Think Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are the only ones who make having unusually large families look like a walk in the park? Meet their British counterparts, the Radfords, a family with 19 kids and who are already thinking about having one more.
Like the Duggars, Noel and Sue Radford are no strangers to reality TV. They starred in the British Channel 4 documentary 16 Kids and Counting and have only continued to expand their family since finding television fame. They recently gave birth to baby No. 19, a healthy girl they named Phoebe-Willow, and despite the fact that their eldest child is 27 (Sue, who is now 41, gave birth for the first time when she was 14), they are already thinking about having another child. The big 2-0.
Phoebe-Willow joins her nine brothers and nine sisters, the second-youngest of whom is 13-month-old Hallie, yet neither of these parents looks even remotely stressed out in their photographs. This while many of us are losing our minds trying to figure out how to chauffeur three kids to soccer, dance and karate or how to help one kid pay for college when tuition is $35,000 a year.
The Radfords are now, officially, Britain’s largest family. They live in a former care home in Morecambe, Lancashire, located on the country’s west coast. They own a bakery and have reportedly never asked for government benefits to take care of their children — had to add that detail because plenty of people will probably make the erroneous assumption that they are being reckless and leaving it to taxpayers to foot their diaper bill. Because you now probably want to hire both Noel and Sue as your new financial advisers, here are the details on the cold, hard cash involved in raising so many kids: They reportedly spend £30,000 a year on their children — which includes £100 per child on their birthdays and between £100 and £250 on Christmas. Their grocery bill is £250 per week (approximately $329), and the family eats two boxes of cereal each day as well as 18 pints of milk and three loaves of bread.
But forget the financial details of raising a really big family for a second. Can Noel and Sue kindly provide weekly video updates on how they avoid losing their ever-living shit every day?
How they manage to not lock their kids in the car each morning, how they bake a single tart without having to stop 30 times to change a diaper or break up a feud over stolen choo choo trains? Oh, and tips for providing homework help would be nice, as would valuable information on how they shower and find time to sleep and have sex.
In a nutshell, America could really use another Radford reality TV show, but make it heavy on the child-rearing advice and light on scandal, please.
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