This photo, taken in Wilton’s Kineowatha Park, shows Rebecca Richard’s family about 12 years ago, not long after her youngest was born, far left with Dad. From left are: husband John, baby Mary, Theo, Phineas, Holden, Skylar, Garp, Frances, Rebecca and Noah. Submitted photo

JAY — By all accounts Rebecca Richard is an organized and dedicated mother to her eight children. And, as if that wasn’t enough, much more.

She was born in Florida and went to high school in Connecticut. That is where she met her husband, got married, started college and had her first two children.

In all, they now have eight children, all homeschooled since their oldest started kindergarten in 2002.

Richard is also an avid writer. “I have been writing since I was in fifth grade: journals, short stories, screenplays, blogs. I always enjoyed reading and writing.”

So it was a natural decision to recently take a staff writer position with The Franklin Journal and Livermore Falls Advertiser in the Farmington office, while still balancing motherhood, running a home-schooling business, and homeschooling her youngest three children.

Rebecca Richard is seen here with one of her eight children, Frances, when she was younger. She is now 14. Submitted photo

What are the challenges of raising eight children? It might be surprising, but I’ve never found having eight children to be challenging. I often say that they arrived one by one, seamlessly blending into our family dynamic. With about two years between each, welcoming a new baby every few years felt natural. I will be honest, it was a bit wild with five children under the age of 7. For some reason, it was my sixth child, my last boy, who was the most spirited. My main struggle is coming to terms with how swiftly time flies; the infant I held “just yesterday” is now 11. It’s a mix of emotions, witnessing these transformations as both my children and I age together — it’s bittersweet yet undeniably beautiful.


How do you balance being a mother, home-schooling your children and working? Balancing being a mother, homeschooling my children, and pursuing a career has been quite the journey, but it’s one filled with growth and fulfillment. I began as an exclusively homeschooling mom until a few years ago when I took over a small homeschool business and eventually returned to college to complete my degree. Now, I’ve landed a reporter position, adding another layer to my already busy life. Of my eight children, three are still homeschooling, with the older ones managing their studies online. My youngest learns alongside me, her father, and her oldest sister. It’s a collaborative effort that requires careful scheduling and constant communication. Despite the challenges, it’s incredibly rewarding to see my children thrive academically and to have them join me at local events I cover for my newspaper job. Balancing these roles takes a lot of organization, flexibility, and support from my family and colleagues, but it’s all worth it in the end. I’ll be honest, I have felt pangs of guilt to have my youngest not have me home all the time. But, I am doing this for her, so I rest easy. She seems to understand.

Did you always want a large family? Growing up as an only child after my parents’ divorce, I cherished the moments spent with my extended family in Florida. Surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins, I felt the warmth of belonging to something bigger. Motherhood wasn’t on my mind in those early years, but as I fell in love with my high school sweetheart, the idea of a large family became enchanting. Four years into our marriage, we embarked on the journey of expanding our family. Now, 31 years later, we are blessed with eight incredible children, ranging from ages 11 to 27, five boys and three girls.

What are some of your favorite memories of your children and you growing up? Some of my favorite memories of my children and me growing up together flood my mind with warmth and joy. The unforgettable homebirths, each one a unique and miraculous journey that brought us closer together as a family. Our hikes in the breathtaking landscapes of New Hampshire and Maine are cherished.

Riding the train from New Hampshire to the children’s science museum in Vermont was like a journey into a storybook, filled with laughter and excitement at every turn. And oh, the countless hours we spent swimming together in local ponds.

Rebecca Richard with her youngest daughter, Mary, 11. Submitted photo

Funtown and Splashtown outings were a blast, the thrill of the slides and the joy of shared experiences binding us together even tighter. But perhaps the best parts were the simple moments: taking leisurely walks hand in hand, pushing them higher and higher on the swings while their laughter filled the air, and those deep, meaningful conversations with my teens about the world, about life, about everything under the sun.

And just recently, the exhilarating experience of roller skating together. It was not easy for my youngest, but she just kept trying.

Do you have a mantra that helps you get through the days? Yes, I do have a mantra, and it’s a deeply personal one for me. My mantra is rooted in faith and conviction: “With Jesus, I can do anything.” This simple yet powerful belief serves as my guiding light through life’s challenges and triumphs. It reminds me that with divine strength and guidance, there are no limits to what I can achieve.

What is the most important part of being a mother? To me, the heart of motherhood is all about love — ensuring my children feel cherished, supported, and safe. It’s about being there for them, no matter what, and creating an environment where they know they can always come to me with anything on their minds.

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