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Tell Matalan what modern family life looks like for you - £250 prize draw! NOW CLOSED

(195 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Apr-15 11:04:18

Matalan have asked us to find out about your modern family life… who do you consider “family”, how do you stay connected, what makes you laugh out loud together?

Here’s what they say, “A family-run business for thirty years, Matalan has always worked to support UK families by taking the time to listen, understand and evolve in order to make sure our products are the right fit for happy homes.

What’s right for the modern family however, looks very different to what it did when we first opened our doors three decades ago. We’re seeing that family today comes in many different sizes and forms and that it is being reshaped and redefined to meet the demands of modern life”.

So what does family mean to you? Tell us about your favourite things you do as a family, what makes you smile and how you stay connected with loved ones.

Everyone who comments on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win £250 to spend in store or online at!

Thanks and good luck


slithytove Mon 20-Apr-15 12:12:19

My immediate family is me, DH and the kids.
Our extended family is our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

We stay connected as much as we can, as there is a fair distance between all of us. Visits, skype or FaceTime all the time, it's much better than when we were little. Without FaceTime the kids would barely recognise their grandparents, and we certainly couldnt afford phone calls.

What makes us smile. Well the kids are 2 and 6 months, and watching them together puts a smile on my face, as they just adore each other. Tickling them, wrestling DS, making them laugh hysterically. When they have both gone to bed easily for a change and DH and I can spend some time together. When DS learns a new word and is so proud. Spending sunny days in the garden getting wet and muddy.

We spend as much time together as we can (immediate family). These days of the kids being so young and loving to us are numbered and we want to enjoy every minute of it.

MummyBtothree Mon 20-Apr-15 12:47:01

My family I consider to me my husband and our three beautiful sons then anone else we view as relatives. There was a huge family feud four years ago between us and my parents and the result of it is I have a whole load of relatives I no longer have contact with which I find very saddening. However, my husband and children are the only ones on this planet that really know 'me' and vice-versa and even though we all have our little faults and niggles, the love is unconditional and everything about them makes me smile and happy. I may not have a great deal of money but I consider myself wealthy smile

CopperPan Mon 20-Apr-15 12:51:22

My family all live in the same city (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews).

We all like to get together regularly and have a big meal at one of our houses. We tend to celebrate birthdays just as an excuse to get together. I often meet up with my sisters to catch up and go shopping together as well. Our children are closer to each other as cousins than I was with my own cousins when growing up. There's a wide age range but they all get on.

CMOTDibbler Mon 20-Apr-15 13:01:58

Our family is very small - me, dh and ds. Of course there are a number of relatives, but due to age/illness or whatever they aren't really involved deeply in our lives (though I'm very involved in my parents lives sorting care).

But it means we have a lot of time to be together - we cycle a lot, and ds's smile yesterday when he finished a 27 mile event was glorious.

butterflyballs Mon 20-Apr-15 13:04:56

We are a family of two families. I have two girls, dp has two girls.

For me, a happy day is a day out at the beach in the summer, watching the girls swimming in the sea, shrieking with laughter and having a good time.

We have extended family plus friends who I look on as part of my close group. Nothing better than lots of us heading to the beach and seeing 20 odd children running about together, playing, getting wet and tired out and then having a picnic. Total bliss.

SevenEleven Mon 20-Apr-15 13:16:45

We have a complicated, but probably not very uncommon family! Our immediate family is DH, me, DD and DS. Both Dh and my parents are divorced and remarried so our DC have many grand parents! This also means step brothers and sisters and their children, as well is my own brother and sister, their partners and children. Extended family are all over the country in the form of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. We keep in touch via social media, phone calls, emails and Skype. We try to meet up as often as possible too.

Our nearest family members live 25 miles away, so we don't get to see them more than 3 or 4 times a month, less for those who live further away. But I think this is the way of the modern world. Kids move away for university or work, font return to home towns, and so end up living away from family. Thank goodness we have so many ways to stay in touch these days! smile

InAndOfMyself Mon 20-Apr-15 13:48:02

My extended family is spread across Europe and North America and though we all like to travel to visit each other we also make good use of Skype and Facebook to stay in touch.

When we get together as a big group we like to go for rambles and enjoy the outdoors. That's what strikes me, as a large family we all love the outdoors.

missorinoco Mon 20-Apr-15 15:58:50

Family means my husband, I and our children, but can also mean my extended family or his.

Favourite things to do - things together - going out for meals, or a meander, a fun games. We have also had occasional time spent with just one of the children, and that is quite special.

Keeping in touch is more interesting - depending on who it is we use Skype, telephone, day trips.

clopper Mon 20-Apr-15 17:26:56

We keep in touch with wider family using skype and facetime on the ipad. I find that whatsapp is a great way to touch base with my older children who don't live at home anymore, we usually send silly pictures to eachother. We like to spend time together at home eating home cooked meals for celebrations like birthdays as it's too expensive to take everyone out! We often play (and argue) board games when we're altogether and often have a huge puzzle on the go, which groups dip in and out of. unfortunately we don't get together as much as we used to as everyone is so busy, especially my retired parents!

lottietiger Mon 20-Apr-15 17:49:35

my immediate family is me, DH, our two year old and our two horses! My mum lives close so we see her a lot but the rest of my relatives are spread across the country so we don't see them that often.
We mainly keep in touch by e mail and seeing each others posts on facebook or photo sharing sites such as remini.
We do a lot together, mainly outside because of the horses, but also travelling this country and abroad visiting relatives as we go or just exploring.
What's making us smile at the moment are the silly things that my toddler is saying, although he doesn't think its silly, to him they are deadly serious smile

mumsbe Mon 20-Apr-15 17:49:35

My close family is myself parter daughter and son we have just started going on coach trips and holidays this is a much better way to stay connected and you have to speak to each other!

DinosaursRoar Mon 20-Apr-15 18:20:13

I'd say 'family' was me, DH and the DCs, agree, everyone else is 'relatives'.

My favorite thing to do together is sit down for a meal, hear about each other's days and enjoy a nice meal. I don't think we could ever be a 'dinner on knees watching TV' family, but then I might review that when mine are teens...

Guyropes Mon 20-Apr-15 18:28:54

So what does family mean to you?

The people who i feel close to. when i was a student abroad, my friend were my family and we cared for each other and still keep in touch now.

These days I still consider my ex family as he is so important to my kids lives. But I also have new family too.

Tell us about your favourite things you do as a family

Relax together! Work and school are so dominating that our free time is precious, and we like being able to do things together, but if people want to do their own thing, it's nice to be able to do it in the same space so we are still aware and somewhat engaged with each other. I don't like closed doors!

what makes you smile
When they tell me a joke they have come up with together or work out a new song and sing it to me.

and how you stay connected with loved ones

By talking openly. If stuff comes up that is hard to talk about it, I find that being brave and talking about it anyway makes us feel closer.

ButterflyOfFreedom Mon 20-Apr-15 18:35:25

My immediate family is me, DH, and the 2 DC (aged 2 & 6 months).
Other close family include my parents, my in-laws, and my siblings' families.
We are all scattered about the country a bit including up north in Lancashire and down south in Devon but we ring / text / e-mail often and some of us are on social media (Facebook).
We meet up when we can and do family things together such as meals in/out, trips to the park/farm, and even holidaying together.

Family is really important to me, especially my immediate family who mean the world to me smile

Anj123 Mon 20-Apr-15 19:16:23

My family is me, husband and daughter. We like going on holidays and day trips together and just chilling out at home!

My little girl makes me laugh with funny things she tells me.

Many of our relatives live in other parts of the country and abroad so we email, Facebook and Skype. We visit each other when we can but obviously this isn't always possible.

mjmooseface Mon 20-Apr-15 19:22:53

Friends are the family we choose for ourself.

I like that saying because in our case, it is soo true! DH and I have had a pretty shitty poor set of parents and siblings! We don't choose our family, who we are born to, who our brothers and sisters are etc. But we can decide who we trust and love above all else.

Whilst we are working on buiding bridges with a few family members, 'our' family will always be DH and I, our son and (hopefully!) subsequent children, our pets and our closest friends we can count on one hand.

We stay connected through meeting up and spending time together, texting, facebooking, sending silly cards in the post and phone calls.

One of our favourite things to do as a family is walk through the forest with a picnic and play games. Sunshine, the outdoors and lots of laughter... what more could you need?! smile

fish88 Mon 20-Apr-15 19:27:02

My household consists of me, my partner and our son but I count my parents and sisters as immediate family as well. We are in contact daily and meet a few times a week.

My partner and I often work alternate shifts to reduce childcare costs which mean we don't get much time together. Our favourite things to do on our Sundays together are to put the baby in a sling and go walking with the dog in the beautiful Peak District.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 20-Apr-15 19:41:34

My immediate family consists of me, DH, 2 DDs and a small dog. We don't live near our extended family so stay connected through Facebook and text mostly. In many ways my children know their cousins better than I knew mine, although we live further away.

I think we enjoy fairly standard family stuff, chilling/entertaining at home or fun days out. The biggest difference between me and my mother (who was raising me and my sisters when Matalan first opened its doors) is that I work longer hours away from the home, so the time we do have together is less. We have more stuff but less time.

Just to add, Matalan is doing really well at the moment, great clothes, lovely homewares and reasonably priced. Keep it up!

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 20-Apr-15 19:59:56

Our family is quite small on my side, just my parents, my sister and I... On DP's side he has umpteen cousins and 'sort of aunts' who aren't related but might as well be.

I prefer his, it's more fun. Dd is getting the best of both worlds.

We enjoy building dens in the woods together, having a bulrush fencing fight or doing crafts in the garden. I work part time so money is right but the time is more valuable to me.

WarmHugs Mon 20-Apr-15 20:16:02

My family unit probably doesn't look much different to 30 years ago. Me, DH, DD and DS. Very much 2.4 children lifestyle.

We have more money than when I was a child, but still love things like going to the beach/park etc.

One thing that has changed is the way we communicate. My Mum could only speak to her sister once a month in America, as phone calls were so expensive. Now, I speak to my family (who are all scattered around the country) via FaceTime, and it's free!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 20-Apr-15 20:23:37

my family is me, my two children and my mum. then it would include my step cousin;s family and and finally the rest of my couisins, wives, children, aunts and uncles. I do no

the children would count their dad as their family. along with their grandparents and aunt. we are not so good at keeping intouch with that side of the family.

clippityclop Mon 20-Apr-15 20:35:36

For my husband and me, family is a loving, broad blend of of blood and our choosing. Our daughters, their godparents, my stepdaughters, their husbands and our grandchildren, our parents, siblings, friends, nephews, my step mother, stepsister and brother and their children spread like a vine around the globe. 30 years ago emigration could mean lost links, faded friendships. Now, from five minutes away or in China and the USA, Skype and e-mail and mobile phone technology brings instant, constant contact, fun and support between us all, whether eight weeks or 95 years old. Cheaper air travel helps too. Parties, Sunday lunch, country walks, popping in for chats, letters and surprise parcels still play their part along with Facebook photos to keep us close. Family always comes first!smile

HappySunflower Mon 20-Apr-15 21:05:07

Family, to me means the people you share your life with, so my children, my relatives, my friends.

We like to spend time together talking, laughing, playing games, sharing stories and making memories. Practically we enjoy meals together, go on walks, have special days out, etc.

Seeing the children enjoy such things makes me smile.

We stay connected on the phone, via text, using facebook and FaceTime.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 20-Apr-15 21:15:53

I have a very small little family unit at home of me and DS. DS is 10 and has autism. He is definitely the reason I smile as much as I do. smile I find reactions to being a lone parent of an only child vary from one extreme (pity) to the other (sheer envy).

I then have a supportive "family" network of both friends and relatives, and we meet up or chat on the phone and are there for each other. I do think family is a more fluid and shifting notion these days. We tend to live more widely apart, and rely on friends more often than relatives. I also think it takes more effort now in some ways to truely connect with family. A facebook message isn't the same as a cuppa together or a hug.

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