A mother of seven has revealed how her family disapproves of her big brood while sharing the realities of parenting, which includes spending $2,500 a month on her kids.
Ashley Lillie, 30, and her 35-year-old husband, Chad, of Illinois, desperately tried to start a family for more than three years — but it wasn’t until May 2013 that they had their first child after undergoing fertility treatments.
The couple planned to try for another baby in an effort to complete their happy family before welcoming a daughter in April 2015.
And then, much to their surprise, Ashley got pregnant again and again – they transformed their once small family into a big brood and became a house of nine.
Mum of seven Ashley Lillie, 30, has revealed she spends $2,500 a month on her big brood and has been told she’s a ‘bad mom’
In an effort to share the travails of a family of nine, Ashley regularly uploads videos on TikTok
Currently, the couple is parents to Nolan, nine, Gracilyn, eight, Paisley and Presley, six, Scarlett, five, Bennett, two, and Clara, five months — and they spend more than $2,500 a month on food and supplies alone.
‘I am addicted to buying clothes and also to food [for the kids]that has been the most expensive part,” said the stay-at-home mom.
Ashley explained that they never expected to have as many children as they have had.
“Our family is just something that happened because we didn’t know how many kids we wanted. My plan was just one more [after our second] and have three kids, but then came the twins,’ she said.
“And honestly, what’s one more after four? I was in heaven.’
And while she feels like she’s overjoyed with her big family, her wallet isn’t so happy.
The mother of seven revealed that she and Chad don’t spend that much money, but there are months when they go overboard.
“I run errands for them every week, buy two or three outfits, and sometimes I do them sparingly,” she said.
Ashley got pregnant again and again, transforming their once small family into a big brood and becoming a house of nine
But she doesn’t care what anyone thinks because she’s in ‘heaven’ and even hopes to have more kids with husband Chad
“And then we do big stores twice a year in March and August where we spend about $1,000. The other months I estimate $300 [on clothes].
“In March, I went a little overboard and got into some more expensive, higher quality brands and probably spent close to $2,000.”
Ashley believes many people think more kids equals more chaos, but the mother-of-seven said it gets “easier” with each child.
“With every baby, you realize what you wasted money on before, so you don’t buy it again,” she said.
‘Babies aren’t really expensive if you don’t make them – you could use cloth diapers, breastfeed exclusively and make homemade wipes.
“I always sleep together and we usually have two or three kids in bed at night. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I don’t have little feet in my back anymore.
“Routine is also crucial to having your life together with a large family. When we get out of the routine, it’s chaos.”
The couple tried to start a family for more than three years, but it wasn’t until May 2013 that they had their first child after fertility treatments
They planned to try for another baby after this in an effort to complete their happy family and welcome a daughter in April 2015.
Ashley believes many people think more kids equals more chaos – but the mum-of-seven said it gets ‘easier’ with each child
While both their families are very supportive with the kids, Ashley claims they weren’t very accepting of their situation — and have asked them to “stop” having kids on multiple occasions.
“Our families aren’t very supportive of us if we want a big family, and they love the kids we have, but they wish we would stop,” she said.
‘We see both parties at least once a week and they are equally helpful.
“They’ll babysit when we need them or when we want a date night, while my in-laws buy snacks and a pack of formula each week.”
In an effort to share the trials and tribulations of a family of nine, Ashley regularly uploads videos on TikTok.
She captioned a viral clip, “The reality of having seven kids, an almost 20-year-old car and at least an hour round trip to get anywhere.”
She begins by revealing the back of her car, which is filled with food and other discarded items.
Then Ashley shows the car after a quick clean, where she filled two garbage bags.
After vacuuming, washing and detailing all windows, seats and panels, the vehicle will look like new again.
Users flocked to the comments section to share their reactions, with many praising the mom for her hard work — but there were those who weren’t quite so nice.
“That’s not the reality of having kids, that’s the reality of being a disgusting and irresponsible adult,” said one person.
Another commented, “That’s your problem, not the kids’.”
“So you haven’t cleaned it in seven years. Well good of you to do it now, well done mummy,” another wrote.
One reaction read: ‘Hell yeah! As a mother of five, I salute you. Look what you’ve accomplished in a day. Be proud of yourself.’
The mother of seven revealed that she and Chad don’t spend that much money, but there are months when they go overboard
While both their families are very supportive with the children, Ashley claims they are not very accepting of their situation and have asked them to “stop” having children.
Users flocked to the comments to share their reactions, with many praising the mom while others weren’t so nice
‘Delay. Did you even find time to clean your car with seven damn kids?! Madam. You’re not human. You are a superhero,” said another user.
Despite receiving mixed messages online and from family, Ashley says she’s not done having kids — and plans to make her brood an even number.
‘I’ve always said [we will have] 12, so I could have a dozen, but because of my health, we’re probably done after eight or ten,” she said.
“My husband’s boss has eight kids, including twins like us, and his family was the most supportive and accommodating of people.
“Pregnancies six and seven were tough and I was on the run for life several times, but his boss always gave him as much time as he needed.
“I love being a mother and our experience with each child has been amazing – pure bliss.”