Julie Scotece used to go out shopping with a double pram with two sons on either side. With four boys under four, people often assumed she’d had two sets of twins.
When she gave birth to her first son, “Something maternal came over me and I remember looking down at him, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I want lots of babies’. My husband had said, ‘Okay, we’ll think about your lots of babies and have four,’” laughs Julie, “but I found myself really wanting to have another soon after the fourth”.
And they didn’t stop at 4. Today Julie and her husband Nick have 10 gorgeous boys ranging in age from 4 up to 23. And each is different. They each have their own characters and personalities (although most of the boys play soccer, apart from the eldest and the youngest).
Taking challenges in your stride
When people ask about the challenges of being a mum to 10 boys, surprisingly Julie says there really weren’t any.
Then she pauses, recalling her boys’ bad colic and reflux, “but you just get on with it and deal with it,” she says.
Julie’s ease with any challenges comes from her down-to-earth philosophy of ensuring her babies lived around her lifestyle and not the other way round.
“When they were asleep, I’d pop them in the car and go shopping!” As a result, she says her kids are wonderfully adaptable, a characteristic she’s proud they have held onto as they grew up.
Everyone pitches in
“The biggest thing I’ve loved about having the kids quite close together is they have always had each other,” says Julie. “They’ve always had someone to play with, and to talk to.”
“From day one, from when the kids were little, I taught them how to do things.”
Even today, all her boys help out around the house, whether it’s hanging out the washing, setting the table, cooking, or cleaning up.
“I want them to be good husbands and fathers.”
The next adventure, with love
In the Scotece household on Mother’s Day, family will surround the family’s big 14-seater marble table. Julie and her husband will sit up one end, and the kids will sit in order of age. There won’t be a whole lot of elbow room, as their partners will be joining Julie’s older children, now in their early 20s.
“There aren’t any babies in our house any more. My oldest has developed his own business, making custom-made suits. It’s doing really well. I’d always wanted to have my own boy’s line of clothing as I’ve found there are never enough clothes for boys, catering for the in-between age – that gap between little boys’ and men’s clothing.”
“I’m hoping that – with my son and his partner’s help – I will be able to pursue that career.”
“A new direction for me is on its way.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.