| 14.9°C Belfast

Close

Premium

Home alone with our army of kids... how big Northern Ireland families are coping with life in lockdown

Homeschooling, keeping the children entertained and even working from home is challenging for any parent but what if you have an exceptionally large family? Leona O'Neill talks to three parents who are doing a very impressive balancing act

Close

Busy home: Dana Stockman, husband Darren and their 10 children

Busy home: Dana Stockman, husband Darren and their 10 children

Doing lessons

Doing lessons

Doing lessons

Doing lessons

Planned day: Tracie Cupples and her husband, Andrew

Planned day: Tracie Cupples and her husband, Andrew

The Cupples family during lockdown

The Cupples family during lockdown

The Cupples family during lockdown

The Cupples family during lockdown

Double the fun: twins Iris and James

Double the fun: twins Iris and James

Family unit: Ryan Tracey, wife Catherine and kids

Family unit: Ryan Tracey, wife Catherine and kids

The children having fun

The children having fun

Busy home: Dana Stockman, husband Darren and their 10 children

Dana Stockman (38) lives in Rasharkin in Co Antrim with her husband Darren (38), a butcher, and their 10 children - Joshua (16), Elena (13), Kyra (12), Darren (10), Kayla (9), PJ (7), Kacey (5), Fionn (3), Kayden (2) and Daithi who is three months.

Lockdown is going fine," says Dana. "Our oldest boy is 16-years-old and was at the tech, but he's in working with his daddy at the butcher's shop. The other nine children are getting on well at home.

"On a typical day during lockdown, I would get up at around 7.30am with the baby. I get him fed and changed and then get the other two smaller children up. The primary school children get up around 9am, get their breakfast and then start their schoolwork. The secondary school children come down at around 10am and it's the same thing.