Family Of 12 Lives In Cramped NYC Apartment So All The Kids Can Go To Julliard

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Anything For Them

Many parents out there are willing to do nearly anything to help their children not only reach their fullest potential but to then go even further and strive for their greatest dreams.

A large family lined up on a beach, silhouetted by the setting sun.
Unsplash / Tyler Nix
Unsplash / Tyler Nix

A common element in these sorts of goals is education. Enrolling your child in either their school of choice or the best option around is a well-known motivator that will encourage a high-quality learning experience, which can help in fostering a better, more fruitful future.

Like Sardines

No mother knows this better than Amber de la Motte, whose unique family living situation has caused quite a stir online, despite her promising that it’s for her children’s future.


How we sleep as a family of 12 in our NYC apartment. We live on the top 3 floors of a brownstone building. (There are 2 floors beneath.) #nycapartment

♬ Mambo Italiano – Dean Martin

Amber and her family of 12 live in a 3000-square-foot brownstone home in New York City. That’s right, she and her husband have 10 children together, ranging in age from one year old to over 20.

She showed off how the family packs together and their various sleeping arrangements in a TikTok that has now gone viral, sporting almost 6 million views at the time of writing.

Bedroom Rolecall

The two oldest boys share a bunk bed together in one bedroom, while the young girls also share one bedroom fit with one bunk bed and one single bed.

Two screenshots from Amber's TikTok, the younger boy's bedroom on the left and the Lego room on the right.
TikTok / @thehappycaravan
TikTok / @thehappycaravan

Two of the younger boys also share a bunk bed in their own bedroom, one that folds up flat against the wall during the daytime and opens out to take up the entirety of the room at night. The two oldest girls share a bunk bed of the same format, albeit in a larger room.

Then mom and dad get the largest bedroom, though they do have a crib at the foot of the bed where their baby sleeps. Then, curiously, in the home’s sixth bedroom, there are no beds, just a room full of Lego kit builds.

In Disbelief

The comments are currently packed with people who cannot believe they’re fitting that many people in such a small space, with viewers lamenting on the kids’ behalf, saying how probable it is that they all want more privacy or how ridiculous it is that the Legos get their own room before their eldest son.

Two screenshots from Amber's TikTok, the older boy's bedroom on the left and the younger girls' bedroom on the right.
TikTok / @thehappycaravan
TikTok / @thehappycaravan

The living situation isn’t the only curious thing about this family, though. They don’t live in New York City because they’re natives; they actually moved there from San Francisco, transporting the entire family across the country in a 30-foot trailer.

Why, Though?

“We chose NYC because of the musical opportunities this city affords our children,” Amber told Newsweek.

All of Amber’s children play an instrument—all classical string instruments too. They practice diligently, with the family TikTok account featuring a number of videos of family performances.

“This city has some of the best music teachers and schools in the world. Many of our children’s teachers are based at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and they take lessons throughout the week, so being close was really important.”

Higher Education

In fact, an ongoing series on their TikTok account centers around their children’s various yearly auditions for Julliard, with the hopes that all their kids will one day be granted admittance into the school.


If I made TV shows this would be it!😅🎶 This is our 2nd year auditioning for Juilliard as a family. The bar is very high! So we are trying very hard.

♬ original sound – Amber de la Motte

Despite the seemingly small space, Amber said it was absolutely perfect for their family, and thought so from the moment she saw it.

“We were blessed to rent from an extremely thoughtful family that had originally remodeled the home for their needs. It just happened to be a perfect space for our family,” she explained.

The Perfect Fit

“We saw the listing online when we were still living in San Francisco. We were given a virtual tour, then we applied, and after about a week, we heard that the owners had chosen us! We were elated because we had been looking for months and hadn’t seen anything nearly as perfect for our family.”

Two screenshots from Amber's TikTok, the older kids playing outside their home on the left and the home's backyard on the right.
TikTok / @thehappycaravan
TikTok / @thehappycaravan

The home also features a small backyard that allows enough space for the kids to interact with nature. Though others may find it unconventional, Amber calls the home a “great blessing.”

A Little More Privacy

“The children study classical music and having a number of bedrooms means everyone has a place to practice. In the Bay Area—where we lived before this—the kids often had to practice at the park because there weren’t enough bedrooms,” she said. She did also explain that the sixth bedroom, isn’t just a Lego display room, it’s also a general play room and a practice room for all the kids.

All the kids lined up with their instruments.
TikTok / @thehappycaravan
TikTok / @thehappycaravan

“So this feels like a miracle of a situation. The city itself is so full of life and excitement—and it’s all just a subway ride away. We’re super grateful for that.”

The Family Journey

People have found themselves fascinated with the family’s journey, as every upload of theirs now gets at least around 100k views, often much more.


Weekly Costco Grocery Haul for our family of 12 in NYC 🥑🍒🍑🍓We go to Trader Joe’s too! #groceryhaul #largefamily

♬ original sound – Amber de la Motte

It’s clear that Amber runs the TikTok account, satiating many curiosities about how their family functions. She’s explained how they shop for groceries, getting all the kids ready for bed, how they’re paying for everything, the kids’ buskin careers to help them raise money for further musical endeavors, and more!

She also makes more general parenting content, such as how to help picky kids get all their nutrients and where she frequents in the city.

Any Sacrifice

It’s a unique situation to be sure, and one many people could not see themselves imitating. Be it the very large family or the borderline too-small space they’re living in, there’s no denying the changes and sacrifices these parents and siblings have made for each other.


Mom of 10 in NYC! Come with us to The Juilliard School to see my daughter Naomi’s chamber music concert! #juilliard #familyof12 #largefamilylife #nyc

♬ original sound – Amber de la Motte

If nothing else, this story shows the sheer dedication that some parents have toward their children. Such a move couldn’t have been an easy feat, but they were willing to go through with it so their kids could chase their musical dreams of the future.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]