My Contraceptive Life

my girls

“I’ve always wanted five kids,” the checkout chick at IGA said to me last Thursday when the five kids and I rocked up to her counter. She looked about sixteen.

I almost didn’t hear what she was saying because I was busy catching the items Miss2 and Miss4 were ‘helpfully’ almost placing on the conveyor while saying no to Miss10 who wanted a magazine, yes to Master9 who wanted to sit on the bench and come back to Miss7 who was running for the kiddy ride.

It was my first day as a stay at home dad. From here on in I’ll be running the show every Thursday so Tracey can focus on her photography business. I’m doing school runs and shopping and cleaning and cooking. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this.

“We’ll be fine,” I told my wife mid-morning when I headed out the door with my two youngest to do some shopping.

It soon became obvious I was lying.

And I didn’t even have to start the car before I realized this.

“Into your seats,” I told the girls, sliding the car door open and waiting patiently for them to clamber in.

I raced around to the other side of the car to do up Miss2’s seat belt. Only she wasn’t there.

“She’s in the back,” Miss4 told me.

I heard a giggle from the very backseat (we have three rows of seats in our car) where Miss2 had ducked down and was hiding.

“What are you doing?” I asked her. “Get over here please.”

When she didn’t move I went to the back of the car and popped the rear door. She’d moved.

“She’s here now,” said Miss4, indicating the floor below her feet.

I shut the door and moved to the middle.

“She’s in the front,” Miss4 informed me. And sure enough Miss2 was on the driver’s seat, holding the steering wheel.

This went on for about five minutes, with Miss4 running commentary. Finally, I managed to catch hold of a foot and wrestle Miss2 into her car seat.

My whole day seemed to be a series of chase scenes, like on that old Playstation game Hot Pursuit, with my two girls racing off, usually in different directions, and me in the role of pursuit vehicle.

It was a day of tantrums and demands and promises and threats. You know, the normal stuff. And I loved it!

When I wasn’t chasing them down aisles I was trying to find the right spots to put back the groceries they’d managed to smuggle into the trolley.

Or rather, trolleys. I managed to find reasons to make it to all four brands of supermarkets in our town – Aldi, Coles, Woolworths…

…and, of course, IGA.

“So you want five kids?” I asked the young girl at IGA as she scanned five 2ltr bottles of milk. I smiled encouragingly. “That’s nice.”

“Yeah,” she replied, but she wasn’t looking at me.

She was watching my kids.

Miss4 was screaming she wanted to go on the kiddy ride which I’d unsuccessfully called Miss7 back from, while Miss2 wasn’t sticking around to ask – she already had one leg over the side and was in the process of scrambling down the trolley. Miss10 was suggesting a chocolate instead of a magazine in her whiny ‘finger nails down a blackboard’ voice she reserves for public outings and Master9 was oblivious to everything, sitting on the bench staring into the middle distance like this brain was running Windows and needed a reboot.

The young checkout chick scanned the last of my groceries and smiled at me.

“But now I’m thinking I might stop at two,” she said, casting an eye over my brood again. “You know, eventually.”

Our ’BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page

 ’Raising a family on little more than laughs.’


  • Thank you! I have not laughed/cried this hard since your story about the trip to the pharmacy for worming tablets. The capers of Miss 2 in the car had me in stitches…I can so relate to this!

  • “It was a day of tantrums and demands and promises and threats. You know, the normal stuff. And I loved it!”. So this bloke loved the fact his kids had no respect for him? My Mother had five and she never allowed us to behave the way this bloke’s kids did in the article. If they are behaving like this now, what will they be like later in life?


      Joan, first of all ‘this bloke’ has a name – Bruce. Second of all, it’s super interesting you can ascertain so much about my family from one ostensibly amusing post. Thirdly, I wouldn’t be singing about your mother’s parenting prowess too much as she clearly wiped out your sense of humour. Fourthly, I already have two kids who have reached the ‘later in life’ phase of their lives (19 and 22) and they’re doing just fine.


      • Hello, Why do you get your britches all twisted when someone says something you don’t like? Why not just answer gracefully, maybe something to the effect, “You’re right! I still have a lot to learn!”, because I know that I sure do. And maybe there is something to be learned about what others say, as much as we don’t like it. In our family we always say, if someone gets defensive about what others think or say, they just may have a guilty conscience.

    • Lmao. Yes well both my grandmothers had 6&7 kids and there wasn’t kiddie rides, or children’s magazines, and for that matter stay at home dads. So I’m not sure your opinion of your mothers parenting is relevant my dear. Oh and two year olds haven’t developed the necessary cognitive skills to learn respect, only fear. Personally I’ll take “disrespect” over a terrified toddler who’s development is restricted by antiquated authoritarian parenting. So each to their own, said the woman who kissed the pig.

  • Ha, you get her! Any self respecting parent knows the joys of taking kids to the shops …. part and parcel of the territory which comes with kids 🙂

  • Haha! I just had an ‘incident’ at the shops with my two (3 & 1) that left me a little red faced but what do you do?!
    Miss 1 squealed excitedly on seeing the colorful finger buns in the counter window at Baker’s Delight. Next minute she starts squealing twice as loud because she noticed it echoed throughout the centre….. que even louder three year old joining in the fun!
    Older lady makes her way to the counter unaware of the events leading up to the toddler opera event of the year and looks down her nose at me…..
    I turn to them ask them sternly to stop making so much noise or there will be no treat to which Miss 1 completely ignores me and Mr 3 sees as his prerogative to slap his hand over her mouth making her cry. More tutt tutting from the next lady on the other side of me because he is being rough with his sister. Sigh! Can’t win!

  • A question for Joan – exactly how many children did you have and what are their ages now? She said “my mother had five” but doesn’t mention how many she has……interesting!!!! Keep up with the fantastic blogs Bruce…we all need a laugh every day.

  • Hahaha gold Bruce!!

    Your kids are great. And you and Tracy do an awesome job! There is only one way to parent a brood. So far we only have 3, but you gotta laugh through all the times.

  • My grandmother – a mother of 9, grandmother of 21, great grandmother of 6 once told me that raising kids was like being in the Mafia – a steady stream of threats, blackmail, bribery & the urge to kill!

  • Dear me Joan, I am sure when your mother was raising you and your 4 siblings she didn’t imagine that one of her children would be so ill mannered and judgemental ‘later in life’

    As a mother of 4 children myself I can tell you that what you want your children to do and what they themselves sometimes do are two completely different things. In case you forgot you are not born with a set of rules you abide by, as a child you learn day by day… I assure you that your mother also would have had days when she had to remind you of what behaviour was acceptable and had to… hold on to your seat… call you back from the ‘kiddy ride’

    Parenting is a hard gig, it does not need to be made harder by the disapproving looks of judgemental people such as yourself or condescending comments across the keyboard.

    I love that you loved your day Bruce, I have those same days but usually I am chasing my 2 year old across the seats of our Territory at Hockey training and struggling to put him in the shopping trolley while he squeals ‘I want to wallllllkkkkkk’ LOL by the end of it I am exhausted and totally defunct! We are actually off to do some shopping today… wish me luck 😉

  • Perhaps Joan has changed her name to ‘anonymous’. Surely there can’t be two people as ignorant as one another? Keep up the good work Bruce, you’re doing an awesome job!

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