In an era when establishing a career is the top priority, childbirth has taken the back seat. More and more families are choosing not to have kids, but this amazing couple have 19 kids in the house!
Where some people might wonder, “Why have kids?”, as it’s a huge responsibility to bring up a child. For many other families however, children are a joy to behold—happy, full-of-life and innocent, the laughter of children fills the house with joy. Take a peek at the Bates Family household; a rather large and very close-knit family who are raising 19 kids and counting!
Gil and Kelly Jo Bates have their own American reality television show called Bringing Up Bates, which is scheduled to commence its sixth season.
Gil and Kelly Jo Bates both loves kids, and believe that their kids are a blessing from God.
“We feel that it’s really an opportunity to encourage others and ourselves along the way,” said Kelly Jo Bates, the 50-year-old mother.
Their goal is to uplift others, and help parents develop better relationships with their children through the show.
Gil and Kelly Jo both love kids. They have never claimed state benefits and as devout Christians, believe that their kids—Zach, Michaella, Erin, Lawson, Nathan, Alyssa, Tori, Trace, Carlin, Josie, Katie, Jackson, Warden, Isaiah, Addallee, Ellie, Callie, Judson and Jeb, are a blessing from God, and the more the merrier!
Meet the Bates family of Tennessee…
Their eldest child is 29 this year, and their 19th child was introduced to the world 5 years ago on Feb 1, 2012. That might be their last child, but their family is still growing, with six grandchildren and more on the way.
“It doesn’t matter how many grandkids we have. They are all special and different. We don’t ever want to take for granted the fact that this is a little precious life. We want to be there for all of them, let them know how important they are. We treasure them as a gift from the lord,” said Kelly Jo on the TV show Bringing up Bates.
They welcomed their 19th child, Jeb Colton, on February 1, 2012
Gil and Kelly Jo have six grandchildren and more on the way…
The Bates family lives on of their farmhouse in Tennessee, Lake City, and 52-year-old Gil is his own boss in a tree service company.
The older boys assist their dad in his family business. The younger kids are home-schooled, while the older children are in college.
Their stories are being documented in an American reality television show, Bringing Up Bates, on Up TV
©Facebook | The Bates Family Blog
Their family values such as kindness and patience stem from their Christian beliefs. Their girls only wear dresses, and are strictly prohibited to hug any guy who is not their husband until marriage. Everyone helps out and has little or no TV time.
With 19 kids, there are more chores to do, but with many hands on deck, it’s obviously easier. It’s all about team work, and they always help one another out.
The Christian family values kindness and patience
“We’re not a perfect family. We have the same struggles that other families have, only multiplied. But in spite of extra laundry, extra chores, extra diapers, and extra noise, we have an extra measure of laughter, an endless supply of fellowship, and an added dose of faith to get us through it all,” said Kelly Jo.
Using a buddy system, in which older siblings are partnered with the younger kids, they volunteer and carry out household chores among themselves. They rotate the chores, monthly.
“The kids help out. They do it joyfully, thankfully,” said Kelly Jo in an interview with CBN.
Everything has a system in the Bates family—The kids share the household chores, and get in line to wash up
“And we believe in a good, strong work ethic, we think that is good, building character in kids, and we work together,” she stressed.
“I usually take the leftover which is the laundry. No one wants to do the laundry,” she joked.
The Bates family members exchange gifts and tell one another “I love you” on Valentine’s Day
In addition, as a big family, they have many festivals and birthdays to celebrate each year.
One of their favorite family traditions, is sharing a praise about the birthday girl or boy on their special day, revealed the fourth eldest Bates child, Lawson.
On Christmas, they have a traditional dinner, and exchange gifts only with their extended family. It is only till Valentine’s Day or “I Love You Day”, as the family calls it, that they exchange gifts among themselves.
“There is so much fun like everybody gets to say I love you,” said Alyssa Bates—the sixth eldest Bates child
As we know, life is not always a bed of roses; there are tears on the way. That also applies to the Bates family, who has also undergone challenges and obstacles along their life journey. For instance, Kelly Jo has suffered one miscarriage.
“It’s always grave when you experience a loss. But at the same time, our faith in the lord, we knew that God is in control,” she shared.
“Whatever situation you’re facing, you can make it. Just stick with God, and stay on the course, you can make it. Don’t give up,” opined Gil.
The whole family is an open book, and they talk things out
And when it comes to discipline, the family always talks things out.
“We talk about lots of things. We do a lot of talking, and the whole family is an open book. All of us talk together,” said Gil.
A family filled with the laughter of kids is a warm and affectionate home where you want to go back to. With 19 kids, it’ll be triple the joy, and triple the worries! Nonetheless, these make up all those sweet memories to look back on in the future to come!