Matalan have recently launched their 'Made For Modern Families' campaign as a celebration of family life today, in all it's shapes and sizes. It has made me question what family means to me in this day and age.

Modern family life is pretty old school and traditional for us. My husband goes out to work whilst I stay at home to look after our daughter and maintain our household. It might be a more old fashioned take on family life but it's what works best for us.  I'd say we're a twist on the 'Nuclear family'. We are married with 2.4 children, though our children are our daughter Indie, our sausage dog Pink and our 26 reptiles. Dysfunctional to some but normal to us.

I love the dynamics of families especially when children have lots of relatives and grandparents, and parents get lots of support. I also admire single parents who find strength to go it alone and same sex couples who follow foster or adoption routes to build a family. Everybody has their own interpretation of what family means to them, and everyone has different dynamics. What works for one might not work for another and what is normal to one family, might be dysfunctional to the next.

The definition of family in the 21st century is not as straightforward as it once seemed. It has evolved and expanded. Now family might mean close friends and neighbours, people you've known for years or the lad down the road that you've 'took under your wing'. I tend to say it's the people I care about most, my loved ones. I don't think you need to be blood relatives to be family anymore.

Matalans research into modern families revealed some interesting and surprising insights. They picked up on some typical modern family dynamics that I'm sure all of us are familiar with or can relate to in some way. We can closely relate to the 'New Nuclear' family with our adaptation of a family with 2.4 children, and definitely fall under the 'Beyond Kin' category in that we do include non-blood relatives, friends and pets to be family. We consider my husbands best friend to be our daughter Indie's 'uncle' and are very happy at the fact that she has inherited a lot of grandparents through re-marriage of her blood relatives. Family is ever expanding, now not just through births, but through marriages and friendships aswell.

Matalan Modern Families

Gone are the days where I say 'He/She is a distant member of the family who I don't see much', now that social media has hit off and people have the ability to share pictures and conversation at the click of a button, people in long distance relationships and families living perhaps oceans apart can stay updated and maintain a close bond. Some may say it's impersonal but I think it's great, again, evolution of families.

Matalan have recently launched a new TV ad featuring real life families and conducted research to explore how family life is changing.

They say, "Since we first opened our doors 30 years ago, we've always focused on providing outstanding value and quality for families. We take the time to listen, understand and evolve, to ensure our products are the right fit for modern, happy homes." 

Upload and share your favourite family picture with #MatalanModernFamilies to be in the running to win £250 to spend in store.

This is a blog post for Mumsnet, in association with Matalan for the #MatalanModernFamilies campaign. I have not been paid for this post. If you would like to see more Matalan Modern Families posts, visit the Mumsnet Linky.

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