Sixteen years ago, Wan Nurul Melissa Wan Abdul Malek, 36, and her husband Mohd Azman Zainal Abidin, 37, wanted to have four children when they got married.
“Instead, we have 10 children now and we plan to have 12,” said Wan Nurul Melissa.
Their 10 children are Muhammad Adib Naufal Mohd Azman, 15, Nur Athilah Aliyah, 12, Nur Alisya Sofia, 10, Muhammad Anas Firman, 9, Muhammad Adam, 7, Muhammad Rahman, 5, Muhammad Rahim, 5, Muhammad Aidan, 3, Nur Ainul Maisarah, 2, and Muhammad Ammar, 6 months.
“It is tiring, but what we do for them makes us happy. It is not easy to care for 10 children, but God has made it easy for us,” said Wan Nurul Melissa. She said a helper cared for her children while she and husband worked.
“We have our ups and downs, especially in trying to get them to sleep on time.”
She said she was a housewife early in her marriage and her husband worked
as a store keeper at a factory.
“When our family got bigger and bigger, I ventured into business in 2010. Now, my husband is also helping out with my business selling children’s clothing,” said the Taiping-born woman.
She said she had no problem managing a big family because she came from a family of nine siblings while her husband, from Sungkai, Perak, had four siblings, including a pair of twins.
On family outings, Wan Nurul Melissa said it was common for strangers to ask them if some of the children were their nephews and nieces.
“When I tell them that they are all my children, many are shocked,” she said, laughing.
On buying clothes for her children, Wan Nurul Melissa said having a business selling children’s apparel helped.
“I am well-versed in terms of sizes for different age groups. I don’t have to take my children out to buy their clothes because I know all 10 sizes in my head.”