Life with 14 children - Jane Anne McAllister
Ever since I was in preschool I have had a huge passion and love for babies. I remember a time where my mother use to take me with her to cut hair and I would just love playing with and helping take care of the clients’ babies; my dream back then was to become a Karitane Nurse. Everything changed however when I met my husband, Sam. We married and had our first child at a very young age. After that they just seemed to keep on coming!
I never envisioned myself having 14 children, but after the seventh or eighth I didn’t feel the need to stop. My approach to motherhood is simple; you must be firm but don’t sweat the small stuff. On a typical day when there were 9 children living at home, there were usually 8 loads of washing put on, 2 dryers constantly going and the dishwasher got put on at least 4 times, everyone always pitched in to ensure a smooth-running household. My children have gained more than what they have lost. They have developed great friendships within the family (not necessarily with the one closest in age), and have all grown into well-mannered adults with high standards of behaviour and respect for other people.
Growing up with a father that was an entrepreneur, he was always coming up with new ideas and teaching us everything about running a business. He was my biggest inspiration; it became natural to look at sewing as a business opportunity. I first started Dimples at my home at Titirangi, I wanted to make sure that I was always there to look after my children and be there when they needed me. When the business started to pick up I hired a Nanny to help with lunches and tidying the house. I always made sure that I put my family’s needs before the business, I would drop everything if they needed me and give them my undivided attention. It has been only until recently where the children are fully grown that I have been able to move the business away from our Titirangi home.
I have never felt I have missed out on anything. I have loved what I have done and I am a little sad to think those early days are gone. I love my children and family, and just like any other we have our ups and downs but I wouldn’t change a thing.