Mother-of-seven shares her back to school station complete with bags, shoes and a bookcase – and her strategies for staying on top of meals with a large family
- Jenna Pierce, 26, is mother to seven children alongside her husband Chris, 32
- The Victoria-based family have a school bag station to stay organised each day
- Jenna shared an image of the area to Facebook, earning thousands of likes
- She has spoken to FEMAIL about how she keeps their entire lives in check
A mother-of-seven has shared an image of her family’s school bag station on social media, which helps her children stay organised during the term.
Jenna Pierce, who is based in Victoria, stuck Kmart letters for each member of her brood on the hallway wall, placed a picture of each child at Christmas above them and hooks for their bags underneath.
The 26-year-old purchased their school shoes from Big W, laces from eBay in various colours so they can distinguish between them and bags from Kmart and Target.
The entire area has been made so Jenna’s children don’t lose any of their school-related items, and plenty of parents were in awe of her dedication.
The entire area has been made so Jenna’s children don’t lose any of their school-related items, and plenty of parents were in awe of her dedication
Some even asked how she came to have seven children; a question Jenna was more than happy to answer.
Jenna and her husband Chris met in 2011, with each having a child of their own. From 2012 to 2015 they had three children together, before becoming foster parents to two boys in 2019.
‘Being a full time parent to seven children is hard at times but very rewarding,’ Jenna told FEMAIL.
‘We had a basic routine before our two foster sons came along, so adding two extras was a breeze. Our house is chaotic at the best of times but with a few tricks we do makes things a little easier.’
This year the Pierce family will have six children in primary and one in pre-school.
This year the Pierce family will have six children in primary and one in pre-school (foster children’s faces are blurred for legal reasons)
‘We have calculated that is 32 sandwiches a week, 32 pieces of fruit for fruit break, and recess on top of that,’ Jenna said.
‘In previous years we have used Sunday each week to prepare all lunches and recess for the week. We make up big batches of potato salad, coleslaw, ham and cheese wraps and muffins and freeze them.
‘We pull out the next days worth of food the night before and pack their lunch boxes so it’s less to do of a morning.’
What are Jenna’s best tips for staying organised?
* Prepare all of the children’s recess and lunches on Sunday.
* Pull out the next days worth of food the evening before so it defrosts.
* Create a school bag station so every child knows where to put their things.
* Get each child, youngest to oldest, to shower one after the other.
* Leave the house before daybreak on long trips so the children sleep in the car.
Jenna normally maps out their dinner preparations on a whiteboard each week so she can buy the exact amount of groceries she needs. Many of these meals involve a slow cooker because it’s easy to leave on during the day.
‘When it comes to showering and brushing their teeth we work from the youngest to the eldest,’ she said.
‘The kids are pretty good at knowing who goes next so once they’re finished showering they call out to the next one.
‘When the kids get home from school, they put their bag on their hook, shoes where they need to go, lunch box on the bench, and get out of their school clothes before doing anything else.
‘Our school bag station allows the kids to have their own set place for their belongings, which is easier for them the next morning not having to remember where they put their stuff and stressing before school.’
In addition to this they even have a special hack for travelling long distances with the children in tow.
‘Whenever we go on a trip longer then an hour,we leave while it’s still dark (usually between 4-5am), we pre-pack food and always have the kids drink bottles,’ she said.
‘The reason we leave when it’s dark is because the kids go back to sleep so they aren’t as cranky and bored during the trip.’