Mother of 16 Kids Reveals What Her Daily Life Is Really Like


These days it’s rare to see large families. A “large family” seems to be anything more than two kids now, and if you have more, you get looks and comments of “are you done yet?”

Society doesn’t seem to smile on families who decide to keep adding to their numbers, but you can fly under the radar if you only have a few.

When you hit a dozen, you’re definitely an outlier. But if you hit 16, like this family, you’re definitely in the “unusual” category.

Just having a few kids is demanding enough work, but 16 — how in the world does this mom find time to do everything she needs to do and keep everyone looking so polished?

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This supermom, Lyette Reback, from Florida somehow manages to hold down the fort, home-school her kids, and run a charity on the side. But there is a definite method to her madness, and she lives by the List.

The only way she stays on track is to start a list in the morning that she adheres to throughout the day. “If it doesn’t get on the list,” she said, “it’s not gonna happen!”

Getting the kids’ names right is not on the list. But what mother can keep their kids’ names straight all the time without also occasionally mixing in the dog’s name? Nothing atypical here.

And with 16 kids from 2 to 23, mixing up names is more than understandable. The kids live in rooms that look like dorms, with bunk beds and little privacy.

That has its perks, though, as one of the boys pointed out, because there’s always someone to play with.

“I always wanted a big family,” said Reback. “I’ve just been fortunate enough to have an amazing husband [who] wants to do life big and crazy with me. We’ve been blessed every time.”

Reback likens her daily “work” to running a small business. The kids all have to finish their schooling and then have various sports and other activities they’re involved in throughout the week.

Mealtimes are a major undertaking as well — this family can’t just waltz into a restaurant without making a reservation and paying that 18% gratuity.

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At home, everyone pitches in. Each breakfast takes about 35 eggs to feed the family, and the kids are involved in making the meals.

The charity Reback runs is called “Believe With Me,” and they donate funds to deserving families. Their current project is to provide a home for the family of a petty officer who died in a helicopter crash.

She seems happy with her choices, though, and the kids appear well-adjusted. They’re certainly getting a lot of life skills training!

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