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I'm a mum to seven - at just 27!

Meet Jennifer Stapleton - the Aussie super mum to seven children!

Jennifer Stapleton, 27, Mt Walker, Qld

Feeling a familiar flip in my stomach, a smile crept across my face.

'I think we're going to have another addition to the family,' I smiled to my husband Peter*. 'Wow, really?' he said. 'Are you sure?'

'I should know how it feels by now,' I laughed. After all, I'd been through it four times!

At just 24, Peter and I were already the proud parents of Chelsea-Rose, seven, Jake, six, Kasey, three and Ava, two.

I'd always wanted to be a mum and imagined a house full of kids. So when I fell pregnant in 1999 at just 17, it was a shock but a welcome surprise. I was just starting earlier than I'd imagined!

Now, seven years on it seemed my baby-making days were far from over.

'Hello baby number five,' I laughed, patting my tummy.

When the doctor confirmed my pregnancy days later, I still found it just as exciting as the first time. And we have all the baby gear so no stressful shopping! I thought. The lovely cot my mum gave us when I had Chelsea-Rose would be put into action, as it had with all my kids.

At home I told Peter, a cleaner, the happy news. 'Looks like we'll need a bigger house,' he grinned, surveying our three- bedroom home. We moved into a bigger place and a few months later, we rushed to hospital to welcome our fifth child.

'The baby's coming on my birthday!' Kasey said, thrilled. Sure enough, baby Tom arrived on February 15, exactly three years after she'd been born.

Back at home, we settled into the familiar routine of nappy changes, night feeds, burping and settling. The kids loved their new brother and there was always a pair of hands happy to fetch bottles or put away clothes.

'Can we play with Tom now?' Chelsea-Rose pleaded, with Jake nodding by her side.

'Okay,' I smiled. 'You lot are the best babysitters ever.'

But not everything was perfect after Tom's birth, and sadly Peter and I started drifting apart. Our love had faded, but nothing could come between our devotion to our kids.

When we separated, Peter still played an active part as a parent, seeing the kids often.

I felt blessed our marriage had given me my five wonderful children and I was prepared to be a great single mum.

After our break-up I got to know our neighbour, Matt, now 34. His daughter Skye, then nine, lived with her mum but visited often. My kids loved playing with Skye, and Matt and I shared the trials of parenthood.

'Have you heard about this new video game that's all the rage?' Matt asked as the kids played tips in the backyard.

'Yeah, my kids are dying to get it too,' I sighed.

I felt a spark between us, but with five kids, I thought romance was probably off the cards for me. Then slowly but surely, Matt and I fell in love.

I was worried about the huge responsibility he'd be taking on.

'You've got great kids,' he reassured when we discussed it one night. 'I've got a big family ready-made. I'm a lucky bloke.'

Matt moved in with us and as a household we ran a tight ship.

'After homework, a couple of you can help with the dishes and clear the table,' I called to our little charges.

'Okay Mum,' a chorus of voices answered.

Matt adored being a dad and we loved having Skye come and stay with us.

Being so busy, I almost missed the familiar signs when, in June 2006, I felt a bit off-colour.

'You might be pregnant,' Matt beamed.

'That could be it,' I said. 'How do you feel about being a dad again?'

'I'd be stoked,' he said.

Matt drove trucks for a living and we managed okay financially. Besides, we didn't need anything fancy in life as long as we had each other.

When Jessika came along on February 9, 2007, life was even more hectic, but I liked being busy. There was always something to do and I didn't like sitting still anyway.

'How about we get married?' Matt said one day. I was over the moon.

But organising the wedding was a matter of finding the right place and the right time.

Matt was often away for work and we had to coordinate with school holidays, plus we wanted Jessika to be old enough to toddle around.

'We love the beach - why don't we get married on the Gold Coast?' I suggested. 'That would be perfect,' Matt agreed.

I set about organising a simple ceremony, but as the date approached, another surprise was in store.

'We're going to be parents again,' I cheered, a positive pregnancy test in my hand. I was due just after our wedding, planned for September 13, 2008.

'I'll be one huge bride,' I said. 'But a beautiful one,' Matt teased.

I found a gorgeous dress that would accommodate my bump, and special outfits for the kids.

Our wedding was perfect and exactly two weeks later, Elly was born. At just 27, I'd given birth seven times!

Now, at home, our routine is in full swing. And if anything's important in a household with eight children, it's routine!

In the mornings I throw on a load of washing, make the kids breakfast and drop them at school. Next I get stuck into the housework - tidying, folding clothes, doing dishes and playing with Tom, now three, Jessika, two, and Elly, six months.

Then I make the next day's school lunches and do grocery shopping. After school, it's time to help with homework and give Matt a hand with dinner.

The kids help clear away and then we spend time as a family, watching TV or playing games. But when it comes to times like Christmas, it can be a madhouse!

When I'm at the shops with my brood, sometimes I get shocked looks and funny comments.

'Babysitting the nieces and nephews? They can't all be yours,' a checkout assistant said.

'They are actually,' I smiled.

'Gosh, you don't look old enough!' she said.

'I'm 27, but I started young,' I replied. I wasn't offended. It's quite a compliment.

These days when I get a quiet moment on my own, I don't know what to do with myself.

Unlike most women in their 20s, I don't get to the hairdresser often, I hardly ever go clothes shopping and I can't remember the last time I finished reading a magazine.

But I don't mind - my family is everything to me and I wouldn't have it any other way.

After Elly arrived Matt and I decided our family is complete. I'm now finishing high school and after 10 years of being a mum, I love hitting the books again. I just got my first results and was thrilled to get honours!

I can't wait to see what the future holds but there's one thing I'm sure of. There's never going to be another job more important than the one I have now - being a great mum.

Chat to Jessica and ask her any questions on motherhood by leaving a comment below.

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