Richelle is a third grade teacher at Kaplan Elementary, while Gabe works in the tax assessor’s office in Abbeville. Next year he will be sworn in as the new parish tax assessor.
Here is a list of the Marceauxs’ children and their ages: Gage (13), Lane (11) , Gabrielle (9), Ellie (5), Owen (3), Camille (18 months old)
The Abbeville Meridional submitted questions to Richelle dealing with how she manages a career, a husband and six children. Here are her answers.
Q: What plans do you have for Mother’s Day?
We will start our day by going to Mass, then lunch as a family. We will then visit with all of the other special mothers in our family.
Q: How happy and proud are you of your family?
I am extremely happy. I am thankful that we are all healthy. My family makes me proud every day. We all strive to be the best we can be in all we do. I am proud of my children. They make me proud by their actions, character, and the activities in which they choose to be involved. When I look at Gabe, I think of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful example for my children to follow. I am thankful to his parents for raising him to be the person that he is. I know that his “Ma”, Helen Marceaux, has also played a large role in the way in which he was raised. Although raising six children may seem challenging at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Gabe and I both appreciate the upbringing which our parents provided us. All children live by example. We learned from our parents to set high morals and values. We are simply passing on this legacy. Gabe and I can’t take all the credit, but we do know that we make a great team!
Q: How difficult was it to name your children? Where did the names come from?
Gabe and I always let the gender of the babies be a surprise, so for the first one we had 2 names picked out. Gage, because it was really close to Gabe, and Gabrielle, because it was a combination of Gabe’s name and my name. When we were expecting our second child, we still had a girl name, but a boy was born. So we decided on Lane because it was 4 letters and had the same long a sound as Gabe and Gage. Then number three came along and we were able to use our girl name, Gabrielle. When Ellie was born, that was just a name that Gabe and I liked. Owen was named after my grandfather. For Camille, Gabe and I decided on her name the day before while eating lunch.
Q: Was having a large family something you always dreamed about?
I always wanted children. I put it in God’s hands, and he blessed me with six healthy children.
Q: How much do you count on the two oldest ones to help? Does the 13-year-old have more chores than all them put together?
We do count on them a lot. However, they don’t have more chores, just bigger chores. Example: mowing the lawn
Q: Speaking of chores, list their weekly or daily chores around the house.
Daily chores would include feeding cows, dogs, cats and pigs (during show season); loading and unloading the dishwasher; picking up dirty clothes, and putting clean clothes away; vacuuming and dusting.
Q: Is it a hassle to get them to do chores?
The hardest part is staying home long enough for everybody to get the chores done. Someone always has somewhere to go. (4-H, baseball, football, etc….)
Q: What has been the biggest challenge of raising six children?
The biggest challenge that Gabe and I face is allowing each of our children to be an individual. Although they are part of our large family unit, we strive to manage our time so that each child feels special and is able to participate in various extracurricular activities. It is our goal to allow each of our children to be active and productive members of our community.
Q: What has been the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect of being a mother to my children is seeing them display good character on a daily basis. Gabe and I try to teach our children by example. Although we do have to correct them on occasion, it all seems worth it when adults compliment the behavior of our children in our absence.
Q: How important is it to have family to help?
It is extremely important because you cannot just count on anyone to watch six children.
Q: Could you pull it off if you lived in California with six children?
Gabe and I are a good team, so we probably could live anywhere with six children.
Q: Write down the morning school routine at the Marceaux House.
Gabe and I wake about 6:00. Gabe fixes the coffee while I fold some clothes. About 6:15, we start waking up the four that go to school. Gabe usually fixes breakfast while I shower. Gage and Lane get up and go feed animals. Gabrielle and Ellie wake about 6:30 and get dressed. They all usually sit down and eat breakfast together around 6:45. The boys catch the bus at 7:00 and the girls help get Camille and Owen ready while Gabe showers. I take the girls to school with me, and Gabe brings the two younger ones to the sitter before going to work.
Q: As a teacher, where do you get all of your energy to teach, come home, help with homework and prepare a meal?
You just do what you have to do. My daily routine definitely requires a lot of energy. After many hours of teaching my students at school, I know that my family needs me, too. My energy comes from within. I strive to give 100% to my students and my family.
Q: When do you decide what to cook?
It all depends. Sometimes the day before and sometimes 5 minutes before meal time. Often times, our menu is driven by the activities that lie ahead of us on that given day.
Q: Which parent helps with homework?
I usually help with homework because I am home with the kids before Gabe gets home from work.
Q: What time does everyone go to bed on a school night, weekend night? What is the routine for that.
Everyone’s bedtime is 8:30, except during baseball season.
We usually have our afternoon activities (baseball or football practice, feeding and working with calves, etc..) ,eat supper, take baths and then settle down (maybe sit in the living room and watch a baseball game or a show on TV), then everyone heads to bed.
Q: When do you and Gabe have alone time?
When we attend a function together.
Q: Do you roll your eyes when you hear people complain about having two children and having to be here and there?
No, not really, but I do sometimes think…if they only knew!
Q: Have you ever forgotten a child at a store or place?
I have never left anyone anywhere because we always count to make sure everyone is there. The only thing I did do was forget to pick up Lane at track practice one day (I was only 15 minutes late). I create a monthly calendar with activities for all of our children, Gabe and myself. At a glance, I can see what each day has in store for us.
Q: Is washing clothes an adventure?
Yes, we have eight people living in our home. We are always washing, drying, folding and putting clothes away.