Family Moments: Nicola Carolan

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 Nicola Carolan.

A little bit about me and my family.

My Name is Nicola Carolan and I am a mother of two from Kildare. My son has just started Senior Infants and I have a little man who is 13 months old. We as a family have a busy schedule week to week. I am self-employed and also co-owner / Director of my company in Ashbourne Co Meath.

My partner and I juggle between home and working life. We certainly don’t have it all together but we work it so we have as much time with our boys as possible.

When I had my boys, I didn’t want to go down the route of external childcare so between ourselves and my parents (which we are blessed to have) my boys are well looked after in our own home.

Our favourite way to spend time together is...

Our favourite way to spend time together mostly revolves around food. I am a food blogger and make food for retail so I guess it becomes part of our whole life.

Most Saturdays or Sundays we spend the morning strolling to our little local cafe where we all enjoy toasted brown soda bread, poached eggs and bacon or pancakes.

We are also partial to a cheeky Chinese takeaway and share it between us with a movie night..

Our most cherished family moment is...

I am lucky enough to say I have many but most recently as a family of four, the one that stands out is while we were all together at the beach in Tramore Co. Waterford making sandcastles, splashing in the water and visiting the funfair. My eldest son turned to us and said: “this was the best day ever Mammy with all of us together”.

That same day we had a million things to do at home. The grass needed to be cut, the laundry pile was getting higher and the return of school was imminent, but we just took off for the day. It couldn’t have been more perfect and we only had minor meltdowns!

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

I don’t let things get in the way and that is a big lesson I have learned from being in the business that I am in. Yes, we have our working week but once that is over, my time is given to my boys and partner. My family will always come before everything else.

It is so easy to live our lives through the eyes of others with so many popular social media apps but we are forgetting to live our own lives and be present in the moment we are living now. I feel it’s very important to remember that you will never get back this particular moment.

That half an hour you spent scrolling when you could have made a jigsaw or walked to the park - I have been there and wore the t-shirt. Eventually, something has to give and you learn the life lesson as they say.

Our pledge as a family:

Myself and my partner were only speaking about this a couple of weeks ago. Somewhere along the way, we forgot about ourselves in that we never go out or go away together because we have given every second to our boys for the last six years.

But maybe sometimes mammy and daddy need to remember who they were before nappies, babygrows and school runs. Easier said than done when you lead a hectic life as a family of four, but it is one aspect of our lives we would like to change whether it be a monthly or bi-monthly thing.

As a family of four, we want to travel more together for a week/weekends away. We are heading to the Algarve at the end of this month and we are so excited to spend a week making memories together.

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

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

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