepping packed lunches and labelling every sandwich so some of their fussier children don’t go hungry.
RAF engineer Ben says he understands the importance of discipline from his work in the armed forces and that it has influenced his approach to family life.
Acknowleding how his military training has affected his parenting style, Ben – who joined the military when he was 21 – said: “Everybody knows where they’ve got to be and what they’ve got to be doing at any given time.”
And when they’re not rushing out the door to go on a family picnic, the devoted dad explained how “high pressure” mealtimes even have a strict routine.
RAF engineer Ben has mastered meal prep – and labels each of the packed lunches for his kids[/caption]
The parents spent three hours preparing to leave the house for a family picnic[/caption]
He said: ““The quantities are measured equally and they are issued accordingly – according to rank in the house and age.”
Preparations at home for days out can take the Sullivans hours and 12-year-old Olivia is only too happy to give her mum and dad a helping hand.
She says that she does not mind doing jobs and chores with her parents and that having a big family was “fun and nice” rather than hard.
The children are served through a window in the kitchen – almost like school lunches[/caption]
The couple say meal times can be ‘high pressure’[/caption]
Mum, Zoe, was full of praise for her daughter, saying that she is “exactly on my wavelength”.
Zoe explains that all of the family helping each other is a crucial part of making things run smoothly in the Sullivan household.
For instance, the parents divide their 11 children into two people-carriers whenever they’re out and about – with the younger kids going with Zoe while the oldest drive in Ben’s car.
But even with their military-style preparation, it still takes the couple a total of three hours to prepare for a day out to the beach.
The family have to travel everywhere in two cars[/caption]
The couple gave up on the idea of a picnic after it started raining[/caption]
Zoe said: “We are completely a team. If we don’t work together as a team, none of this would work.”
But sometimes, even the strongest of teams face their challenges.
After a day out to the beach is spoiled by grey cloud and non-stop rain, even a trip to a café is off the cards for the family as their tight budget prevents the parents from treating their little ones to a sweet treat.
In an honest moment, Ben opened up about the how struggle of stretching his salary to provide for his 11 children makes him wish he could earn more money.
Instead, they returned home for a picnic in the garden[/caption]
He said: “The hardest thing about having 11 children is the financial side of things. It’s having enough money to do what you want to do.
“That’s the one thing I’d say that I wish I could improve is our budget.”
Luckily, the weather cleared up later for the family-of-13 to enjoy their picnic in the garden at home – right back where they began.
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