Most mothers shudder at the thought of a week’s washing.
So spare a thought for Heather McIntyre, a blind mother-of-ten whose laundry regime includes keeping the iron out of the path of her five visually impaired children and guide dog.
Mrs McIntyre, 41, lives in Penrith, western Sydney, with her 56-year-old husband Garry and their brood.
Grocery shopping, completed with the help of her trusty guide dog Marjee, is done by feeling her way around the fruit section and cooking is achieved on an oven adorned with braille cheat notes.
While their mountainous family meals (10 loaves of bread, 24 eggs and countless potatoes) might send shivers down the spines of even the most nurturing of mothers, Mrs McIntyre requires no help in the kitchen, insisting it is merely ‘her job’ to feed the masses.
‘I’m happy to do it. I wouldn’t make them help, they’re children. And it’s my job,’ the stunningly upbeat mother told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday, balancing her youngest child, 15-month-old Myfawny, on her lap.
The cheerful mother-of-ten and her husband pay for the family’s medical bills with his income and through Medicare but say they receive no other help.
Mrs McIntyre was 19 when she met her husband, a personal trainer, through her job as a telemarketer – a‘typical blind person job’, she laughs.
‘We met when I was working in telemarketing, a typical blind person’s job. Back then no one cared about political correctness so I couldn’t get a job as a secretary or bookkeeper.’
Mrs McIntyre was born with congenital cataracts, a condition which has left her almost completely blind for most of her life.
She and Mr McIntyre dated for six months before marrying in 1995. Later that year they welcomed their first child, Kurt, setting in to motion a life-long love affair with motherhood.
The couple moved back to Sydney from Perth, where they had been living, to be with family. Mrs McIntyre, pregnant and blind, struggled to find work. Despite financial limitations (the family relies on Mr McIntyre’s income as a personal trainer) and her health problems, the gleeful mother is eager to continue growing their family and seeks no glory in her efforts.