Local family of 8 in TV spotlight

By Erika Venter

Having to meet weekly advertising deadlines and keeping a diverse clientele happy can be stressful, but for Stratford Press advertising consultant Kylee Lawrence, who with her family next Wednesday features on Jaquie Brown's Keep Calm & Carry On TV series, it is a piece of cake compared with raising six kids.

"I find time for myself at work," she says.

The documentary, airing from tonight on TV1 at 8pm, is on Brown's and other women's experiences of pregnancy and motherhood. The Lawrences feature in the second episode.

Kylee, being a Facebook friend of Brown, last year received a text that pregnant women due July/August with large families were wanted for interviews for a TV series.

"I love Jaquie Brown and it looked like fun. So, why not?"

She enjoyed the filming and says should there be a reunion, she will be up there, but she is not planning on watching the show, nor is husband Ricky.

"The kids are excited about it and they will watch it."

Kylee says she has had no preview and did not sit in on the interviews with Ricky or the kids, Sam (now 16), Matthew (14), Tyne (12), Sierra (3) and Jayde (2), and Emmett (now 1).

"There might be a few surprises coming. Honestly, I am nervous 'cause I was fat and pregnant and then (at the end of the shoot) not pregnant, fat, hormonal and spotty."

It was Kylee and her family's first experience in front of TV cameras.

Her tip for raising a big family is not to sweat the small stuff.

"We raise according to their personalities," she says, but admits that it is tough meeting everyone's needs.

"We are really lucky all like going to the zoo, the beach, the park ... we share a lot of common interests."

Having kids never featured big on her agenda, and having six, definitely not, she says.

"I was a teen mum. That was not planned. The second time round I was an older mum, and I prefer being the older mum. My advice would be to wait. But I do not regret having my big family."

She says the trade-off is that both she and Ricky have to work, but they have scheduled their working hours to not have to send the kids to daycare.

"It is a financial decision (having a big family). Babies are cheap, teenagers are not."

And then there is the washing, mountains of it, and they schedule shower/bath time with one group taking the morning slot and the other in the evening.

She says she was stoked to have met Jaquie, and that the filming crew were lovely to work with.

"She had no airs. She came and picked the toast off the couch to sit down."

A copy of the series will be sent to them once it has finished broadcasting.

"I might watch it then," says Kylee.

- Stratford Press

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