A 12-year-old mom has shared the cruel comments she’s been getting online from mean trolls about her family and how she’s learned to brush them off.
Zoe Sullivan shares her life as a mother to nine girls and three boys, including two twins, on social media, but is often judged by people who claim she uses her children as a “cash cow” and even “starves” them.
Users have attacked the 44-year-old for comments about her children’s weight and that it is “irresponsible” to keep having children, but the mother has learned to shut out the noise.
Zoe’s brood consists of Elizabeth, 18, Olivia, 16, twins Isabelle and Charlotte, 15, Noah, 13, Evangeline, 11, Tobias, 10, twins Leah and Erin, seven, Agnes, five, Joseph, four, and baby Florence, An.
The Scottish mother told The sun people criticize her and her husband Ben, 48, for having such a large family, but said the children are well looked after.
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Zoe Sullivan (pictured) shares her life as a mother of 12 on social media but is often judged by people who claim she uses her children as a ‘cash cow’ and even ‘starves’ them
Zoe’s brood consists of Elizabeth, 18, Olivia, 16, twins Isabelle and Charlotte, 15, Noah, 13, Evangeline, 11, Tobias, 10, twins Leah and Erin, seven, Agnes, five, Joseph, four, and baby Florence, An
“We provide them financially, mentally, physically…we provide everything they need,” she said.
“For us it is not irresponsible (to have so many children).”
Zoe said she used to take the mean comments as a “personal attack,” but has gotten better at ignoring the negativity while sharing her family life online.
The mother has been open about her battle with internet bullies on Instagram, but says she is proud of each of her “beautiful, kind, thoughtful” children.
“I spent so many years trying to justify having a large family, sometimes almost apologizing for going against society’s ‘norms’. The truth is, I never liked being ‘normal’ anyway,” she said in a video.
The mother has been open about her battle with online bullies on Instagram, saying she is proud of each of her “beautiful, kind, considerate” children
Zoe said she used to take the mean comments as a “personal attack,” but she’s gotten better at ignoring the negative comments now that she’s sharing her family life online
The parents spend £200 or AU$378 each week on food and groceries, which she says is a struggle to save, and usually have their Christmas budgets in order every May
Zoe saves hacks
The mom of 12 revealed the simple hacks she uses to save money.
- Shops in the evening for discounted items
- Got savings cards for supermarkets to get extra offers
- Only use the washing machine once a day
- Don’t use the tumble dryer if she can
- Only buys meat for two meals a week
- Reuse whatever food she has left over
- Instead of going to the cinema, invest in a family TV subscription
- Take family excursions to beautiful places next to the house instead of traveling
- Give me clothes
“I used to find myself constantly trying to explain that I was the butt of people’s jokes and had to put up with the same horrible comments over and over again. The fact is, we couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful family we’ve created.”
In another after she hit back at her critics, warning them not to “question her loyalty to her children” or “want their best interests at heart.”
“Our whole life is about doing better for them, giving them the best life we can, and we may not be where we want to be yet, but we’re working hard every day to try and get there!” she said.
The parents spend £200 or AU$378 a week on food and groceries, which she says is a struggle to save, and usually have their Christmas budgets in order every May.
Ben works to provide an income for the family of 14, while Zoe stays home to look after the kids and “immediately” takes on household chores when he comes home each day.
Zoe, who has been pregnant for a total of seven and a half years of her life, admits that neither she nor Ben “knew what they were doing” when they welcomed their eldest Elizabeth 18 years ago.
“I’ve never gotten to a point where I’ve gone, ‘actually I don’t want any more’.” I think that part of me is broken,” she said.
“Each pregnancy has been a very special time, not just for me but for everyone.”