Lyette Reback’s story has inspired a lot of people, but, at first, it makes some question her sanity.
“If the number of children we have comes up in conversation or people see us out and they don’t know our family, they are like, ‘holy mackerel’,” she said.
The 44-year-old charity founder and author of Florida has 10 daughters and 6 sons between the ages of 2 and 22.
The girls are:
Daly Kay, 22
and Verity, 4
The boys are:
And Vaughn, 2.
Lyette had Daly Kay at 21 and has since given birth to 11 more. She and her husband of 24 years, estate agent David Reback, 49, have also adopted 4 children.
It means Lyette has spent ten years of her life pregnant, gaining and shedding 600 pounds in baby weight—without a single C-section.
“If I had known then that by the time I was 40 I would have 16 kids I would have thought it was crazy,” she said, Fox News reported.
The most impressive thing, however, is that the Rebacks run a household they can be proud of.
A family of 18 requires a lot of cooking and cleaning—not to mention the enormous laundry load.
As the children were growing up, Lyette distributed chores among them.
“I’m thankful that at this point I’ve kind of worked my way into upper management,” Lyette said with a laugh. “I’m kind of like the overseer.”
Trinity and Liberty handle the cooking. The family goes through $650 of groceries a week, including 12 gallons of milk, up to 100 eggs, 40 pounds of chicken, and 40-50 pounds of potatoes or rice. The upside is, they can conveniently buy from a local wholesale restaurant supplier.
Courson and his brothers handle the laundry—washing, drying, folding, and sorting 42 loads a week.
The boys don’t like the laundry duty. “But I figured their future wives will thank me,” Lyette told Fox 35.
But the family’s schedule is more impressive yet.
Lyette starts each day at 5:30 a.m. by saying a prayer and writing a to-do list. She then homeschools all her children— in math, science, languages, history, and art.
If she feels her own knowledge is lacking, she uses online lessons and instructional Youtube videos.
Between classes, the children manage to complete other chores, like scrubbing the bathroom and vacuuming.
Each child, once old enough, also attends at least one sports club. With the help of her husband and the older siblings, Lyette shuttles the children to 88 sports activities a week.
“It is challenging. There is no normal day in the Reback household,” she said.
“I’m constantly running at 100 mph and sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s kind of bananas but it is somewhat organized chaos.”
In addition, the youngsters attend community events, forums, art performances, and volunteer with their mom’s charity.
Lyette’s charity, Believe With Me, supports military families who lost a loved one in service.
At Christmas, the organization gave presents to more than 600 children of fallen soldiers with the help of an army of volunteers—including David and the children.
“Some days, the phone calls I get from the widows, or from the parents who have lost a child in the military—they break my heart,” Lyette said.
“But my husband and my children are so encouraging when they see me struggling to meet the needs of so many families.”
Lyette also writes a blog called “The Rebacks” and has written a book about parenthood called “Please God, Don’t Let Me Screw This Up.”
“David and I were blessed to be able to have children and we really, truly believe that raising children is an incredible opportunity to do something amazing in the world,” she said.
“I fully understand we have chosen to do life differently than most, but it works for us. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”