MEET THE ARMADILLO XT FAMILY: OLIVIA MCGUINNESS
We’ve been working with real families recently and one of those was the McGuinness family from Sheffield. They put our Armadillo XT through its paces, so we decided to have a natter with mum, Olivia, about their family and how she’s taken to parenting.
So Olivia, tell us a little bit about your family.
The McGuinness Family is made up of Nathan, Olivia and Chester (7 months). We got married August 2014 after 6 years together, and found out shortly afterwards that Chester was on the way. Nathan is from Birmingham but we live in Sheffield, as I’m from the city. Nathan is a PE Teacher and Head of Year and I work as a HR Recruitment Advisor for a major Stationery distributer.
What were your first thoughts when you found out you were having a baby?
We were absolutely over the moon, as we knew we wanted to start a family as soon as we were married and we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be able to have a baby. We were both incredibly excited to tell our families, as Chester was the first grandchild on both sides of the family.
How would you describe Chester’s personality?
Chester is cheeky, extremely active and a bit of a daredevil already. He will sit playing on his own for such a long time but also love standing and being on the move. It is lovely that he is such a loving baby, enjoying giving cuddles and kisses and loves to be close to you. He is such a happy little boy and it is very rare that he doesn’t have a huge smile on his face.
How do the McGuinness’ spend time as a family?
We enjoy going for walks together, as Chester loves looking at the light changing and the wind blowing. We have visited lots of farms, introducing Chester to the animals. We also just love spending time together in front of the fire, cuddled up watching TV/films, reading books or playing after a long day or week.
Do you get much me-time? How do you unwind when you manage to grab five minutes?
With a glass of prosecco/hot cup of tea – time of day dependent – and perhaps lots of chocolate, while either online shopping or reading my monthly magazine subscription of ‘Country Living’.
If you could hand one life lesson down to Chester, what would it be?
It is important for me that Chester does not worry about things that are out of his hands and that he cannot influence or change. I want him to live in the present and not overlook the past or stress about the future.
Such good advice! Speaking of which, with mum knowing best, what advice has your mum passed down to you?
My mum has given me so much wonderful advice it is extremely hard to pick one piece! However, since having Chester she has always told me to trust my instincts when it comes to how to look after him. It seems so many people have an opinion as to how to raise your child thus what she told me is so true. Every child is different and as their mum you know their behaviours more than anyone else and must ‘go with your gut’, especially when they are not themselves and may be poorly etc…
Where’s good to eat in Sheffield?
As Chester is still small it is important for us to have somewhere that he can easily get a high chair and where the service is excellent. Aston Springs Farm have a wonderful café/restaurant that we really enjoy going to on a regular basis for dinner or just to pop in for tea and cake!
Where do you go for a day outdoors?
We live right on the edge of the Peak District and are really lucky to be able to get out and see places such as Chatsworth easily. Chatsworth has a lovely farm and adventure playground as well as extensive walks. There is a courtyard, with a restaurant and gift shop. Additionally, there is a huge stately home which is incredible, especially when it is decorated at Christmas time. They run so many fantastic events throughout the year to suit all ages.
Finally, where do you go for a day indoors?
This is a hard one as we do not do many indoor activities, other than swimming, as there are not many options in our local area. However, Aston Springs Farm is opening a soft play barn for under 4 year olds in the New Year, which I am really excited about. It is set to have a café attached allowing some Mommy time whilst the babies play!
Thanks for chatting with us, Olivia!