Mom of 10!
Think you are always busy? Juleiga Petersen has 10 kids, and wouldn’t want it any other way.
I moved into my neighbourhood about 2 years ago. Enough time to get to know the neighbours. I found it odd that the corner house was always very busy with lots of people coming in and out. Until eventually I discovered that Aunty Leigie has 10 children.

That made me really want to meet her and get to know how on earth she managed to raise 10 kids. Luckily for me she’s a very friendly lady who always greets you when she sees you. So one day I went over to her house to ask her a couple of questions. At first she was a bit nervous but after she tasted my lovely koeksisters I ended up spending over 2 hours at her house.

Here’s what we talked about…

How old where you when you had your first child?

How old is your eldest?
36, and the baby, 16

Did you plan to have 10 kids?
No, I was sterilised after my 4th child.

Huh? Are you serious?
Yes, I only discovered I wasn’t when I was pregnant with my 5th, which ended up in miscarriage. I actually had 2 miscarriages before I fell pregnant with my 5th child 3 years later. Doctors assured me my sterilisation process was 100% successful. (That was almost 25 years ago.)

What was it like to raise 10 kids?
I loved it! It did have its challenges, but it was worth it in the end.

Where did you find the time to clean your house?
Well, my 2 eldest had turns with the kitchen, I’d bath all of them together and my husband would assist with the laundry.
How did the sleeping arrangements work?
We had 3 double bunks in the kids’ room, 2 shared a bed and by the time I was pregnant for the 11th time I discovered it was twins.

What! Twins!
Yes, my husband was actually thrilled.

And you?
Well, I was numb, shocked, grateful, and thankful. A whole lot of mixed emotions!

Was it always noisy?
Yes, and it still is, I cannot imagine being in a house where you can hear every footstep.

Did you always want so many kids?
Well, I thought having 4 children would be a big family. Clearly my creator had bigger plans for me.

How did you find time to give each child individual attention?
I can’t remember! Well, if it’s any consolation, they’re not complaining about a lack of it.

How many kids are still living in your house?

Would you do it again if you had a choice?
After being sterilised, it was clear that I didn’t have a choice in this matter. But I’m happy things turned out the way it did, 4 kids would have been too little.

Do you have a big family? How has it impacted your life?

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