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 Jennifer Carroll.
A little bit about me and my family.
My name is Jennifer Carroll and I am mammy to my four-year-old boy Carter. I am thirty years old and live in Tallaght. I moved to London when I was nineteen to study and work in Drama. Carter was born in London and he and I moved back to my parents’ house in the summer of 2017 when Carter was two years old. Carter is starting primary school in September so we have a big transition coming up.
Our favourite way to spend time together is...
Any time together is a blessing. I went back to full-time work a year ago when Carter was three years old and in preschool. I am so lucky that I live with my parents who are a massive support to both Carter and I. It was the right thing for both of us but I still feel the 'parent guilt' every day
I go to work, which luckily is a nine to five day. At the weekend our time together is real quality time. Sometimes I don't care what we do so long as we're together. We have a lot of fun together in the kitchen, doing crafts and going on adventure walks. He is so active and loves to be outdoors.
Our most cherished family moment is...
We went on holiday this year to Spain just him and I. It was the best week ever filled with laughs, cuddles, activities and so much food. I had so many moments where my eyes filled with tears out of pure happiness watching him play in the pool or dance on the beach. One day on holiday we rented scooters and bikes.
I remember just being so grateful to have these memories with him and getting to experience things I never thought I'd do all thanks to him.
The thing that gets in the way of us spending time together is...
Mainly work, housework and often I put a lot of effort into my food prep and social media page (but I do try to do that when he is asleep or out playing).
He's recently gotten a tablet device for his birthday and I finally understand the importance of monitoring screen time. He has a game that he loves and I know if I let him he will sit for hours playing it, but I really see a difference in his mood after.
For this reason, I try to suggest doing a jigsaw or colouring even though he always asks if he can have his tablet instead. It breaks my heart sometimes!
Our pledge as a family:
I pledge to put time into my food and social media page after work in the evenings when he is out playing with friends (but I know with the darker evenings and school nights approaching he will be in early).
I want to encourage him to help me out more in the kitchen because he already does this and enjoys it. I think it's a great way to encourage me to eat healthily while also teaching him about healthy foods. It will make it exciting for him if he has the responsibility of helping out.
I want to try to plan two or three weekends each year when just the two of us can visit a new part of Ireland and stay overnight for a little adventure and break. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, even just a cheap and cheerful B&B next to a huge park we could explore together.
To maximize your quality family time, take our Family Moments Challenge.
We would like to thank Jennifer for sharing her special family moments with us. To read more stories just like Jennifer's, click here.