Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Normal? Nuclear? What does Modern Family mean to you?

on May 4, 2015

So, Matalan turns 30 this year.

The Hughes Family. #MatalanModernFamily

The Hughes Family.

I’m adding this to the list of things which make me feel utterly ancient; I remember when our local shop opened and you had to have a photo ID card to get in. My mum, sister and I went over to Bromborough to check it out and then went to the cinema for a treat. Happy Times.

Anyway, in the 30 years since they first opened their doors, with the aim of providing outstanding value and quality for families, the definition and idea of family has altered significantly. Now Matalan wants to know what family means to us…
Their latest campaign is called Made for Modern Families; check out their advert- I think it’s fab (Loving the polkadot dress and the purpule bag)

When I googled ‘FAMILY DEFINITION’ I was presented with literally millions of options but the first one was this:

“A group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.”

That seems like a pretty narrow definition to me.

From very early on my little family unit didn’t fit the traditional norm; we were the 3 musketeers, my mum, my sister and me.

The 3 musketeers

The 3 musketeers

I felt compelled to explain that my dad had died, lest people presumed that he had abandoned us or my parents had divorced. Our extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts and my mums incredible group of friends were a daily source of support and I would be a very different person, and mother without their influences. Sadly though, to me growing up it felt that the nuclear family was the norm and expectation and anything else was met with a sniff of suspicion. An over sensitive and childlike view? Perhaps but I bet I’m not the only person to have felt that way.

These days, almost 30 years on, family Leary fit snuggly into the nuclear family pigeon hole; A Muma, a daddy and two gorgeous girls. We are only a pampered pooch away from a perfect portrait!

Standard Family Snap!

Standard Family Snap!

Two years later...

Two years later…

But for me that is only a part of the puzzle.
We have extended family; Brothers, Sisters, In-laws, Out-laws, first cousins, second cousins, not quite sure how distant cousins.

How weeny am I?!

Me and my super douper cousins; In age order!

We have friends that are as much loved and important to us as any blood relation. Those that have seen us at our best…and worst! The people we see almost daily and can call on for a whinge, a wine or an emergency babysitter at the drop of a hat.


Ready for the nursery run...we always look like this!

Ready for the nursery run…we always look like this!

People we haven’t ‘seen’ for an age except via the techno wizardry of Skype and facetime and the like but we know that when we do, we’ll fall right back into step where we left off.

And, as time goes on, we have the memories of family members past that gave us those original feelings of security and love which is our blueprint for knowing how family should make you feel; LOVED which, to my mind, is the only definition of family that really matters.

I'm the blondie!

I’m the blondie!

Happy Birthday Matalan, thanks for making us all feel like family!




PS: I’m sharing my thoughts on family with the Mumsnet Matalan linky; check it out Mumsnet linky to see what other bloggers have to say.

PPS: What does family mean to you? Share your family snaps with Matalan here for a chance to win £250 of vouchers

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