Have you ever wondered what it’s like to raise a big family? Well, there’s big families, and then there’s the Derricos.
Karen and Deon Derrico always knew they wanted to have lots of kids one day, but they couldn’t have possibly predicted that a big family for them would end up meaning 14 children. Astonishingly, all but two of their children would end up being born as multiples, with twins, triplets, and even quintuplets in the mix. But the Derrico family couldn’t feel more blessed to have this family, which Karen believes is thanks to “God opening the baby gates” for their family.
So what does an average day look like for such a big family? How do the Derricos maintain calm within their household? And do Karen and Deon ever find time to be alone together? The List sat down with Karen and Deon Derrico for an exclusive interview answering these questions and many more, as well as what we can expect from their newest season of “Doubling Down with the Derricos.”
Karen and Deon are always striving to teach their children
So what does a typical day look like for the Derricos? According to Karen, while no two days ever look the same, there are various routines that they implement to provide structure and consistency. Karen has opted to homeschool her children, which she says allows her to utilize a “rigorous school schedule” in order to keep her children learning and present. But while in school or not, Karen and Deon always appear to be teaching their children something, whether that’s a song that Karen taught them to learn the different parts of a book, or Deon imparting lessons about finance. The couple even take their children on field trips; an episode of “Doubling Down with the Derricos” shows the family excitedly wandering around a zoo.
But above all else, Deon says the most important thing he could ever teach his children is about “love and family,” adding that he always makes sure to teach them to be cognizant of the mental health of those around them. “There are so many variables to maintaining that health,” Deon explains, “but the number one common denominator, no matter what race you are, no matter how old you are, no matter what gender you are, your sexual preference, your religion — the one common denominator is having that support group that will be there to hold you and let you know it’s going to be okay.”
This is a typical daily routine for the Derrico family
Karen gets her day started bright and early, while Deon gets to sleep in most mornings. “The triplets are our alarm clock,” she jokes. “I get up while [the babies] scream “Poppy.” I get up to them, change them, get their breakfast together. The other [kids] mosey up, start brushing up, getting ready, eating their breakfast. I have their homeschool worksheets and things outlined for them. They start on that. This is all around 7:00 or 8:00 am. By 10:30 am, first shift is over. I’m done. I’m like, ‘Look, we can all go back down to bed at this point.'” It’s at this point that Karen will take a nap, and Deon will take over.
As for their evening routine, Deon is the chef of the house and will cook dinner almost every night. “I don’t cook,” Karen admits, comparing it to a complicated science. “Then, we have dinner. We have our family time. [The kids] are in bed by 8:30, 9:00.” Then Karen and Deon finally have alone time together, where they “sit and try to regroup for the next day.”
Karen and Deon prioritize their alone time together every night
Since their days are so busy, Karen and Deon always make sure to spend time together in the evening before going to bed and starting up another busy day. Deon explains that their days are so busy, that sometimes the only interactions they have involve running past one another or as Deon prefers, he’ll give Karen “a pat … on the butt” as she walks by.
But the evening are when the couple reconnects. “That’s when Karen and I just have our time together and we really appreciate each other. We really appreciate what we have,” Deon explains. “We’ll talk about what one of the children did earlier that day that made us laugh or who messed up their schoolwork or things like that. Then, she’ll start planning out the next day’s curriculum. I’ll normally go in the classroom with her and she and I’ll talk while she’s getting their curriculum together.”
So while no two days look alike, it’s clear that Karen and Deon have their family’s daily routine down to a science.
“Doubling Down with the Derricos” airs Tuesday nights on TLC at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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