Brit Mums Live - what a weekend! | Helpful Mum

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Brit Mums Live - what a weekend!


I am currently on the train home from BritMums Live, a two day conference with amazing speakers, activities and sponsors. It has been a fantastic, albeit slightly overwhelming two days which have been so jam packed, it is hard to know where to start.

Ruby Wax opens the conference
Ruby Wax opened  the conference and it was refreshing to hear her candid personal experience of mental health. Having suffered from depression in my late teens and, more recently I worked in a mental health ward, I have experience of both sides of mental illness and the stigmas which are attached. The journey from shame and denial that people experience on hearing a diagnosis, to the confident person they can become during and after treatment is astounding. I would urge anyone who is affected by any form of mental illness to log on to Black Dog Tribe.

I attended five of the six workshops, taking a break from one purely to sit and have a cup of tea and take some time out to process all the information.  Nickie O’Hara’s group on ‘taking your blog to the next level’ was highly informative, and it was really interesting as the panel had completely different angles.

Sarah Brown opened the day on Saturday, encouraging us all that we need to figure out who we are and what we want to say. She also said that blogging is almost like leading a double identity, you are ‘the person in your life and the person reporting on your life’. So when you go to an event, outing, conference, you enjoy the experience but at the same time you wonder how you are going to get across what you have experienced. This resonated with me as I often feel that I lead many different lives, as wife, mother, student and me and I find they rarely converge. I had a great time down at the Piggy Bank Kids stall making my jubilee/Olympics pig, or ‘Olympig’ as it was suggested I call her. Being able to be creative for half an hour without a small child enhancing ruining my work was refreshing!

Piggy Bank Kids - my Olympig

Google+ has hopefully become less of a mystery and I am going to sit down and really spend some time putting in the hard work now, before I am back at university in September. The legal and SEO talk was also very informative although unfortunately there was very little time left to ask questions.

Inspiring, confident, passionate women were in abundance and I am honoured to have met so many of you. I think I was a little bit in awe initially when I saw people’s name badges, but hearing the speakers reiterates that, ultimately, they have all been in the same position the rest of us and they are 'normal' people. Whilst so many of the speakers have had blogs for a long time and are very experienced, they have also, at some point, had a one year old blog. When they did, there was probably far less of a vast supportive community than there is now.

My only disappointment with the weekend was on Friday night at the BiB awards party. When I first saw that there were half naked men serving alcohol, my first instinct was to leave the room. I am not a prude, but I believe in equality and I do not see how anyone in the room was on an even keel with the waiters. I wonder why it was necessary, how we would feel if our husband or partner  had gone to a conference and been served by scantily clad women? Also, what kind of a message does that send to our children? In my mind, it is not OK to encourage inequality on any level and the idea that these men and women were there for our titillation unnerves me. Yes, they get paid, it is their job and they probably enjoy it, but this is my personal opinion and it really isn’t something that I felt at all comfortable with on a moral level. Next year you’ve got my vote for waiters in tuxedoes.

All in all, I have had such a fantastic weekend and I would like to thank BritMums for organising the conference and drawing together such a huge pool of blogging talent. It has been a truly inspirational experience and I can’t wait for next year!
SHARE:

23 comments

  1. It sounds fab. I'm gutted I couldn't go. Maybe I'll see you there next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, I will be there with bells on (although not literally!).

      Delete
  2. It does sound good. I'm thinking that I might try and go next year if time and finances allow (and assuming that I'm still blogging enthusiastically!) Thanks for the report!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a pleasure. It would be lovely to meet you there next year.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apologies for deleting last comment, didn't look at the title of your blog (came from twitter), was lovely to meet you and I completely agree about the waiters, although I did hear that they were going to be butt naked so we should be thankful for small mercies. X

      Delete
    2. I would definitely have walked out if they had been naked! Yikes! Really lovely to meet you too.

      Delete
  4. I have to agree about the waiters. I got chatting to one and took a photo and he was lovely about it all, but I just thought it was unnecessary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, completely unnecessary and a little out of place!

      Delete
  5. Always uncomfy with things like the naked waiters. Agree with you on that one. Sarah Brown's comment resonated with me lots too along with the one on bullying online and so much more. Hope you had a fabulous time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It felt inappropriate for a group of mothers to have half naked men around. I had a great time apart from that though.

      Delete
  6. I too found Sarah Brown very genuine and inspiring.
    I think you are right about the new and experienced bloggers. I've been blogging for years but this was my first conference so still felt rather new. No matter how long you've blogged, everyone needs friends and appreciates a smile and a welcome from others. So it was lovely to have a chat with you, especially when the room looked overwhelming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I would never have guessed it was your first conference. It was really lovely to meet you.

      Delete
  7. I'm with you on the waiters! Good point - how would we feel if half-naked women were serving them drinks at a conference!

    We stayed down in the main room, and watched over our iphones as they recharged, but did enjoy the prosecco and nibbles.

    ReplyDelete
  8. PS - don't think we met, but wish we had!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it wasn't just me! We'll have to meet next year!

      Delete
  9. Oh so they were half naked waiters? I missed the BiBs and someone was shocked the next day that I had missed the "buff men" and I wondered what on earth had been going on. Glad someone has explained!

    It was a wonderful weekend. You know what, blogging is a funny old thing and some blogs take iff in a huge way and it's hard to know why others don't get the same recognition. I have been blogging since 2007 (reading blogs since 2006) and in that time I've seen some blogs rocket to fame and others that I think are as good get little recognition or close down entirely. The blog community has changed in that tim, but I think there is so much support now for new bloggers than there was a few years back. I love finding new blogs, often more than I like finding established blogs as it's easier to strike up conversation and start friendships with new bloggers who value your time and comments than with bloggers whose blogs are so popukar they gwt too many comments to reply to individually!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, half naked waiters. Not good. Interesting point about the comments. I know one blog which gets hundreds on each post and she simply couldn't reply to all of them. I've been going a year already and I am still grateful for every one I get!

      Delete
  10. Wow, I'm in awe that you managed to post this on Saturday on your way home!! You must have been ladened down with goody bags abd everything!
    I too enjoyed Sarah Brown- I thought she made a lot of sense. It is nice to hear someone else's take on her content, I think I missed the 'double identity' comment as I must have been Tweeting something that she said a moment before, so thanks for filling the gaps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a three hour train ride and I'm not very good at relaxing!
      Glad I could fill in the gaps. I found her talk very interesting.

      Delete
  11. Yup waiters were a little over the top!!!!

    j x

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Helpful Mum. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY pipdig