Mum of eight shares what a week in her life is like
SUPER mum of Mackay Kirsty Grigg has eight children, seven still in school.
She packed the youngest off to start year one this week, and so after years of having children running around her feet, she almost doesn't know what to do with herself.
That is, until 3pm rolls around and the silence turns to chaos again.
Asked how much money she spends on food per week she cringes: "I stopped counting. It's kind of horrific." She does her grocery shop almost daily, averaging around $100 each time.
"You've got Christmas, back to school and sport registrations all due in the space of three months - At one point I did have 200 lead pencils waiting for school. I stockpile," she said. "If they're 50c each I'll go and buy 10, 20 at a time and always make sure I've bought 48 at least on hand."
"Even after so many years I'm still telling the kids 'shoes on the shoe rack, socks into the laundry, bags go here, lunch boxes go here'... every single day."
School mornings aren't as painful as they used to be, however, as the older children have formed a "buddy system" with the younger ones, helping get them ready.
She does two runs to school each morning, but the high schoolers will get the bus home now and she can pick the primary schoolers "in one trip".
"You have good days, you have bad days. Those are the days that I think if I can make it to the next hour, we're good," she said. "People used to say to me 'take time for you' but that's so easy to say. When you have kids screaming at 5am, there is no time for you. Guess what? Sometimes that screaming doesn't even stop at 10pm. If you can get them to nap together and have two minutes of peace. Go for it. Just do that. The one thing I do for myself is I dye my hair and that's about it, it keeps me going."
Husband Jason is "a lot calmer than I am" and the one who "holds it all together".
He works for Aurizon on the railway and even when he's working, he will wake up, make his wife a coffee and make all the kids lunches. They met in an old Mackay nightclub called Blue Moose (later Mainstreet) and were engaged that year. The following year they married and it was the year after that, 1998, they had their first baby.
They only planned on having the one child, but ended up having others in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
She laughs and says she was basically "pregnant for 10 years straight". Asked if she's going to have any more children she replied, "Those tubes are tied. I probably know that date better than some of their birth dates. It was a great day."