tell me your story: Planning with Kids

Today I have the lovely Nicole aka Planning Queen from Planning with Kids here on retro mummy telling me her story. I can only hope to be as organised as she is as a mother to 5. 
My husband and I always thought we would have at least four kids. We said we would see how we felt after each child and make sure we were all doing okay. From the moment our fourth child was born, I knew that our family still had room for one more.

At this point we had a son aged 7.5, another son 5 years old, our daughter was 2.5 years old and obviously our new born baby son. At first my husband said he felt that four was enough. I can still remember the longing I had to have another baby. Out of the blue one day, my husband told me he thought we would regret it if we didn’t at least try for another baby.
Thankfully we conceived quite quickly and our last beautiful baby boy was born in January 2009. He is now three and a half and I very much feel that our family is complete.
The questions I am most often asked about the size of our family are:
Are they all yours?
Sometimes yes to this question and sometimes no! We have lots of friends and cousins hang out with us, so often I will have more than five kids with me.
Did you plan on having all these children?
Yes! As I have just explained above.
How do you cope?
I often explain it is a bit like marathon training. You don’t just get up one day and run 42.1kms. It takes time and training. Same with having five kids. We don’t have any multiples like Corrie does, so we had time to adjust, work out processes, plans etc in between each child so we could manage the additional work load and the fun!
I am also a massive planner (hence my blog title Planning With Kids!):
  • I make monthly menu plans, which all of the kids contribute to. I have even created a menu planning app which makes this task so much easier!

  • The kids have schedules available to reference, so they can get themselves ready for school.

  • The kids have jobs in the morning and evening that they need to do. I am very big on kids doing age appropriate work around the house.

  • My husband and I very much work as a team, making sure we support each so we both have time to follow our own interests and stay fit.

Are you having more?
While I would welcome and adore any baby that made its way into our life, under these circumstances, five kids is definitely the right size for our family. I think every parent knows their limit and for me, I feel with five kids I can still be the mother I want to be and enjoy some activities of my own. Any more and I am not sure this would be the case.
And if you’d like to share your story with my lovely readers then just email it to me with a photo. Try to keep it under 500 words and email me on I’d love to hear from you.


  1. Lovely family photo (I know how rare these can be!)

    We have 4 boys and have considered having number 5, but at the moment I do feel content with 4. In time that may change.

  2. Thanks so much for having me Corrie. Hope your family is doing well.

    iSophie, this is one of the very rare decent photos of us all together!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nicole and Corrie, 2 very positive and passionate and lovely mums of 5 – great post Nicole and great choice Corrie = I love you both!!

  4. lovely post. My husband and I said we would have 3-5 kids as sometimes I dont think you can choose a definate number. We have four girls and are very happy with that. People always say ‘how many kids are you going to have?” when are you having more etc all through my parenting life (even when you just have one!) our answer was always ‘one at a time!” so we didnt have to have a definate number and be sad if we didnt make it there :) so I agree with your feelings on the subject!

  5. What a lovely story. I always say that Mums of 3 or more children should be in charge of the military once their kids grow up. They have more experience in strategic planning and diplomatic relations than anyone in the world. My hubby and I always talked about having 3 or 4. However after the arrival of our second little mr 6 months ago that wont be happening. People say to give it time and I may change my mind but as you say you just know when you have hit your limit. Thanks for all the planning tips x

  6. Oh Nicole, lovely, just lovely. This is fantastic. I knew our family was complete with 4 children (with a different husband-job & having 4 children in 4 years, if my husband wasn’t in the Army & actually around, i would loved to have 6 children) on my own with these 4, that is the perfect & they are growing up together. My first 4 are like Corrie’s, single, twins, single, that is the quick way to get to 4 children & i absolutely loved it. Now my youngest is 8.5 years old i have zero regrets about stopping when we did, i’m extremely satisfied about our number & how we manage them. Private school times 4 children & i’m a housewife, we’ve been planning that since they were born. We mummies with many are planners, it’s my full time job!!
    Delighted to read more about Nicole, my husband & i are a great team too, when he’s in the same city/ state/ country as me!! Love Posie

  7. what a lovely post and a beautiful family.

  8. @This Girl loves to Talk – I am from a family of four girls and I adore my sisters!

    @LIveseygirl – “strategic planning and diplomatic relations” – I love that.

    @Posie Patchwork – team work is the key and your family must work brilliantly as a team.

    @Dian – thank you!

  9. @This Girl loves to Talk – I am from a family of four girls and I adore my sisters!

    @LIveseygirl – “strategic planning and diplomatic relations” – I love that.

    @Posie Patchwork – team work is the key and your family must work brilliantly as a team.

    @Dian – thank you!

  10. I too have a ‘large; family. Numbers 1-4 all 21 months apart (that part wasn’t planned!) and number 5 7years later. i had always wanted 6 children but after the fourth I knew I couldn’t cope with another baby but after 5 years the yearning hadn’t stopped. Soooo…. my husband had a reversal and along came number 5. There was supposed to be a number 6 so they would have company whilst growing up but mother nature had other ideas. I always say after you have 2 you can cope with a dozen. Now we have 10 grandchildren (4 naturally our and 6 step grandchildren) who are just lovely to have VISIT…. because it is so nice to have our peace and quiet when they go home!! And they are all so well behaved when with us. must be because we taught our 5 so well!!

  11. Another lovely post regarding a large family! I am one of four girls and I now have three children which we felt was the perfect fit for us…I have had to really learn the strategy of juggling a large family, even with three I am asked “are they all yours” I think to myself it’s not that uncommon! So inspiring to read about positive parenting and strategies, love this series Corrie and have always loved the ‘Planning with kids’ blog too..xx

  12. Such a lovely family and thank you for your tips on running a smooth day! I have 3 children, 7,5 and 2.5yrs old and although I would have loved to have had more and we did seriously think about it this year, I think being the age of 42 is the reminder that I am not getting younger! I am blessed to have my 3 and am fulfilled in my mothering!

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