Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Some reflections after BritMums Live


So I am just sitting down for my first morning after attending BritMums Live at the weekend. This conference had a much different effect on me than the previous ones - with the others my head has been buzzing with ideas and inspiration - this one I am feeling much more serene. No doubt this is partly due to the fact that my last session was the one with Story of Mum, but I think it's mostly to do with me - that's why I chose that session.

My big thing at the moment is to carve out some ME time.

During the session, we were asked to write down things that nurture us. Here's what I wrote:


I know this - but the sad thing is I don't do any of them,  except perhaps the last one on rare occasions - I added that as an afterthought when someone else mentioned it.  I teach this stuff for god's sake! The core of both BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm is that you need to nurture yourself - yet I am so bad at it! Like most other mums!

Other things I should add to this list are reading and writing. This blog is my main outlet for my writing, but I have neglected this of late too - life is just too busy!

BB is growing up though. Though we have now reached the stage where he no longer naps, which means I've lost that time I can get on with things in the middle of the day, I can read while he is playing with his train, or get work done while he's home, or blog... We have a Wii and he can sometimes cope with me doing that too. Once he starts pre-school I have no excuse not to go the the gym, or for a run.

So here's my list of things for this year:

1. Write more

Get back to my blog - schedule posts - write about all those things on my list that I want to write about - keep adding to the list. I am going to write both for me and for others. I am going to learn to do it better, by practising, and by reading about it.

2. Use social networks better

More Google + and Twitter, less time spent on Facebook. Find new blogs and bloggers that I like - make time to read their stuff.

3. Try and keep up with what's going on in Social Media

This used to be my work and it really interests me. Part of the attraction of blogging and blogging conferences is to try and keep up with this.

4. Focus and cull

In all aspects of life. There is too much going on, too much stuff in my house, too much stuff to do at home, too much work. If I am going to have me time I need to work out what's important, what pays, and/or nurtures and what drains and/or wastes time.

5. Create

Make things, paint things, with BB and by myself. These can be blog posts too - we haven't blogged on kids craft for ages, because we haven't done any!

6. Exercise every day

I do walk with the buggy quite a bit - and I have started walking BB to nursery on his one day and leaving the pushchair there until pick up time when I walk again. I could do the Wii, but quite honestly this would involve clearing up all the toys from the living room floor to make space, and that's one thing that only happens a couple of times a week for vacuuming at the moment. I bought a hoola hoop recently - BB has one and so I got myself one too, so that I could teach him, and because I figured its easy exercise to do at home. When BB starts nursery I am joining the gym.

7. Eat what nourishes me

I have spent a lot of time working out which foods work for me but I still haven't really implemented what I have learnt. Basically I need to avoid all grains except quinoa, and all reined/added sugar. I know this. I know if I eat wheat it depresses me. I also know that I am addicted to it, so when I eat a little I 'need' to eat loads more. I'm the same with sugar. I recently read Potatoes not Prozac which clearly explains how this addiction works, and likens it with alcohol addiction. Conclusions I had already come to myself but here it is with science to back it up, and solutions. I just have to do this. I know its hard. I know that eating out becomes almost impossible. But still - I have to do it for ME, as well as to make me a healthier, happier, and fitter mum for BB.

8. Read more

I have been finding time for non-fiction. I have read heaps of books on Health and on Parenting and was very pleased with myself for actually finishing my first novel since BB's birth just a few weeks ago. I want to read more for pleasure. I have to find the time for that.

I think that's all.

In the process of writing this I also went to revisit the post I wrote last year after BritMums Live - 10 Decisions Inspired from BritMums Live. I was surprised to see that I managed most of them. I hope I can say the same this time next year1

Here's a summary of what I achieved from last years list:

1. Be ME! - Done - real name on everything now

2. Delete Facebook Pages - No I didn't, a few people started contacting me through it so I kept it - I don't use it well though!

3. Delete even more social media stuff (and use what's left better!) - I did. I had multiple profiles and blogs. Now just one of each.

4. Do a writing course - I did this too, with Joanna Morhead via Mumsnet - it was great, but I didn't approach any magazines with articles yet.

5. Connect more with UK bloggers - did a bit - could definitely do more. Met some great new people at this years conference though.

6. Wear dresses, and other nice clothes - yes I embraced the fact that I am fat and bought some size 16 dresses. Definitely a decision I don't regret.

7. Aim higher with sponsored posts and reviews - value my time more! I did do this at the start, but as I have neglected the blog recently this has fallen off of late - will pick it up again

8. Approach brands I like - yes I did, a few, like Frugi for example. But I could do more. Going for Butlins this year to start with.

9. Create a Media Pack - Done, made a huge difference, definitely create one of these if you didn't already. I need to update mine now

10. Seek Feedback on my blog - did this too, but need to continue to review and revamp