I’m a mum-of-13 and back to school is nightmare – the shoes alone cost £300 and people are horrified at my ironing pile | The Sun

ANYONE with kids understands the kerfuffle of trying to get everyone organised for the first day back at school. 

But for one mum with a 11-strong brood, the whole thing has to be run like a military operation. 

Mega mum Joanne O’Rourke, who posts on social media under the name @ORourkesMadnessAndMayhem, is parent to eight boys and three girls aged between three and 20. 

She regularly shares her tips and tricks for keeping a huge household organised with her 25,000 TikTok followers, and droves of fans on Instagram and Facebook. 

And in a recent video, she shared the huge haul of school uniform required to send everyone back to school in good order. 

“Not quite sure where to start,” Joanne admitted, as she scanned the room which was absolutely packed with everything from shirts and socks to school supplies. 

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The super mum decided to begin with the shoes, showing off seven boxes of new kicks, including three pairs from Nike and two pairs of Kickers – before admitting she “still has another pair of Kickers to get”. 

Given that one Nike pair had a price tag of £35, and a pair of Kickers sets you back around £60, the combined cost would come to a whopping £300. 

Joanne then showed off a pile of clothes for the older kids, including multiple pairs of folded up trousers, two large rucksacks, and a large bag stuffed full of blazers and PE kit.

After showing off that huge stack, she added that she has another kid she still needed to get “a whole new secondary school kit for”. 

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She then showed off last year’s remnants she was reusing, which included a massive mound of navy school jumpers, dresses and shirts. 

“They’re all in immaculate condition,” she added, “so I’m just going to get them ironed.” 

Joanne then moved onto the “new stuff”, showing off dozens of polos for the little ones, because “obviously you can’t have enough shirts”. 

The uber-organised parent admitted she even has a shirt a day for the boys and five dresses for her daughter, because “she spills her food on everything” and it makes washing a little easier. 

But the most space was taken up by the monster “sock pile”, containing at least fifty pairs of everything from sports to frilly white socks. 

“See how many socks we have now,” she joked. “Give it until half term, and I’ll have none of these.” 

Joanne also invested in troves of stationary, new lunchboxes, and a water bottle for each member of the household. 

Scanning out over the huge haul, Joanne said she now just needed to “iron it all, get it all labelled, and get it into the uniform cupboard”. 

While the super mum clearly had a firm handle on proceedings, the clip quickly racked up 21,000 views, with users astonished by the sheer amount of housework Joanne would be left with. 

“Bet it took forever to label it all,” one user commented, to which Joanne hilariously replied she has a special stamp that says “one of the O’Rourkes”. 

Another added: “Omg Jo, I can’t even imagine doing all that ironing! I’ve got three and I’m a major fan of crease releaser.” 

According to research by The Children’s Society, parents spend an average of £422 a year on secondary and £287 on primary uniforms – and that’s for unbranded items. 

If Joanne’s costs are anywhere near that, it would mean she was splashing out around £3k a year on new kit for the kids. 

But the savvy mum has plenty of tricks to keep costs down, adding in the video that she’d brought plenty of gear before the summer holidays even started to avoid the bumper back-to-school prices.


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If you'd like to see some of the O'Rourke family's tips and tricks, you can visit their Facebook page 

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