It’s pretty important to get people together. The last Mothers Meeting of 2016 brought together lots of talented ladies at London’s The Town Hall Hotel. Not just a community of old and new faces but also the amazing entrepreneurs at the Christmas market. As the end of 2016 approaches a lot of us are thinking about the year behind us. We’re thinking about the ups and downs, the ins and outs of how we got through it and what we have planned for 2017 (crikey, where has the year gone?).
At this Mothers Meeting Confidence Conference we heard from a panel about what they have learnt from 2016. They also shared their highlights. Cherry Healey hosted the chat on the sofa featuring Anna from Mother Pukka, Zoe from Dress Like A Mum, Steph from Don’t Buy Her Flowers, Hollie, creator of Yes Mum cards, Clemmie from Mother of Daughters and Clemmie Telford from Mother of All Lists.
Here’s seven things they learned from their 2016 (which are great tips for us too…)
- Be kinder to yourself…I loved what Steph, Don’t Buy Her Flowers, had to say about looking after yourself. Steph talked about the need to ‘stop’ so you can take some time out and just think about what you’ve achieved so far. It’s too easy to keep thinking of what you need to do next or achieve in the future. Sometimes we forget to give ourselves a pat on the back for all of the great stuff we’re doing and that includes the small stuff too. Steph reminded that a great way to do this is to have a meeting with yourself each week (even for fifteen minutes!)
- Take a break where you can just focus on your family… Clemmie Telford talked about the importance of spending time where you focus on one thing that’s really important to you. She talked about her family’s holiday where it was all about enjoying time together and focussing on the kids (and iPhone-free).
- “Ask for help when you need it”…Clemmie, Mothers of Daughters, reminded us that we have to ask for help whether it’s about everyday chores or how we feel. Hollie added that it’s fine to say that you’re not coping as we all have moments like this. Quite a good tip for this time of year. In a blog post earlier this week I talked about delegating so you don’t feel too stressed during the Christmas season.
- If you have an idea, start doing it and test it out with your mates…Hollie talked about how her Yes Mum affirmation cards came about. She made up a batch of these cards and tested them out with her friends. Jenny from Mothers Meeting added that if there’s something you want to do, you should just try it. Steph, Don’t Buy Her Flowers, made a great point when talking about waiting for the right moment for you when you want to pursue something. She also reminded us that we shouldn’t feel like we have to be managing lots of projects as well as looking after a baby or our children.
- You can take things offline…Many of us enjoy our social media time and being part of online support networks. Anna, Mother Pukka, talked about the importance of doing things offline. Instead of just writing about it, do something about it. Wise words for any of us who feel passionate about something. This encouraged Anna to organise the #FlexAppeal flashmob in Trafalgar Square in September 2016. She had no idea if this would going to work or not. She had no idea if anyone would actually turn up. She only ordered 25 #FlexAppeal t-shirts as she didn’t expect a big crowd. One Friday in September, loads of mamas and their kids turned up to take part in the Lets Talk About Flex dance routine (along to the tune of Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s Let’s Talk about Sex).
- “There is no such thing as failure”…Hollie reminded us that you learn just as much from stuff going wrong. So, we don’t need to worry if things go wrong. I know there are lots of people out there who are worried about failing and that pressure isn’t always healthy. It’s a tough one. But, I always think we learn something from everything, even if it didn’t go to plan. All I know is that life isn’t perfect and I guess accepting failure is just part of the ride. It’s also about having to say no at times. Zoe, from Dress Like a Mum, talked about how this can be tricky when you like helping others.
- Success can be seasonal…Whether we’re busy pursuing professional careers, managing businesses or projects or being the CEO of our household there will be times when things may feel a bit slow or quiet. Anna made a great point that there will be “tumbleweed moments” when things aren’t necessarily moving forward so make the most of this time to step back and take stock. Cherry also talked about how success can feel seasonal; we can’t expect there to be a constant flow of winning moments and achievements.
I asked a question on their top tip for getting organised. The panel talked about loads of great tricks so these will feature in another blog post next week. Good timing as we also start to get ready for the new year.
After the talk we then headed to the Mothers Meeting Christmas Market. It brought together so many lovely brands, founded and created by hardworking entrepreneurs. Here’s my MM Christmas Market round up in pictures, featuring just some of the amazing brands. It was one of the best ways to catch up with everyone before we say bye to 2016.