Family Moments: Nikita Ryan

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 Nikita Ryan.

A little bit about me and my family.

My name is Nikita and I have two beautiful kids. Daisy is four and Jackson is almost nine months. My partner’s name is Gary and he is an alarm engineer. His hours are thankfully a regular 9-5 situation and I’m still on maternity leave from work and loving it.

I work for Dublin Airport and I am not missing that shift work life. In the past year, we’ve bought a house, moved in and had a new baby all within weeks of each other so it’s been eventful, to say the least. Lots of change for us all and a lot to get used to.

Our favourite way to spend time together is...

When I first thought about this question, I immediately thought about our days out to the zoo or parks, farms etc because we do love all that. Then I asked Gary about this question and we both agreed that our favourite way to spend time together is actually just being home together.

Life has been so busy for the last year, so playing with the kids and making memories (in what is hopefully our forever home) is lovely. We feel so privileged to have our home that we worked so hard for and we love it.

We buy baking kits now to make cookies and cupcakes (I’m a terrible baker) and we love doing arts and crafts with our daughter because she loves it. We play hide and seek and our daughter discovers new corners of our house every day to explore. And recently, building dens is a new favourite in our house. It is so important for us as parents to find fun in the every day.

Our most cherished family moment is...

With our gorgeous new addition came a lot of worry and anxiety about our firstborn not feeling so special anymore. It was my biggest struggle when it came to going from one to two kids. I felt so much guilt just looking at Daisy after I had Jackson. So when it came to the time for them to meet I was so worried.

When Daisy met her little brother and brought him her favourite blue blanket (which she had since her own birth and used as her comforter) was the most magical moment in my parenting journey so far. After that, we finally brought our two babies straight from the Rotunda to our new home and the whole puzzle finally felt complete. 2018 was our best year to date.

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

I’m a self-confessed control freak. I live off lists, meal planners and routines. I thrive (and the kids do too!) when I’m organized. You wouldn’t want to get me on the show ‘wife swap'. I love waking up and knowing how the day will unfold.

However, it does get in the way of me spending quality time with my family. Sometimes when Gary gets home from work I find myself not even asking “how was your day” but instead I’ll ask him to take the kids because I have a list that needs finishing.

I love being organised because it helps my mind. That being said, I put enormous amounts of pressure on myself to keep the house tidy, have the kids eating well, get out of the house for air and the “list” goes on and on.

It is so unnecessary, and I don’t think I am alone with that. A lot of other mums I chat to are the exact same. We just want to be the best in every sense for our kids. I can definitely let my need for perfection get in the way of family time. 

It doesn’t help that Gary is the exact opposite in personality. He couldn’t care less about routine or mess and I really envy that about him!

Our pledge as a family:

We chatted about this and both agreed that I can try to loosen the reins a bit on my scheduled living and he can meet me with understanding my urge for perfection. I appreciate his sense of calm as it’s a quality I wish I had. It comes in handy when I need talking down. We also agreed that my sense of organization isn’t too bad when he is looking for a receipt or something he ‘misplaced’ (happens a lot) so there are positives.

Meeting each other halfway is our approach to most of life’s difficulties. Our pledge is to stop more and sit and enjoy our time as a family, play more games, tell more jokes and get more snuggles with the kids while they still want us to.

Ok, so I’m off to schedule in more fun…

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

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

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