I'm a mum of 16 & have eight teens all under one roof – how I keep on top of the housework and avoid living in mayhem | The Sun

WHILE most parents would agree it's hard keeping on top of the housework and looking after the kids, spare a thought for super mum, Kelly Green.

The mum, in her thirties, from Summerville, South Carolina, has a staggering 16 kids between the ages of 21 and one, with 14 – including EIGHT teens – all still living under her roof.

Stay-at-home mum Kelly and her childhood sweetheart husband Tim – who is in the military – live in a seven bed home, and Kelly runs a tight ship to ensure they are able to keep on top of the housework and chores.

The couple met in 2001 and married three years later, and their huge brood consists of a mix of both biological and adopted children.

The older kids are Amber, 21, Kayla, 20, and Morgan, 20.

They also have eight teens – Braylon, 16, Autumn, 16, Narly, 15, Emma, 14, Apple, 14, Neveah, 14, Slayton, 14, Kenneth, 14, then younger kids David, 11, Riley, nine, Charlie, four, Lucas, three and McKinley, one.

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Morning routine

Kelly – who shares her family life with over 600,000 followers on her TikTok account – tells Fabulous online: "My day starts at 5:30am and I do between three and four loads of laundry every day.

"I wake the kids up, make breakfast, get the elementary kids to school, then the middle school, and then high school. 

"We get through one gallon of milk in a day, one loaf of bread and spend about $600-$700 every two weeks on groceries."

In the evening, the whole family join in to get the house ready for the next day – a key part of staying on top of the chores.

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Kelly married her childhood sweetheart Tim, who is in the military, in 2004Credit: Kelly Green

Kelly says: "The evening routine consists of baths and showers.

"I do what I call a 'nightly round up', where I clean the house and reset everything so we aren't overwhelmed the next day, and each kid is given a specific task to do.

"I also have a daily routine and make sure I stick to it.

"At 10pm it's bedtime for me. "

Top tips

With so many mouths to feed, there's also a certain level of organisation and forward planning required for meal times too.

Kelly says: "For meal times, I recommend budgeting, and making sure you manage the money well.

"Meal prepping and planning what you are going to have.

"Go to the grocery store and shop for exactly what you need for the meals, especially with inflation it is important to not overbuy." 

To ensure each child stays on top of their homework, Kelly says: "I check their online grades every day so I know if someone doesn't turn something in on time to stay on top of their work.

"They need to fix their grade or assignment or we give consequences and until the grade is brought up the consequence stands." 

Family ambition

Growing up, Kelly always dreamed of being a mum from a young age, and loved dolls and helping looking after her siblings.

One of four, Kelly's mum also took in kids, which is something Kelly has also gone on to do too.

Kelly says: "Our plan initially was never to adopt, it was to foster.

"We started in 2019, to give the children stability for a short time.

"Unfortunately, our kids were unable to go home so we decided to adopt them as we were their safe space after a few years of being with us.

"Tim's mum had him at a young age so he had to grow up quickly and he didnt get to participate in many sports, so Tim has always coached or given rides to kids who may not have had them too."

'Motherhood found me'

Kelly admits it hasn't always been easy however, and when she first fell pregnant at the age of 17 being a teen mum was hard at first.

Kelly says: "Motherhood found me.

"Tim and I were teenagers when I found out I was pregnant so we had to navigate everything backwards, rely on our family and friends to finish school and college.

"We struggled because we were so young, trying to parent and learn life lessons at the same time."

Kelly says the best part of having such a large family is there's always something going on, and the support they're able to provide to each other.

She says: "There's never a dull moment!

"There is always somebody to depend on, and be there for each other – someone is always there for the highs and lows.

"The key to a happy household is family is always first.

"When all else fails, it doesn't matter what is going on, the family is the top of the pyramid."

'A large family is a sacrifice'

With all families – especially such a large one with so many members – there are of course challenges, and Kelly admits it can take its toll on her relationship with her husband.

Kelly says: "Having a large family is a sacrifice.

"Tim and I barely get alone time, and when we do we are worried about our children because they are our responsibility and no one else's.

"When we are away we are constantly worrying about where they are.

"The financial burden with the economy and how things are today is also stressful." 

Love wins

While the videos Kelly shares on TikTok and Instagram showcasing her family life receive some negativity from time to time, Kelly says they receive "more love than hate."

She says: "I think it isn't so much hate, more a lack of knowledge because they don't know how much we love our children and the sacrifice we put into it.

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"We are dedicating our whole life to our children, and our time will come where we don't have anyone we are dedicated to. 

"My husband would say we don't have any plans for anymore children… However I would say yes!"


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