14/06/2017

#FAMILYMADESIMPLE - WHAT FAMILY MEANS TO ME

Take two minutes out of your day today to reflect on what makes your family a family. With tragic events happening everyday around the world, we all take our loved ones for granted. People are losing members of their family to war, cancer, accidents and so many other reasons.

I was recently reading an interesting infographic about family by www.slatergordon.co.uk. It details so many interesting facts and statistics about how the modern family has changed. It really got me thinking about how mine has changed quite a lot over the years. I have included the infographic at the bottom of this post, which makes for an interesting read.

What does family mean to me?

Family to me is the BRAVERY of having a baby at 21 years old. The not knowing what the hell you are doing, but guessing your way through the journey of motherhood. Doing the best you can, despite being a single parent (later getting back together) and not having as much support as you should have had. My mum (on the right) did an amazing job at bringing up two children. It's crazy to think that at the age I am at now, my mum was about to have her second child. I can just about look after a puppy, let alone two kids. Hats off to my mum and yours.


Family is the TRUST that someone you love won't hurt you again. The decision to bring another child into this world was a brave one, but something both my parents decided to do. 

Family are the MIRACLES that happen. My sister, Louise was born premature at just 27 weeks, weighing just 2lb, 3oz. I was 3 and a half years old, so only remember segments of this time in my life. I remember lots of people coming to visit Louise; to catch a glimpse of the miracle baby laying in her incubator; with see-through like skin and many tubes all around her tiny baby chicken-like body. She fit in the palm of my dad's hands perfectly. She shouldn't have made it, but she fought through her battle and has just celebrated her 21st birthday. 


Family is about LAUGHTER at silly things. I have no idea why I thought it was hilarious to walk up a hill, but I guided my sister on that day and we made it to the top with victory. 


Family is the FORGIVENESS of matching sibling outfits. Thankfully, these were cute ones. However, I wasn't a fan of the luminous green dresses with pink flowers on and we both hated the itchy school skirts that our mum made us wear. 


Family is being THANKFUL for what you have. Our Christmases have always been quite special to me and spent with the people that mean the most to me. As I have grown older, I have truly appreciated the time spent with family (ohhhh, and the food!).  From my Grandad walking around with a musical tie, bitter in hand and a rosy cheeked smile. To my Nan getting stressed at the stove because my Grandad pinched a roast potato. To my Mum reading the newspaper and my sister and I waiting excitedly for the Christmas shenanigans to begin. 


Family are the EXPERIENCES and MEMORIES we all remember. I am so blessed that my parents travelled with my sister and I every single summer. My dad had a camper van and we would take off at the beginning of the Summer holidays and travel around Europe for 6 weeks. By the time I was 8, I had seen the likes of France, Spain, Portugal and Scotland; without ever having to step onto a plane. 

Travelling around Portugal is the reason why I love sardines and tomatoes on toast. I got my first threaded hair braid when I was in France and rocked it like a true Spice Girl. I have been on trekking adventures around Scotland and tried to look for the Lochness Monster. 


My love for water is down to our first paddling pool and those Europe travel holidays. My dad taught my sister and I how to swim and was persistent for us to be strong swimmers. I remember the frustration of how tight arm bands were on my chubby, little arms... so I took them off one day and they never returned. That's the best way to learn in my opinion.


Honourable mentions go to the birth of my little cousins, all of the pets we have had over the years; including my little Elsie now who relies on us for everything. The introduction and acceptance of my sister's long-term boyfriend to our family.

There have been ups and there have been downs, but nothing changes the fact that these people are my family. No one knew what to do when my nan was battling breast cancer and then heart problems followed. However, we pulled together as a family and my nan pulled through her illnesses. It seems we are back at the beginning, as now my Grandad isn't very well, but I have no doubts that a family as strong as mine will once again, pull through and come together to support one another. 


Family is EVERYTHING and I wouldn't have mine any other way. I am so very grateful to have the best people in my life; especially my mum and sister who are my best friends.

With 8.9million families in the UK, how many of these are nuclear? How many have more than two or three kids? How many are struggling to conceive? How many are in civil relationships? How many have introduced pets into the home? How many have carers? How many have a single parent or no parents at all?  This infographic explains it all...


It was really interesting to learn more about families and the statistics that the UK currently holds. I feel very fortunate to live in a comfortable home, with a (relatively) healthy family and both of my parents happily married.

What does family mean to you? I asked on Twitter and here are what some people said about what family means to them.


Disclaimer: In collaboration with Slater and Gordon. All words and photographs are my own. 
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24 comments

  1. Oh I adore this post so much! My mum also had me young! She was only 20 and then at 36 she had my sister so there's a biiiiig 16 year age gap between me and her!
    This was such a lovely post, and your words were amazing 💛

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  2. This made me a wee bit emosh actually Ash! Family is everything to me and I absolutely adore this post. Well done!

    Holly x
    www.hollysbeautybox.co.uk

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  3. This is a lovely post - what lovely memories to have.
    I love a good infographic too!
    Tori | www.torisworld.com

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  4. It brought a tear to my eye to read your beautiful tribute to your family and all the ups and downs that you had been through as a family. I am glad to hear that your nan pulled through and sending positive vibes your way for your grandad x

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  5. What a fantastic post. I like all of the family photos you have posted too

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  6. This is such a beautiful post. Its amazing to see how tiny your sister was and I am so glad she is well x

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  7. This is such a lovely post, I think family is about being comfortable with who you are. You know your family have seen you at your worse and still love you for it x

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  8. Bravery and trust... Thats a great way to describe family!

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  9. This post is lovely :) I love all the home photos! If I had a baby at 21 I wouldn't have minded. I have been mentally ready to have a baby for ages. I'm in a much better position now to have a baby now at 24 :)

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  10. Aww this is so sweet! You have such a close and beautiful family! Family is so important ❤️

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  11. Very nice and such a personal blog post. I like the old pictures and all the appreciation you hold for your family :)

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  12. Lovely post tat highlights what family is all about love this very inspiring :) x

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  13. What a wonderful post! I loved looking at your family photos and reading all your reminiscing. The Slater + Gordon infographics were really good too, certainly a lot facts I genuinely didn't know

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  14. This post is so good. I come from quite a traditional 2.4 family household but it changed in my teens and my current family is me, my wife and our dog, and I love that it's not traditional but it is ours xxx

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  15. This is such an emotional post. i love how you pay tribute to your family. You have one happy family. stay bless

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  16. Such a lovely post, I'm loving all the throwback photos! Family is everything to me xo

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  17. this post was so touching, seeing all your family photos and reading about your family bond! I agree with you, family is everything and we have had a really tough few years but sticking together is what matters, I hope your Granddad gets better soon xx

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  18. Such a fantastic post. Family means everything to me and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my family around! :)

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  19. I love all the photos. My family is so important to me and I am sure the same applies to everyone else.

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  20. My family is so important to me too - loved this post x

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  21. No matter how different many of us may be, when it comes to family we all tend to be the same and have the same ideals. Family should be all about unconditional love. x

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  22. Family is knowing that someone ALWAYS has your back (even though they also drive you crazy!). x

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  23. Oh this was lovely to read and its a very special post. To me, family is unconitional love and knowing that you always have someone to support you.

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  24. what a lovely post, family to me means all those things too!

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