Karen and Deon Derrico are no strangers to challenges, both as a couple and as the heads of a family of 14. But they haven’t let these challenges stop them for a single moment — in fact, the difficult reality of running a large family is one of the main reasons that they wanted to be on television. In an exclusive interview with The List, Karen and Deon told us all about how their goal for being on television was not only to share their incredible children with the world, but also to represent a family that isn’t always perfect and that experiences struggles.
“We, of course, thought our family was special, but more than that, Karen and I had dealt with so many challenges. We didn’t realize how many people hadn’t experienced so many challenges that we’ve experienced, but we had no one to go to,” Deon explained, adding that amongst the biggest difficulties was navigating the aftermath of multiple miscarriages.
But despite their love and passion for their huge family, Karen and Deon have no interest in sugarcoating things.
This is how much Karen and Deon Derrico spend monthly on groceries
While Karen and Deon Derrico couldn’t gush enough about the fun and joy of raising a family of 14, they also shared with us what they considered to be some of the greatest challenges. Unsurprisingly, one of the challenges in question is the sheer price of raising a large family. According to Karen, the family spends around “$2,500-$3,500 a month, easy,” on groceries. “In a week we go through 15 boxes of waffles, 20 rolls of toilet paper,” Deon adds (via People).
And indeed, navigating this already expensive song and dance was only made more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karen explained that her family regularly shops in bulk due to having so many mouths to feed, which became nearly impossible because of the shopping restrictions per COVID. The shopping restrictions were intended to limit the amount of supplies an individual could purchase in order for items to be more equally accessible to customers, per the National Retail Federation.
Karen and Deon navigate raising children of all different ages
“When it comes to the buying and the supplies that we need, that has been majorly affected,” Karen revealed. “When we went through that whole shortage of supplies and limiting the quantities of meat that you can get from the store, it was a lot because it was like, ‘No. This is our family size. We need that.’ That affected us.”
Another challenge of raising a huge family comes from the dramatic juxtaposition of life events that their children are experiencing. “They’re all a different age range,” Karen explained. “We have a 15-year-old that’s ready to drive and then you look all the way down at our almost two-year-old triplets, and we’re like, ‘Oh, I guess it’s potty training time.’ I’m making bottles. She’s talking about, ‘Can I get the car and can I get a bottle?’ You got Pre-K. I’m looking for preschools for the four-year-olds and high school for the oldest one.”
“Doubling Down with the Derricos” airs Tuesday nights on TLC at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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