I'm a mum of 12 – cruel haters say I use my older kids as free babysitters, they help at home because they want to | The Sun

A MUM-OF-12 has hit back at trolls after being accused of using her older children as free babysitters.

Zoe Sullivan, 44, and husband Ben live in a six-bedroom house with their bumper brood in Burghead, Moray.

They are one of the country’s biggest families, with Elisabeth, 17, Olivia, 16, Noah, 13, Evangeline, 12, Tobias, 10, Agnes, six, Joseph, five, baby Flo, one, and two sets of twins – Charlotte and Isabelle, 15, and Leah and Erin, seven.

And they have FOUR children who all celebrate their birthdays on the same date as both sets of the Sullivan twins were born on January 25.

Zoe previously joked: "We like to keep ourselves extra busy and supersize everything."

The family are extremely close and regularly spend weekends all together exploring different areas of Scotland and activity parks.

But Zoe has also faced criticism about her parenting because her teenage children are so good with the young ones.

In a recent Instagram post, she said: "I know I talk a lot about the younger ones in the family on here [social media], and a lot of the photos I share are usually of the little ones.

"But the truth is, these older guys are all amazing, and the help they give at home is invaluable.

"Trying to get photos of them that are approved to be shown is a completely different matter though."

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She added: "We get a lot of comments saying that we must use the older ones to parent the younger ones, but that’s simply not the truth.

"The fact is, they all have their own interests and hobbies, they have school and clubs and they are free to do their own thing.

"We are a very close family and I feel privileged that they are happy and comfortable to spend their time at home together and with us.

"They help at home because they want to, they may have different responsibilities than some other children their age, but they help because we are a team and we all work together.

"We are so incredibly proud of all of them.

"We are proud of all they have achieved, of all they have overcome, of all they continue to achieve and of the awesome people they have become.

"They are all complete individuals and we will always encourage them to be so, to stand up for what they believe in, to follow their dreams and their passions, and to know that they can achieve anything they want to in life.

"We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing children and that I get to spend every day with all of my very best friends."

And other mums have rushed to Zoe and Ben's defence.

One said: "It's absolutely no different from my 9 year old helping with his baby sister.

"There's nothing wrong with teaching responsibility and one day they'll become great parents too."

A second wrote: "You do not have to explain yourself to anyone. My elder children helped me with my younger children (all adults now) because they wanted to and loved them that’s why they did it not because I said they had to."


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Meanwhile, a third added: "You respect their space. They are all so beautiful inside and out.

"The boys and older girls are all their own people, talented and beautiful in their own right."

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