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Our big happy family

When Ann Wanjiku’s two sisters needed stability in life, she took their children in adding to her five children. She speaks on being a mum of seven and finding joy in motherhood

Sylvia Wakhisi @PeopleDailyKe

One look at Ann Wanjiku Njoroge, her husband Martin Njogo and their seven children depicts the image of one big and happy family that is close-knit.

For Ann, a businesswoman majoring in real estate, becoming a mother is the most amazing and precious thing that ever happened in her life. And when you become a mother to seven adorable children, you count it as a great blessing.

Out of the seven, five are her biological children while two are her nephews; her sisters’ kids. Her firstborn child is a girl who would be turning 11 in December, her second born is also a girl aged seven, her third born is a boy who is five, while her last born is a set of identical twin boys aged one year and four months.

Her two nephews are Ryan, who is five and Aayden, who will be turning four in November. Four children currently go to school.

Open arms

Ann is an orphan. They are four siblings; three sisters and one brother. Their parents passed on while they were still young. “I took up the role of bringing up my sister’s children because I felt they needed much stability and at that time, my sisters were going through a difficult period.

My second born sister had just left her marriage and her son had just turned two-and-a-half years. My third born sister on the other hand did not have a stable job and she was staying at my place when she got her son.

It didn’t take a lot of explanation to convince my husband to allow the children to stay with us. He embraced them with open arms,” says Ann.

According to Ann, together with her husband, they had desired to have five children right from the onset. She offers: “The fourth pregnancy was well planned for, but not for multiples. There’s no history of multiples in our family.

During that pregnancy period, the first month went down well with no case of morning sickness or any complication. During the second month, I experienced a lot of morning sickness, severe constipation and could hardly hold anything down my stomach.”

She explains: “One day, during my second trimester I woke up feeling extraordinarily tired and realised I hadn’t felt my baby kick throughout the night.

Previous ultrasounds showed I was carrying one baby. I shared with my husband my worries and he offered to take me to hospital. At the hospital, we found a different sonographer who took almost one hour observing the scan.

My heart skipped a beat when he kept on asking whether I had undergone another scan before and what the results had revealed. And that is how he broke the news to us. My husband was excited. Nowhere in our wildest dreams did it ever cross our minds that we could have twins.”

However, it was a hard period for Ann. She had no househelp. Her sister had been transferred to Mombasa and her other sister had accompanied her to Mombasa to help her around. So Ann solely relied on her husband and older children.

When the twins finally arrived, her husband and sisters applied for leave to help her manage things around the home and assist in taking care of the children. “They all assigned themselves duties that accommodated all the seven children,” she says.

No discrimination

According to Ann, they live as one big family and meeting the needs of the children has never been an issue. “Both of my sisters work and support in the upbringing of the two boys.

We don’t parent differently; hence if you were to buy snacks, clothes, or shoes, you have to buy seven in number, regardless of who is shopping,” she explains.

“I appreciate and thank God for my husband. He has never looked at those boys as my sisters’ children, but as a big part of him. He is and has always played a big role and father figure in their lives.

Actually, they refer to us as dad and mum, while they address their parents by their names. It’s a great blessing to have them in our lives,” she says.

Running a business, parenting balance, with competing demands for time, energy and even money, Ann is grateful to her husband whom she says has accorded her all the support a man can give to his wife. “He guides all of us on the right steps we should take.

He would change the baby’s diapers and even bought me a seven-seater car to make my movements easier when we are going somewhere with the children,” she says.

And as her husband Martin Njogo puts it, “I play a part in ensuring she takes some rest while I handle the children once I’m home or ensuring that there is someone to assist her. There are times she has sleepless nights because of the twins and I have to step in to help,” he says.

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