Becoming a parent is terrifying, yet it’s one of the most exciting adventures in life. However, life’s grand adventure can become incredibly costly, especially if you’re a mother of 12, trying to make ends meet in today’s economy.


Mother of 12 makes Her Plea


Veronica Merritt is a 39-year-old mother of 12 and has recently sparked debate online, sharing her struggles to support her kids financially. She shares several challenges including limited financial assistance from her former partners and an irregular income. The mother of 12 notes that she does receive government assistance but that it’s $1400 a month. “I’m trying to take care of my kids as best I can. This month I didn’t have any money, so [I] had to spend $1,400 in food stamps,” she said. “It’s impossible to feed 11 people on $1,400 — the prices of everything right now are tight. I used to feed my family of 12 for $500 a month but now you need $2,000 to $3,000 a month to feed this many people ramen.”

Limited Income

Bags of carrots.
Photo Credit: thismadmama | TikTok

She explains that her annual food bill is around $24,000 but she has gotten creative, sharing videos of easy-to-make and affordable meals on TikTok. With almost 450,000 followers, one might assume that she does well financially. However, the content creator and freelance artist explained that she only makes a few hundred dollars a month from the platform, depending on how much interaction she gets from viewers and followers. Additionally, she brings home about $15,000 from her work and one of her former partners pays the utilities for the family.

Introducing the Kids

Young girl sitting with a baby. Both smiling, gray background.
Photo Credit: Thismadmama | TikTok

The mother of 12 became pregnant with her first child at 14 years old. Her oldest, Victoria, is 24 and has a child of her own. Both are living with the mother of 12 and her family. Next, is 19-year-old Andrew, then 17-year-old Adam, followed by 16-year-old Mara, 14-year-old Dash, and 13-year-old Darla. Her youngest are 11-year-old Marvelous, 9-year-old Martalya, 7-year-old Amelia, 5-year-old Delilah, and 4-year-old Donovan. Lastly, her youngest is 2 and named Modi. The mother of 12 has her hands full but continues to do all she can for her kids. However, the rising cost of groceries has made things even more challenging.

Making Holidays Count

Purportedly, the mother of 12 also estimates that she spends around $7,000 on Christmas and around $10,000 on birthdays. As a result, she has also used her platform to showcase the creativity she invests into money-saving, yet memorable, festivities. “I start my Christmas shopping years in advance, so one of my kid’s presents is something that I bought four years ago,” she said. “Usually what I do is I find things from the Halloween store, find things on clearance, or I find cool things at the thrift store.”

Controversy Surrounds the Mother of 12

Family of kids laying on the grass, facing the camera. Tree and sky in the background.
Photo Credit: Thismadmama | TikTok

Unsurprisingly, the mother of 12 has faced criticism from internet users, as many don’t sympathize with her “self-inflicted” struggles. Countless people have made unsupportive comments that generally fall into the categories of “Get a job“, and “How did this happen?” In contrast, a few have offered support or encouragement to the mother of 12. “Mad respect to you mama!! And much love” Commented one person. While another said, “You’re the definition of a supermommy.

“Different environments and different timelines. She did what she could with little or no guidance. Be nice to her. Please? She’s a great mama.” Declared a third person.

“All [I] have to say is hat off to you for standing with ur kids …u never gave up on them,” said a fourth.

Current Economic Standing


Although the mother of 12 has her hands full, that may not be the only reason she’s having such a hard time. In major cities throughout the U.S., there has been a rise in homelessness, and more people in need of government assistance. According to a report 2023 saw the highest homeless population since the 2008 recession and between 2022 and 2023, the cost of food and average grocery bills increased by just over 11%. Moreover, about 42.2 million people are currently receiving SNAP benefits. SNAP replaced the food stamps program in 2008 and has since become recognized for providing food assistance for low-income families. Interstingly, 2023 was also a tough year for those who rely on assistance, because the average family saw a decrease of around $80 per month.

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