Below I’ll be examining the Allans from the TV Show 16kidsandcounting Shown on Channel 4 2nd April 2013 9pm, all quotes mentioned below are as mentioned in the series on Channel 4 should you wish to watch this yourself. All non specific opinions given are my own.
The Allans, Amanda and Tony, from Sunderland have 11 children aged between 1 and 26 years old. Now they’re in their forties it’s time to think whether there is still time to have one more child. It is repeated throughout the documentary how Amanda is now 42. Tony is Amanda’s second husband. He is step-dad to the oldest 6 and father to the youngest 5.
The narrator says how Tony has got his heart set on one more, that he even breeds animals as a hobby, with 6 rabbits, 21 chickens and pigeons. It’s nice when they have babies and they usually have 4 or 5 (talking about the chickens), it makes you happy having bairns around you all the time.
Tony is a mechanic, supplemented by £93 a week in child benefit (£4,836 a year). Amanda says that money isn’t an issue (when considering having more children). They rarely buy in bulk,and are shown frequenting their favourite venue, the local public house across the road, an awful lot – which includes having dinner out there 3/4 dinner times a week. Amanda says that it is more cost effective way to go for tea, and you do not have to cook or wash up. You just pile your plates in the middle and leave it to someone else.
When they’re not doing that they are having take-a-ways delivered in. We see them order in pizza, You can’t complain for £23.30 can you? Amanda exclaims.
They spend £480 a month on eating out and take aways!
Amanda puts new socks on them every single day as she used to get sick of washing and white socks never look the same. £2.50 for 5 pairs might as well throw them away.
Amanda has been having babies since she was 16, and usually pregnant by the time the baby is a year old. That once you get past 3 children then 4 or more is just a doddle, having children is the most natural thing to do, but that they are finding it difficult to find the time to do the deed now.
We are told that Amanda and Tony always go out on dates. They go off to the pub opposite, leaving their older teenage daughters Laura (18) and Katie (15) to look after the other children. Katie is not thrilled by having so many siblings and says she wishes she was a single child.
That when her friends do come round the others (her siblings) jump on them. That everyone is expecting her mother to become pregnant again. That she is embarrassed and does not like the fact (her mother keep on having babies), but guesses that it is up to her (mother). Abigail (10) however, thinks that her mother should have more, because she loves babies, and would even give up her teddy bears for the new baby.
Since Thomas was born Amanda has been losing weight, and starting to get her social life back,even finding time for a tattoo. She asks herself, “Do I really need to have any more? I’m not getting any younger” But it is difficult deciding, and a “small part thinks perhaps one more.”
We also see Amanda go out for Katie’s 16th Birthday at Miss D’s Sunderland Bar, where 300 people have been invited, whilst dad Tony stays at home and ‘babysits’ the other children. One of her daughter’s say that it’s having children that makes her feel young.
Amanda usually gets pregnant pretty quickly and has been trying for two months. Amanda believes that children are a blessing. She is not expected to fall pregnant as quickly now though because of her age. She said if the doctor said he thought she was going through the menopause then she’d be upset.
Now daughter Laura, 18, just two years older than Amanda was when she had her first baby, is pregnant herself. She has been engaged for almost a year, although her mother argues it’s only been a couple of months because that is when the official party was. Laura wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and have a big family herself.
Amanda wanted reassuring that Laura did not mind if she still went on to have another baby. Laura said it was okay and that she would love to be pregnant at the same time as her mother. Katie said she wouldn’t want her mother to be pregnant at the same time as her, and Amanda said that is because she is an attention seeker! That she would only try for another 3 months maximum (as she would usually be pregnant by then) and then she would give up, “If it doesn’t happen just put it down to it’s not meant to be.” That she would pass the baby making baton onto the next generation and look forward to the next stage of her life, with all the nice bits, all the cuddles.
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