Things That Matter

With 16 Kids, the Hernandez’s Are the Largest Latino Family in the US

If you have kids, you know how amazing it is, but also how overwhelming it can be.

From the moment your children are born, it really is true that life changes in unimaginable ways: from diaper duty, to baby bottles, to worrying about them every second of the day. All at once, their lives go before your own, and while parenthood is beautiful, it’s really difficult, too. That said, most of us have one, two, or three kids… not 16.

That’s where the Hernandez family comes in. As reported by Telemundo, Patty and Carlos Hernandez from Charlotte, North Carolina are the biggest Hispanic family in the U.S. with a whopping 16 children. And, they’re not finished: they still want more kids.

Patty Hernandez, 40, had her first child at 26 years old, and now has a total of 16 kids — including three sets of twins. All of her births have been natural except for one c-section, and all the couple’s children are in perfect health.

Both Patty and Carlos take turns raising their children and participating in day-to-day chores like preparing lunch, getting the kids ready for school, and loading them all on their own bus that fits 18 people. About her husband, Patty shared, “he has been a good man, God has blessed me with him, too, because he helps me with everything.”

In fact, she decided to honor Carlos by making sure all her children’s names start with the letter “C.”

So how does the couple keep order in their home? Simple: they don’t. “There is no order, because there is a child crying and all the rest keep running around everywhere, and if I’m alone I’ll go crazy. My husband is always with me.” In fact, the couple actually works at night in order to take care of their kids during the day, only rarely getting help from the children’s aunt or a volunteer.

As Patty put it, “it is really difficult but thank God we always [make it work].” Still, it takes a lot to make sure the kids are cared for and fed. The couple wakes up at 5:00 a.m. every day to get them ready for the day, make lunch and take the older ones to school, going back home to care for the little ones. And when it comes to groceries, the Hernandez family spends up to $900 a week.

Washing clothes three times a day, it’s clear Patty and Carlos don’t have much time to rest. Thankfully, she also explained that the older kids help out with the little ones. 

As per Telemundo, the family are Pentecostal Christians, and believe that every child God gives them is simply a blessing. Although Patty says she is “busy all day” (we believe it!) the couple would be more than happy to keep the family growing. 

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