A mom never planned to have a big family , but as soon as she had her first baby she completely fell in love with being a mum. Courtney Rogers, 36, from Santa Fe County, New Mexico, mom of 11 who has just given birth to her newest baby by ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ C-Section is already hoping to have a 12th child in the future. She admitted she will be sad when she ғɪɴᴀʟʟʏ sᴛᴏᴘs having children. Courtney and husband Chris first met at a church camp in Georgia in 2007, and tied the knot one year later. Five months after ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀʏɪɴɢ their first baby together, Courtney fell pregnant again, with their firstborn son, Clint, 11, Clay, 10, Cade, eight, Callie, eight, Cash, six, six-year-old twins Colt and Case, Calena, four, Caydie, three, Coralee, two, and Caris, nine months.
Courtney delivered her 11th child, Caris Audrey, on November 28, 2020, and needed an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ C-Section, because her baby was in ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssand ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs ғᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ her daughter was ɴᴏᴛ getting enough ᴏxʏɢᴇɴ. Once delivered, Caris, her ʙɪɢɢᴇsᴛ ever baby at 9lb 3oz, needed to spend 15 days in the newborn ɪɴᴛᴇɴsɪᴠᴇ ᴄᴀʀᴇ unit (ⓃⒾⒸⓊ). But now Caris is happily home, bonding with her six brothers and four sisters, all aged between 10 and one. Courtney is thinking of adding to her brood, although this time she would like ᴀ ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇᴄᴏᴠᴇʀ first. She said: “I love being a mother and I would really like to have another one. We’ll probably wait a year or two to try.”
The life of a large family is not easy. The family lives on a 12 acre plot, spending around $1,200. She has revealed she spends £975-a-month on the food shop and only has one child-free date every year. They have six boys and four girls aged between nine months and ten years, all of whom are home-schooled and ferried around their neighborhood in a 15 seater van. The kids wear hand-me-down clothes and shoes, with stay-at-home mum Courtney hitting the sales to save money. But they still go on holiday every year, camping near their family in Georgia, 1,500 miles away, with the trip costing £812 on travel and expenses. The couple also never buy Christmas presents for each other, so they can afford to spend $100 each – £812 total – on their brood.
Every day Courtney wakes up with Coralee at 7.30am, gets the other children up and ready, and prepares the family’s breakfast of cereal and fruit for 8am. The older children all have chores and help to clear up after breakfast, before starting classes – having a break after a few hours to help out with the farm. Everyone mucks in to make a simple lunch of sandwiches or leftovers, before the younger children have a nap and the others watch a film or do their chores. Chris is usually back from work for dinner, but sometimes works late, doing odd jobs around the town, like building, landscaping or helping with renovations, to bring in extra cash.
Now the clan is adjusting well to being a family of 13 and settling back into an everyday routine, with the parents home-educating all the children over four or five years old – and working on their small farm. Courtney said: ” We do plan on homeschooling all of them, so we haven’t been ᴀғғᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ at all by the school ᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇs in the ᴘᴀɴᴅᴇᴍɪᴄ. They get a lot of time outdoors too and this year we want to grow our farm a little bit more. We weren’t ɪᴍᴘᴀᴄᴛᴇᴅ too much but some other big ғᴀᴍɪʟɪᴇs sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇᴅ with the ʟɪᴍɪᴛs at the grocery stores – that was ʜᴀʀᴅᴇʀ on big families because we have a lot more people to feed. We are growing our farm and want to be able to produce all our own meat, so we don’t have to worry about that. Now we are back in school and everybody has settled again. For the last two to three years, we do school all year. We do it in the summer and on Saturday and Sunday if we have to.”
But for Courtney, having a big family makes all the busyness and expense worth it. She said: “I don’t know why I like it so much – I don’t think I ever imagined having this many children when we got married. I just knew that I wanted children and when I became a mother, I realized how much I loved it. We want to have more if we can. We want to have 12 children, a family of 14 even. My husband is the eldest of 10, so before we got married, he joked about having as many as his mum had. The kids want us to be like the film Cheaper by the Dozen, where the parents compromise their careers to raise 12 children. Having several kids in diapers at once and having lots of strollers is normal life to us.” She added:” I do not regret having so many children – the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. Chris and I love being parents and, as a family, we have a great time together.”