The 8 Most Memorable Times From My Childhood I Want To Share With My Kids
My 'I'm a Parent Gene' didn't really kick in until my son was about two years old.
Up until then, I was trying to figure out how to continue living my life with him as a new addition to it.
I organised babysitters and childminders, so I could work the long hours I was used to and made his little self tag along to awkward family functions and grown-up get-togethers that he had no interest in.
We lived in the city centre in an area that was the furthest thing from kid-friendly you could imagine. Our neighbours were party animals; there were no green spaces for kids to play in and fast cars zoomed past on the really busy road outside our front door.
We knew that it all didn't quite fit, but we weren't sure why.
Then we got pregnant with Baby Number 2 and we had a bit of an epiphany.
What if we accepted that we were solely responsible for the care and wellbeing of these tiny little people and adjusted our lives to suit them?
So we worked really hard to buy a house in the same sea-side town that I grew up in so that we could share some of the lovely childhood memories and experiences that we'd had, with them.
Here are all of the things I really want to share with my kids:
1. The Beach
We are surrounded by beaches in North County Dublin and they offer so much for kids. We get down there as a family a few times a week to build sandcastles, go paddling, hunt for pirate treasure, see what birds we can spot and go for big long walks with promises of mugs of hot chocolate at the end.
2. The Freedom To Play
I have always loved living in the city as an adult (and if I was a single, child-free gal I'd still be there!), but the freedom of living a bit further out was great for us as kids. There were epic bike races all around the houses of our estate, summer BBQs and parties down on the communal green, a sense of being sent outdoors at the start of the day and calling to your friend's houses until tea-time. We hope our kids will experience that same freedom now too.
3. Quality Time With Grandparents
I so fondly remember all the quality time I got to spend with my grandparents as a child. There was a closeness and bond there between us that simply can't be explained. We now live so close to my parents that our kids get to see them every day if they want to and they LIGHT up when they watch them coming through the door.
4. Parental Presence
I remember my mum being at home to greet us after school every day. She did work in a nearby office, but I remember it that she was always there to see us up to school and back, to chat to us about our day, to feed us and mind us. It created such a sense of stability and security for all of us that I really hope we can replicate for our kids.
Living in such a small, close-knit community means that almost everyone knows everyone else. The friends I made as a child are still the people I know and cherish today. I hope that our kids get to build long-lasting relationships with the other kids in our town that they will have for life.
6. A Love Of Pets
I used to bring stray dogs, cats and even birds home to my parent's house all the time when I was a kid. I just loved animals and we always had a family pet at one point or another. I think having pets around really help teach children empathy and a love and respect for the animal kingdom. We've had our own little West Highland Terrier since just before the kids were born and I know they are already getting so much love and joy from her being a part of our family.
7. The Smell Of Baking
My mum wasn't a big baker but she had a few yummy recipes up her sleeve. I used to love helping her to bake and decorate fairy cakes, rice crispy buns, meringue pies. I felt really grown up and useful to my mum so I now try to involve the kids as much as possible when I'm putting my own few recipes together. Plus, when the kids think of our home when they are older, I really want them to remember the smell of something delicious baking in the oven.
8. Growing Our Own Veg
My dad has always liked to potter around in the garden and when we were kids, he really got us interested in eating our greens by getting us to help grow them in the garden! I remember splitting open the pea pod at the kitchen table and seeing the fresh peas tumble into the pot below. We had tonnes of them! My other half and I just built two veggie patches in our garden at the beginning of the summer and we are currently being over-run with pumpkins. The kids helped plant them so they are having the best fun going out to check on them every morning - hopefully they'll feel the same about eating them!
These little moments of joy were brought to you by Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons. Make more memories here.