13 reasons for mum to smile

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Lisa Colback with a family photo.
Camera IconLisa Colback with a family photo. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Thirteen children, two cats, one dog, one bunny rabbit, a few goldfish, some budgies and a hermit crab.

Welcome to the Colback family, Albany’s very own Cheaper by the Dozen, plus one.

Albany super-mum Lisa Colback has described her family as loud, fun and busy — it is a house full of love.

With 13 reasons to smile and celebrate this Sunday on Mother’s Day, she is grateful for her big family.

Six of 13 children in the Colback Clan, Ben, Joe, Mum Lisa, Lydia, Bethany, Jordan and Jed.
Camera IconSix of 13 children in the Colback Clan, Ben, Joe, Mum Lisa, Lydia, Bethany, Jordan and Jed. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Mrs Colback has accumulated her fair share of handmade Mother’s Day cards over her 30 years of motherhood — and she is looking forward to her annual brekkie in bed on Sunday.

While having such a big family was not originally on the agenda, this wonder mum said she would not change a thing.

She said being a mother was the best — and hardest — thing she had ever done.

“I didn’t grow up in a big family and there was never a plan to have such a big family. I think it just happened,” she said.

“We always joke around and tell people we were trying for the perfect one so we had to keep trying.”

Lisa and Phil are the proud parents of children Josh, 31, Naomi, 29, Rachel, 27, Zedekiah, 25, Elijah, 23, Simeon, 22, Samuel, 20, Benjamin, 18, Josiah (Joe), 16, Lydia, 14, Bethany, 11, Jordan, 8, and Jedidiah, 6.

The Colback family of 15, including Mum and Dad.
Camera IconThe Colback family of 15, including Mum and Dad.

So how does she describe a family of 15? Crazy, full of love and fun.

“I fell in love with being a mum, there is no other way to describe it. There’s lots of love going around and plenty of fun,” she said. “It’s so hard to put into words what life is like because it’s so normal for us. Everything is fun, it’s a lot of work and definitely crazy at times and the house is full of big personalities and lots of opinions, but it’s a blessing.

“You have to be organised and routines are my best friend.”

Mrs Colback said she often gets asked how she does it. Her reply: “I just do.”

“People often say, ‘What, 13? You’re crazy’. I get that all the time and yes I guess I am slightly crazy, but I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said.

“We have just been so blessed to have them, I can’t imagine my life without them.

“I’ve had babies and toddlers for the last 30 years; when you put it like that it does sound a bit crazy and on top of that I had teenagers as well, as well as weddings and newborns. I’ve been pregnant for a couple of the kids’ weddings and also been pregnant for the birth of a grandchild.

“I guess we really are the real life Cheaper by the Dozen. The kids all love that movie.”

Mrs Colback has a few friends with seven or eight children.

“I laugh and tell them they are underachievers,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails