Family Moments: Heather Condren

Family Moments is about the wonderful experience of connecting as a family.

In this series, we encourage parents to take a look at those truly special family moments. Memories that evoke a feeling of pure joy because they represent quality time with the people we love the most. The realities of modern day life can make these family moments feel out of our reach a lot of the time. Through this series, parents take a look at the obstacles that can get in the way of these happy family experiences with a view to making some changes so that life can involve more of them. Today we’re speaking to Heather Condren. 

A little bit about me and my family. 

I'm Heather, 34 and a mam to one-year-old Sid and fifteen-year-old Ben – who just so happens to be a dog but he is my son, nonetheless! I work part-time in Marketing for Sadie’s Kitchen and I am also a postpartum doula and a florist.

I live with *takes a deep breath* my husband, my mam, my dad, my son, my dog, my mam’s dog and my sister’s dog. Four adults, one baby and three dogs makes for a busy house.

We moved here when Sid was four months old to save for a home of our own. Living with your parents as an adult is, eh, interesting! But we are so grateful for the opportunity to save and Sid is surrounded by so much love at all times. My mam minds him while I am in work, which is so reassuring. She’s the best mammy in the world, after all!

Our favourite way to spend time together is...

My mam’s house is always full of visitors, meaning it can be hard for us to get some downtime during the week so we try to make the most of our weekends.

Sundays are my favourite day by far! When Sid was 8 weeks old, we signed him up to Swim Cubs and every Sunday we are up bright and early and out the door to go swimming.

Sid adores the pool and I love watching him grow in confidence in the safety of his daddy's arms. My job is to take pics and get him dried and dressed afterwards. After swimming, we always go for something to eat and a walk.

We are saving hard, so eating out on a Sunday is a real treat. Sometimes we head to the People's Park Market, or we will head into town to meet some friends. It's a lovely way for us to connect as a family of three and to give my mam and dad some space at home too. 

Our most cherished family moment is...

My husband and I are not religious so we never had a christening for Sid. I always felt a little sad that we never had a big welcome celebration for him, so as his first birthday loomed closer I decided we would go all out and throw a big party.

We hired a bouncing castle, invited everyone and made a beautiful grazing table, filled with delicious food. We asked everyone to donate to the Laura Lynn Hospice Foundation in lieu of gifts.

The week of the party, we decided to go one further and have a naming ceremony. I wrote the ceremony myself and my cousin officiated. We had two poems read by loved ones and our best friends stood as guardians for Sid.

Myself, my husband and both sets of grandparents stood and made promises to love Sid and do our best to guide him through this life. Looking around our garden, with most of the people we love, all celebrating the little boy who is made of magic... well, it was amazing. And something I will carry in my heart forever.

The thing that gets in the way of us spending time together is...

Midweek we are in a haze of work, commutes and visitors. Our house is busy, so we never get time to just chill as a trio. It’s in the door, dinner on, bedtime routine starts and sure by the time we stop, I am exhausted and fall into bed. But I think that’s common in most working families! 

Our pledge as a family:

We pledge to get more organized! Neither of us are the most organised people in the world but on the weeks that we plan a little ahead, we really see the benefit time-wise.

It is often our goal to spend a Saturday morning cooking some meals and prepping clothes for the week ahead, so when we get in from work we can perhaps fit in a walk with Sid before bed.

Also, putting things in your calendar is a great way to get yourself out and about. Dublin is full of fun and free things to do, so we’re going to get better at picking one or two things a month and making it a family date.

To maximize your quality family time, take our Family Moments Challenge.

We would like to thank Heather for sharing her special family moments with us. To read more stories just like Heather's, click here.

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