Meet a Mykidstime Parent – Hayley from Donegal talks to Hayley, a mum of two children living in Donegal, about parenting.

Tell us about your family

We are the McLucas family. My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We have two children, Conan is 11 and Kirsten is 9.

Describe a typical day in the McLucas house.

A typical day in our home starts with my husband getting up at 7am and he gets ready for work, I then get up about 7.30 and then wake the kids at 7.45 for school. 

They catch the bus at 8.50 am and they both go to the same school as it is mixed boys and girls which is nice.  I then go for a 45 minute walk with another parent and when I get home I have a shower and start the housework. 

The children come home at 3.20pm and they get their dinner and chill out for an hour and then start homework.  Usually after homework they go out to play or Conan goes on the x-box.  My husband comes home at 5.30 and the kids go to bed betwen 9 – 9.30pm.

What do you like to do together as a family at weekends and holidays?

We have a camper-van and we try to get away as much as we can in it.  Sometimes it might be just for one night and park up at a beach and we spend the day walking, cycling and kayaking. 

We all love the outdoors and it is fun visiting new places.  We were in Mayo during the summer and we all climbed Croagh Patrick which was a challenge and it was very enjoyable for us all. 

Other weekends we just chill about the house or take the kids to the swimming pool or to the cinema.

What aspect of parenting do you find most enjoyable?

I have to say I love being a mum and it thrills me to see my two children growing up. The years are flying by and all of a sudden one day I look at them and just realise how much they have grown and I get a shock. 

It makes me happy though, to realise that myself and my hubby have made them what they are and I just hope that that will be enough when they head out into the big wide world!!

What do you find most difficult as a parent?

The most difficult part of parenting that I find is trying to juggle time in the day to make sure that the kids get an equal amount of fun in their day as well as doing the homework.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you have ever received?

I was told when they were small to enjoy every minute as they grow up so fast.

And the worst parenting advice you received?

I have to say I can't remember receiving any bad parenting advice, I have a very supportive family  and we have always helped each other out through difficult times.

How do you think parenting has changed since we were growing up, if at all? 

Things have changed a lot since we were growing up.  Parents were more relaxed.

We spent our days in fields making dens and using our imaginations.  A lot of the time you never went near the house unless you were hungry. 

Nowadays if you lose sight of your children you panic.  There is much more traffic on the roads and there is a lot of fear of stranger danger out there.  Every time you listen to the news there is some tragedy and it makes you fear for your children. 

There is a lot of extra curricular activities now.  Kirsten learns music and both children go to a keep fit class.  School has a lot of extra activities too and learning is more fun.  Playschool is an added benefit too and there is a free pre-school year where the children have playshcool five days a week.

If you were Minister for Children what one change would you make?

I would give all children under five a medical card.

What are your hopes for your children?

I hope that whatever they do in their lives that they are happy and that they make the right choices. 

I hope that they have their health and that if they ever needed to come and talk to me that they would feel that they could.  I will always be their Mum.

We are looking to talk to more parents about everyday parenting. If you would be interested in chatting to us, please get in touch.

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