The Courier-Mail

It’s all the loves and challenges of parenthood … just multiplied a lot

- JACKIE SINNERTON

THEIR five-bedroom house on the hill may be packed to the rafters but the Thomsons wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hannah and Grant are mum and dad to 10 children, aged between five months and 20, all living under their roof at Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast.

To make it work, five of their seven daughters sleep in the converted garage.

The weekly grocery shop is more than $700, they drink nearly four litres of milk and eat two loaves of bread per day and their washing machine is on an endless cycle. The family vehicle is a 12-seater van and watching their kids play sport is an all-day event.

This is not your average Queensland family.

“People ask me that all the time – if I own a TV – when they hear that my wife Hannah and I chose to have 10 children. Many are surprised that we are not a blended family,” the 50-year-old Gold Coast business consultant said.

“It is a bit like The Waltons, it takes me a long time to say my goodnights at bedtime.

“When we pile out of our van at the park or out for the day – we certainly attract some attention.”

While the family is one child short of creating a cricket or football team, Grant and Hannah, 42, have finished having babies. “We thought we would stop at five but then it was a case of let’s just have one more and we kept doing that until we hit 10,” he said.

“The hard part of raising a large family is in the early years, but honestly as the older kids grow and are happy to help with younger siblings things fall into place more easily. And of course Hannah is the backbone of the family and is highly organised and has trained the kids beautifull­y to be involved in household duties.”

He admits that raising the brood needs a hefty budget.

Hannah has always been a stay-at-home mum and the couple has had its fair share of financial problems.

“I have made millions and I have lost millions. We were very unlucky a few years back when we lost businesses that we owned back in Christchur­ch after the earthquake. We were living on the Gold Coast at the time but we are originally from New Zealand,” he said.

“Things are looking up again and I am working really hard to restore solid financial stability for my family.

“It is during the tough times that you realise that your riches are under your roof. My family mean more to me than anything.”

At one time the Thomsons had seven children in private school but it was a big financial strain.

“I spent a lot of money on education so we decided as a family to try home schooling. The kids have really excelled and Hannah has been in complete control and does a great job. It makes things a lot easier than the logistics of getting everyone to school,” he said.

Hannah and Grant get up at 5.30am to prepare for the day ahead.

The family all sit down at the table for breakfast, usually prepared by Summer-Rose, 10, before everyone heads off for their day.

“The little kids are not allowed to leave their rooms before 7am,” Mr Thomson said.

“That is the rule. It gives Hannah and me the chance

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