A WOMAN who had her first baby at 14 revealed by 34 she was mum to 11 – and they all live in a "fixer up" home she bought having never seen at auction for just £14k.
Veronica Merritt, now 36, from New York, USA, admitted "it escalated quickly" after she accidentally fell pregnant with Victoria, now 21, while at school.
But she admitted she was keen for SIX more – despite being already trolled online for her already huge brood.
“I receive a lot of negative comments," she said. “I get asked, ‘do they all have the same dad? Do you own a TV? I want to hand [people who ask me things like that] a mirror so they can look at themselves.”
Artist Veronica lives in a nine-bed home with 10 of her kids, Andrew, 16, Adam, 15, Mara, 13, Dash, 12, Darla, 10, Marvelous, eight, Martalya, six, Amelia, four, Delilah, three, and Donovan, one, which she bought with her husband Marty, 37, for just $20k (£14k) in July 2020.
She’s spent about £1.5k fixing it up – and it is now worth around £71k with the kids sharing the bedrooms between them and her man sleeping in the basement.
I get asked, ‘do they all have the same dad? Do you own a TV?'
“You don’t need to buy a $200k (£142k) home – save your money and buy a fixer-up and investment property," said Veronica.
“Search for ‘investment properties’ to see what's near you! We are still remodeling but it's already been cheaper than rent would have been.’’
She told Fabulous how she bought her home via auction: ‘‘We bought an old auction property. Because it was bought at a tax auction by an out of state company that never even looked inside it and had no idea what they had.”
Veronica told how she unexpectedly fell pregnant in school, subsequently marrying and divorcing her then-boyfriend – the father of her oldest two children.
I haven’t ruled out more children. I would like to have six more
“I graduated high school with honors, I attempted college but got sick both times – I have kidney disease and lost my kidney last year.”
The oldest two are from her first husband while the youngest seven are from her second husband – who sleeps in the basement so the kids have more space.
Veronica, who shares details of her massive family on Instagram and TikTok, says she never uses contraception.
“Some of the children were planned,” she told Fabulous. "But I can't take hormonal birth control because my illness means I am prone to blood clots.
“I haven’t ruled out more children.
“I would like to have six more. I have spent eight-and-a-half years pregnant.”
With so many children it is hard to get about, so recently she bought an old school bus for $3k (£2.5k), also via auction, which she transported into a family vehicle.
"We don't have many expenses,” she says. "We own our nine-bedroom house and there is no mortgage.
“I own my bus with no payments.’
We own our nine-bedroom house and there is no mortgage
The couple’s only help is with food – something Veronica apologised for online.
“Please don't hate me, but we do get food assistance," she said in one Instagram video. "It's temporary until my painting sales are more consistent."
But sadly some people were cruel, telling her she ought to not have such a big family.
One person wrote: “Get off TikTok go take care of your absolutely unnecessary amount of children."
Meanwhile another added: “Nobody cares that you have 11 kids, weirdo. You get hate because you are literally unfit to be raising 11 children."
But she is happy to defend herself. “What is raising your children properly?'," she asks.
“Most people have something to complain about from their childhood, at least my kids will know they're loved."
And she feels like being a mum was her destiny. “This was always how it was meant to be," she says.
“It can be exhausting," she said, revealing one parenting hack was to dress each child in a different hue. "I colour code the kids most of the time when we leave the house although sometimes I'll opt for matching clothes instead.
I have rules when it's important, like, don't smoke, don't do drugs, no dating until 18, come home before dark …but for the most part I'm just really chill
“The colour coding system is incorporated into everything – their clothes and rooms."
Veronica described her home life as being like The Lost Boys – a 1987 vampire film which takes its name from Peter Pan’s ‘lost boys’ who never grew up – adding she was not very strict.
“It's a very loud house," she says. "We want to get on the same schedule but it's hard.
“I'm not very strict, I guess. I have rules when it's important, like, don't smoke, don't do drugs, no dating until 18, come home before dark …but for the most part I'm just really chill.
“And we have loads of fun. My kids and I have been working on making our own mini horror movies.
"Holidays here are pretty big, and sometimes I buy gifts years in advance, because I hate to pass up the perfect thing! Gifting things the kids will truly enjoy is very important to me, I want them to know I listen to and value their wants and needs."
In other real life news, we told you about the couple who are always asked if their children are kidnapped due to their skin colour.
We also revealed how a woman who thought she'd never become a mum now has ten kids.
And another woman was crushed after her mum told her she "didn't have the figure" to wear a minidress for a date.
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