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A family bus, a dozen eggs a day, and a 5.30am start – the truth about having eight kids

Primary school teacher and author Geraldine Meade from Furbo, Co Galway is facing the daunting task of home-schooling her large family – but, she says, with a bit of planning she still makes time for herself

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Geraldine Meade with her children Fionn (13), Caoilfhionn (6), Dylan (14), Cuán (8), Aébfhinn (17), Fiachra (10), Caoimhe (11), Cormac (16) and husband Johnny Murphy. Photo: Alice Downes, Xposure

Geraldine Meade with her children Fionn (13), Caoilfhionn (6), Dylan (14), Cuán (8), Aébfhinn (17), Fiachra (10), Caoimhe (11), Cormac (16) and husband Johnny Murphy. Photo: Alice Downes, Xposure

Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

Geraldine Meade with her children Fionn (13), Caoilfhionn (6), Dylan (14), Cuán (8), Aébfhinn (17), Fiachra (10), Caoimhe (11), Cormac (16) and husband Johnny Murphy. Photo: Alice Downes, Xposure

“I grew up on a farm in Laois. There were nine kids in the family and I was slap-bang in the middle.

My parents lived from milk cheque to milk cheque but we never wanted for anything. We all worked on the farm and played with each other all the time. It was a pretty amazing upbringing and I think it’s one of the reasons why I chose to have a large family too.

My husband Johnny and I met in our early twenties and we were together for a good few years before we started a family. I knew I wanted a few kids and I knew I wanted them close together in age. Johnny was very much of the same mindset.


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