BUDAPEST (Reuters) – When Hungarian ex-world champion canoeist Marton Joob and fiancee Dora got married they planned to have six children.
So far they’ve had 10, with an 11th on the way – and now that schools are closed and the country is under lockdown, looking after them has become a full-time job with sometimes unforeseen consequences.
“We think everything is all right and the fridge is full, and then 2-3 days later we open it and its almost empty,” said 37-year-old Marton.
They get by with two fridges and a big freezer, and use a 17-seater bus to transport the family around their home city of Szeged.
But their biggest challenge has been home schooling. Six of the children – they range in age from 15 years to just 14 months – have been studying at home for weeks, and all have assignments to be coordinated, completed and delivered on time.
The lockdown has taught the children to be more self-reliant and cooperate more readily in tidying the house, playing together in smaller groups and packing away toys – helping to bring the family closer together and reinforcing their Christian values.
“This virus has changed many things … we have slowed down a little,” said Marton, a three-time sprint canoe world champion between 2003 and 2007.
While the epidemic is a worrying time “seeing our children around us gives us great hope (and)… if God (wills it) … we would like to have one or two more.”
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; editing by John Stonestreet)