I posted this on Facebook this morning:

Turns out everyone knew how I felt. There are so many things I want to write about BritMums Live that I just couldn’t begin to know how to get them out of my head and onto the keyboard. Where to start? Other bloggers claimed the same; the weekend blog conference had left them exhilarated, inspired, but overwhelmed. But I cannot write my normal musings until I package my thoughts on this huge event into neat boxes, labelled and filed in the labyrinth of my brain, where I can find them easily when I need them again. So here goes.

So who are the winners and losers of BritMums Live 2013?

Image credits: Mammasaurus, Hello it’s Gemma, Plus 2 Point 4, HPMcQ, Mummy Alarm, Science Sparks, Domestic Goddesque, Crazy With Twins, Mummy from the Heart.

These are just a few of the faces running through my mind over the last few days. There are many more, but I can’t find photos of all of them. All of these people have lost something in one way or another, be it a penny, a handbag, an award, or an argument. And all of them were winners last weekend for so many reasons:

  • Siblu, the family holiday company who we use every year, and who generously agreed to sponsor me for BritMums Live. If you took my card, you will find their wonderful site on the back. They still have opportunities for bloggers to work with them.
  • Mummy Barrow and Mammasaurus, who walked away with more awards than they could carry, for their tireless innovation and hard work. But they have also won hearts and minds with their support of others, and their friendly voices that are just about everywhere!
  • PLUS 2.4 and others, who overcame the not insignificant nerves that such an event brings, to not only attend, but to wholeheartedly join in. I hope they went home with a sense of achievement, because achievers is what they are. Aly, Joy, Cas, and everyone else to whom this applies: #nervesofsteel ladies!
  • Edspire, who has lost more than any mother should ever have to, yet who came to an emotional event, faced those who have offered kind words over the internet, cried, and came back, for the sake of Matilda Mae. Jennie, you are truly a winner.
  • Katie Piper, who came back from a loss so severe that she was urecognisable. Who gave an inspiring speech, and who is determined to help other people survive their own losses. That’s a winning person in my eyes.
  • Alice (My Life My Son My Way), who has lost weight and looked divine, even in a hen-night veil!
  • Kerry. An enormous loss. The loss of her light, her smile, her positive energy. And yet in one moment, in a tribute to Kerry, she was there in that room, with us, singing Firework, and though we all felt her loss, we were all winners in that moment.
  • Emma, and Gemma, who led that beautiful tribute

Image credit: My Two Mums.
  • Jen and Susanna, who worked so hard to create what every year is the highlight of the blogging calendar, a huge event, full of opportunities. And all their team, who worked long days too.
  • Everyone else. So many people, some who I hardly had time to speak to, others who I totally missed, still more who weren’t even there. People who have shaped and supported my blogging journey to the the point where I too became a winner:

To say I was shocked doesn’t do justice to how I felt when my name was called in this category. The category sponsor Funny Women, had this to say:

I found lots of things on this site laugh-out-loud hilarious. If I was starting my parenting journey all over again I would stop off at this site regularly for a humour fix. Kids are naturally funny. This blog uses this to excellent advantage to poke fun at parenthood. I even hear their voices in my head when I read it.

About me. Me. I’m actually going to say that again, because I can’t make sense of it. Me. I am beyond flattered, and grateful, so if you voted for me at any point thank you so much for making my weekend – no, my year!

I felt like a winner in so many ways last weekend. BritMums gave me the chance to speak on a panel about how to work with brands. Tamsin Smith from the BBC was a wonderful host, and fellow panellists Nadine Hill from Juggle Mum, and Rosie Shelley from Google and Rosie Scribble, made the whole thing run smoothly. If you’re ever asked to speak on a panel, I say go for it. It was like having a cup of tea with some really interesting women – only there were 60 other people in the room watching!

Image credit: New Mum Online

I offered my media pack to other bloggers who were stuck on how to start creating their own, and was touched by their comments. “I found your transparency frank and refreshing,” emailed one blogger. It annoys me that there is so much secrecy, and I am happy to share what I’ve learned, as one or two people did with me in my early days.

Finally, the heady moment of reading a keynote speech on the truth about parenting. The nerves, the lights, the microphone, the sea of faces, the laughs that came – thankfully – in the right places. The moments of silence when silence was called for. Thank you, all of you.

And when I came home, there was this. Double win.

To quote the beautiful Lady Briggs, no-one judged, no-one whispered no matter who you were or what your story. And that is the point. We have all lost something in our lives. But we were all winners in some way last weekend. Just take a look at this fella – that’s the look of a winner all over his face 😉

Image credit: Me and my Shadow




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