Single mum gives birth to tenth child

Sonya and her children
Sonya and her children

With nine children already single mum Sonya O’Loughlin certainly has her hands full caring for her massive brood.

Unable to work because of her parenting commitments, Sonya and her children live in a four-bedroom council flat in Southampton.

Her family is made up of Nicola, 19, Leah, 17, Shannon, 16, Keon, 14, Erin, 13, Kye, 10, Cana, seven, Lewis, five, and one-year-old Lexi.

Devoted mum Sonya makes every meal for her children from scratch, despite living on a very tight budget.

And getting so many children to school on time is a military operation every morning.

Sonya does admit that being both mum and dad to so many young people isn’t without its challenges.

But she stresses that people shouldn’t underestimate how difficult it can be to be mum to such a big family.

Sonya said: “People say I haven’t got a proper job but I would love to see people do my job.

“They would quit after just one day.”

Her children realise how hard Sonya works and insist they are grateful for everything she does.

Sonya’s day starts at around 6:30am, when she starts getting the kids up for school.

However, there’s an added complication when it comes to breakfast as Sonya only owns three bowls.

The kids have to eat in shifts – and as soon as one group finishes their breakfast it’s the turn of the next trio.

When they’re all in class, Sonya has to head to the supermarket to do the family’s weekly shop.

Budgeting is absolutely key to make sure the family stay financially afloat.

Sonya relies on benefits, which includes £460 in child tax credit and has to make her money stretch with £179 going on rent and £130 being spent on food every week.

But Sonya has a genuis plan to make her money go as far as possible.

She said: “I have to buy everything in bulk. My money all goes on the children.

“It goes in their bellies and for anything else I can afford to pay for them. It never goes in my back pocket.”

Feeding so many mouths, with every meal being made from scratch , could be a challenge – but Sonya is super organised when it comes to meal times.

She explained: “You don’t give children a choice about what they eat, otherwise it’d be like I was running a restaurant.

“I make everything from scratch, it can sometimes cost a little more but then I know what’s gone into it and I want them to eat well.”

Despite being warned about the serious health risks of having another baby, Sonya is determined to become a mum for the 10th time.

Medical problems can include high blood pressure, haemorrhaging and can lead to a more dangerous delivery.

Having given birth so many times before, Sonya isn’t worried.

And the mum admits she has never used a condom.

She said: “Some people say they’re allergic to condoms, I can’t say that because I’ve never used one.”

Sonya had a gruelling 13 hour labour with baby number 10, Daniel, but it was back to normality as soon as she’s back home, cooking meals and keeping up with the washing.

Having a new baby in the house doesn’t phase Sonya’s older children, who are more than used to new arrivals.

Eldest daughter, Nicola, says: “It doesn’t feel weird to have a newborn in the house, it just feels normal.”