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One of Eight: what it was like to grow up in a big family
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One of Eight: what it was like to grow up in a big family

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What is it really like growing up in a large family? Here at Atmo we had the pleasure of interviewing Leah who is 32 and knows what it is like to be a big sister and a little sister. Leah is the third eldest in a family of eight siblings, here are a few experiences from her childhood that she shared with us, maybe you can relate to some of them...

"My childhood had so many unusual aspects, every memory has a back story that could never be explained in just a few sentences!"

The Sean Bean meme springs to mind...

How did people react when they were told you were one of eight?

"Once people find out you have 7 siblings there are always a few things that they want to know, and you already know the list of questions, in order, before they do!

Yes! I can remember all seven names and birthdays. This question in particular always fathomed me, as if I was going to wake up one morning and not remember a couple of siblings names because, well, we’ve just not seen each other for a while!

Yes... we all have the same parents.

No... we’re not Catholic or Mormon.

Yes...we all get on with each other.

Yes...if you must, you can try again to recite back to me all the children’s names and ages in birth order."

What was it like, doing simple things like leaving the house in the morning?

"Well, Loading an estate car up with 6/7 children (at the time) meant some of us had to sit in the boot, which was far more exciting than sitting in the normal seats, to the point that this was a regular argument/race for the boot! Given it was the 90’s, unlike today, children weren’t required to have a booster seat up until the age of 12, and police officers didn’t seem too bothered to see 3 to 4 children sharing the boot. A simple “yes” to the question, “Are they all strapped in, in the back?” Was apparently good enough!"

Did your parents ever struggle to keep track of you all? 

"When out and about it’s hard to keep track of a large brood, but it’s also hard to miss a large brood, It wasn’t just my parents that used to count us, we’d quite often laugh when we spotted other families discreetly counting us. We once counted 9 children sitting in a car on the Motorway whilst they counted our (then 6)"

Did having a lots of brothers and sisters mean you were better or worse at sharing? 

"Keeping your things safe, looked after, and where you left them is hard enough when you have one annoying sister, now imagine having three! You might expect to share a bedroom, but when you buy, hide, and save your new skirt for a special occasion, you don’t expect to find it on your sister!"

Are you all still close today?

"One of the nicest things about being in a big family is you’re never alone. From growing up as a group of children that played together, to now, as adults taking every opportunity to hang out as a family, the things you went through with your siblings is something that only they get, because they went through it too. whether good or bad your experiences teach you life lessons that cement your relationships for life. So yes, I would say we will always be close because of this."

A photograph of Leah on her wedding day, with all of her Siblings


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