Parenting is already a full-time job, even when you only have one child. With 10 kids, we can’t even imagine where Pearl finds the time to brush her teeth let alone homeschool her kids and enter a beauty pageant while still juggling all her other responsibilities.
This mom has quite an impressive CV. She is a speaker and an author of three books on marriage, dating and raising children. She also has a YouTube channel, and along with her husband, John, she runs an African fashion label. The couple are also professional musicians.
We caught up with Pearl to find out a little more about her and to get her secret on how she manages to balance her busy life…
Are all 10 kids your biological children?
“Yes, they are all mine, biologically and, no, I’ve had no multiple births. Each one rode the bus in Mummy’s tummy all by himself or herself, with ample leg room.”
Pearl and husband John have 9 boys and only one girl, ranging in age from teenagers to a one-year-old. “I’m in love with my combination. People often wonder if I kept trying for a girl, but my girl came quite early in the mix, so it must mean that these many children were just in my destiny,” she says.
Have you always wanted a big family?
“I was an only child born to a mom who came from a large family of 11 children. Someone had to carry on my grandma’s legacy. I used to joke that I wanted a big family, and when I spoke seriously, I spoke about the proverbial two and a half children and the white picket fence. I guess that is why they say, be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.”
Pearl says the dynamics of a big family do take getting used to when you are the only one you’ve ever had to be concerned with. But she says John, who is the eldest of 5 kids, has helped her adjust to a big family.
Cooking dinner must be a nightmare?
“John always teases me that when I cook, I make designer meals that taste really good but we then have no leftovers the next day. He, on the other hand, has mastered the art of cooking delicious meals for an army and then still having leftovers for at least two days.”
Pearl says they have to buy catering sizes of most things, like pans and pots, and they really have to stock up on groceries. “We often get asked if we are shopping to retail. Luckily I spent a couple of years teaching my children how to cook and they enjoy it, so now I take care of the Sunday specials, my husband also cooks one day a week and for the rest of the week, the teenagers are in charge.”
Do you have a nanny or domestic worker?
“We haven’t had a helper for about 3 years and the thought of getting one is not a priority right now. We have such a flow that I’m not certain how someone else would fit into our world.”
What does a typical day look like in your household?
“We start the day and end the day in trenches. The younger ones are up last and they go to bed first. Also, only the young ones from ages six down (there are 5 of them) need to be bathed at night and even some of those have learnt to dress themselves. The rest of them, thankfully, are capable of looking after themselves.
Devotions, breakfast, chores, school and a mid-morning snacks are taken care of till about 2.30pm. The older ones do their own studies or work with a tutor while I teach the younger ones.
From the afternoon, the children unwind, have late afternoon snacks, do homework and Mommy gets on with shoots, youtubing, editing books, zoom meetings (the new normal) or going to the studio, all depending on what project is underway at the time.
If there was a morning that required my attention, then I will teach my young school aged children in the afternoon instead.”
“I’ve been homeschooling since 2014 and I can say that for me, it’s honestly the best thing since sliced bread. It’s more economical and the education is tailor-made to the needs, personality and interests of each child.
The benefit of homeschooling is that our schedule is flexible, as long as goals are met. The one-on-one attention also means that the children can cover much more ground than the average child and take a break without guilt when necessary.”
Do you ever find time for yourself?
“Our simple life, order, routine and shared responsibility do allow me a fair share of me-time.
Laying the foundation to be able to live like we do now took tonnes of sacrifice. But now we are reaping the fruits of our labour. I have more me-time than would be expected of a mom of 10. As a result, I can get on with what I have to do, albeit with a little one on my hip or somewhere near.
Yes, I juggle a lot, but I do it because I want to empty myself of every gift, talent and capability I’ve been endowed with. They were given to serve my generation. And serve, I shall. I am deliberate in the execution of my life and really want to inspire women that marriage and childbirth can be the beginning, and not the end of our dreams.”
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.