A mother of nine who refuses to ever use birth control says she has to do laundry four times a day and spends £1,760 on food every month – but may still have more children.
Ashley Couzens was overjoyed when she became pregnant with daughter Alexis at the age of 16 and became a mother like a duck to water – so much so that she gave birth to seven more children over the next 11 years.
But just as the 36-year-old was “feeling complete,” she found out she was expecting her ninth child, Jrue, who is now eight months old and admits she would even consider having another one or two.
The cleaning business owner said that whenever she’s asked how she supports so many children mentally and emotionally, she replies that motherhood has become second nature to her — just “like riding a bike.”
But the grandmother, who has amassed more than seven million likes on TikTok, said she was branded “irresponsible”.
She disagrees, saying it “takes people to make the world work” and her children will “add value” to her.
The devoted mum said running her hectic household involves a lot of “noise and chaos”, doing four loads of laundry a day and spending around £1,670 a month on groceries.
In fact, she admits that even when one of the teens is out with her friends, she can tell the difference and doesn’t like it — she prefers the “mess” and the full house.
Ashley, who has a close bond with all of her children and describes them as her “best friends absolutely,” said the path she’s chosen in life isn’t the easiest – but that it is hugely rewarding.
Ashley from Tampa, Florida, USA said: “I have never used birth control in my life.
“Coming from a Catholic household for a number of reasons and they’ve always been against it and I kind of picked that up.
“I’m so extreme that I rarely take ibuprofen anymore, I’m very much against any kind of medicine, especially contraception.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever use birth control.
“I go back and forth about whether I want more children or not.
“‘Everyone’s like, ‘Well, you’ve got nine, you have to take ten, that’s an even number,’ and sometimes I’m like, ‘uhhhh.’
“I would say since him and me [ex-husband] are not together and I’m moving out alone, I’m definitely not looking for a partner at the moment, but I’ll say the shop is still open.
“I think I would consider having one or two more because I’m 36, I know I’m getting a bit old but not too old yet.”
Ashley’s teenage children are 19-year-old Alexis, 17-year-old Ashlyn, 16-year-old Tre and 13-year-old Ava.
Their youngest children are 11-year-old Jerzy 11, 10-year-old Jett, eight-year-old Adayah, seven-year-old Aila and eight-month-old baby Jrue.
The smallest age difference between their children is between Ava, 13, and Jerzy, 11 – as she became pregnant again about five months after giving birth to their fourth child.
Ashley started her own cleaning company in 2017 and has worked with her youngest son Jrue throughout her pregnancy, returning just four days after his birth last October.
She said she gets her clan from A to B in a seven-seater and that her eldest daughter will also use her car when they are all traveling together.
Ashley said: “It’s so hectic being a mother of nine. My days start very early and end very late.
“As soon as I wake up, I go straight to the laundry room and load in a wash.
“It’s kind of an all day thing, it never really ends, I probably do three to four loads a day – it’s just crazy.
“Everyone says, ‘Financially it’s one thing, but how do you mentally and emotionally support all these nine people who need so much attention from their mother and still try to help yourself stay on top of things?’
“I’ll say I’m not sure, but I feel like it’s become second nature to me, like riding a bike – that’s all I know.
“I don’t know life without chaos, noise, and when my kids are away for any reason, when they’re with friends or even one of them is away, I feel that and it’s a negative feeling.
“That’s why I prefer the chaos, the noise and lots of children.
“It’s definitely challenging.”
Ashley said acquaintances are “incredulous” when she reveals the number of children she has, and is also often asked how many fathers they all have – and it’s just the one.
She said she spends an average of £416 a week to support her family and mainly cooks large meals like spaghetti or lasagne as they are able to feed so many hungry mouths.
Ashley said: “People ask, ‘Why do you keep having kids? Why don’t you keep birth control?
“And I’ll never have a full answer just because I’m not a fan of stuff like that.
“And I don’t feel like I’m giving my kids a terrible life. I have a feeling they are doing great.
“It’s not that they don’t have what other people have — they have cell phones, video games, nice clothes.
“They have all the things that other kids have, so it’s not like I have a whole bunch of kids that I can’t take care of.
“To TikToker saying I’m irresponsible because I have nine kids, I would first of all disagree.
“I think it takes people to make the world work and I don’t give this world children who will be irresponsible, they are great people who will add value to this world.
“I always jokingly say, ‘You should thank me, not many people would do what I do’.
“The path I have chosen is not the easiest, but it is extremely rewarding. The older they get, the more advantages there are in having so many children.
“I’ve got girlfriends who have been choosing abortions or birth control for so long that they’re having a hard time getting pregnant or having their first child right now, and they’re like, ‘Man, I’m so tired, I really wish I did would had done that earlier’.
“I just think there are a lot of benefits to the choices I’ve made, especially having young kids.
“The number of children is all I know, so I can’t really see it like an outsider would.”
The former appliance store owner described her pregnancies as “extremely easy” – apart from her last one, as she had some complications she hadn’t experienced before.
Other than that, they were “perfect” and all natural — and she’s never had a “crack or puncture.”
Ashley said: “The hardest thing for me right now is I have a lot of older ones – 19, 17, 16 and then 13 and I just think that age is so crucial to making sure they have someone to talk about things to talk that’s going on with school and friends.
“My eldest was pregnant and I was the first to tell her, which made me very happy because I will never forget when I was younger I didn’t want to tell my mother I was pregnant.
“It’s always been important to me to just keep the lines of communication open and give them the opportunity to express themselves.
“Just building that close relationship and while people say you shouldn’t be friends with your kids I disagree, my kids are my absolute best friends.
“Being a parent is the greatest form of love – especially mother and child.”
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5756011/mum-of-nine-refuses-contraception-trolls-irresponsible/ I am a mother of nine and refuse to use birth control, trolls call me irresponsible and ALWAYS ask how I support them