Where Next For Groovy Mums and Me?

Last September, I was grossly overweight, fed up with my lot in life and hoping to find paid work.

My instincts told me I would only change with the back-up of other women.  I decided to set up a blog hop and was so pleased when other mums came forward and said they wanted to effect changes in their lives too.   Inspired by all things Eighties, I called us the Groovy Mums and we set off with our knapsacks on our virtual backs towards an undefined but a “It’s got to be better than this!” future.

There was a definite first set of mums who got involved and there was lots of accompanying banter and support on Twitter as well as via blog comments.  That has got less probably as we got involved in various tasks towards getting our groove back.

We found that when mums were struggling, some would not post at all and some would in great detail and end up helping others with their sadder posts as well as with their happier ones.

9 months on, I am aware that some participants found that Groovy Mums was not for them or could not find the time to join in.  I am proud to see all the changes that mums have made, both baby steps and huge ones.  I think we have worked out that when we achieve some things, a lot of us still want to move on to new ways of thinking and different activities.  Perhaps there is not a destination after all but rather a fascinating journey.

So where now for Groovy Mums and me?

My life has changed a lot since last year.  I lost a considerable amount of weight so feel better health wise.  I have stones and stones to shift still but I know I can do it now.  Nothing seems hopeless anymore and that is largely down to the impetus of the Groovy Mums.  Thank you.

I have paid work now and can see new opportunities to acquire more at a pace that suits me and my family.

I am a member of the BritMums team and am speaking at BritMums Live in less than two weeks.  There are nerves naturally but my reality is now that I will be fine and contribute well to the event.  My thinking has shifted about what I am capable of.

I am involved in supporting charities and am a proud ambassador for Give As You Live, the organisation that ensures that money goes to charity when you shop online (but you do have to sign up and can do so here http://www.give.as/savingbabieslives ).

So I have changed and I feel ready for a big adventure after BritMums Live.  I am working on the finer details but I feel the time is right for me and look forward to sharing in due course.

I have noticed that less people are linking up when I do Groovy Mums posts and challenges.  On a level, this does not matter but on another if I am going to be busy and the posts are not helpful to folks, I wonder if I should continue with them.

We have had a few Groovy Mums Twitter parties which appeal to a wider audience and seem to assist in linking up mums who can help each other in terms of support, tips and information.  Should we do some more?

I never was a great guru and never had all the answers.  I was just a fat mum stuck in a small village who wanted to feel like herself again.  Groovy Mums was as much about helping myself as reaching out to others.

So although I feel quite clear about where I should go next and what I should do, my question is where next for Groovy Mums?

Should it be allowed to die a natural death?

Should it continue in the same way?

Should it change radically?

Should I share the load more as some mums seem keen to help out in some way?

I would love to know what people think whether they join in with Groovy Mums or not.  I am also not going to make any major decisions on the future of Groovy Mums until after BritMums Live because sometimes I too need to take time out to reflect and to ease up on myself.

Over to you …

7 Comments

  1. Older Mum (@Older_Mum) June 12, 2012 / 10:03 am

    Dear Kate. I’m sorry I wasnt able to make a firm commitment to the cause. But when it did, it really helped me to put things into perspective. Do what feels right for you given everything else you have on your plate. Looking forward to meeting you at Britmums.

  2. caughtwriting June 12, 2012 / 10:33 am

    Hi Kate, I have to say I have absolutely loved Groovymums. It’s been a real source of inspiration and taught me that little things do matter and it all counts and adds up. I have a couple of comments which have occurred to be over the months. Firstly, it would be great if you had time to reply to people when they leave comments, I mean reply in the comments box. You’ve always replied to me on Twitter and that’s great, but I always sign up to get notification of further posts, and I feel it could constitute a mini-discussion if you were able to reply to people within the posts, everyone would see what everyone else was saying. Also, when I’ve tried to link my post up, there’s been no linky thing (I’ve no idea what it’s called). There was at the beginning, but I haven’t seen one the last few times I’ve checked. Am I just being dense, or was there a makeover and I now can’t see it? Does it look different and I’m just not sure what I’m looking for? If there is a linky, all the posts can be in one place and easy to find. I have been a bit slack and despondent recently and not written anything of my own, but I do like to know about people and always try to read other people’s posts, if I know where to look for them easily. For myself, Groovymums certainly helped me to get out of my pit and start doing something. I’m now doing that something, so in some ways I don’t need it as much as I used to, although I still find it useful and would support it until the very end. Which leads me to echo what OM said above, you have to do what is right for you, and if that means other things have priority, then so be it. Maybe GM has run its course for you too, it’s served it’s purpose, you have got yourself out of your rut too. I will support you and GM whatever you decide to do, but know that it has been a very important part of my life these last few months and I feel fortunate to have stumbled across the website when I did, at the very beginning.

    Anyone else want to have a turn now? 🙂 Px

  3. chickenruby June 12, 2012 / 10:56 am

    Hi Kate
    I’ve not linked up for the past few weeks due to moving house. My life has been put on hold since the beginning of may as I watch for emails to find out if I’ve a role at the London Olympics, there are also quite a few personal, family issues going on right now that I’m unable to blog and tweet about at the moment.
    I hope to be back and grooving soon.

  4. Lynsey Summers June 12, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I think it is always a great thing to stand and take stock of something every now and then. GM was an experiment that has done fantastically well and I would be very sad to see if die a natural death. I am a positive person and feel extremely happy with my life but I connected with it because it helped me to realise that there is nothing wrong to also want to do stuff for ME rather than Me As Wife / Me As Mum. I have loved having a reason (my ‘Groovy Mum’ time!) to sit down and write those blog posts outlining what I want to aim at and achieve and somewhere WORTHWHILE to post them where they have value. I love that those posts have reached out to other mums looking for ‘something’ and helped them also feel positive and let them see that although I have difficulties in my life with my eldest sons severe disabilities EVERYTHING and ANYTHING can still be possible. I find strength in other peoples posts too (I was initially introduced to GM by Mummy Plum). I do not very often post blogs relating to the prompts, now and again I have when I have felt very connected to what the questions have posed. I think that maybe this side of it would be better done on a monthly basis (less brain work for you having to come up with all the prompts) and maybe have a small team on rotation to help come up with them. It would just need an exchange of email addresses. We could all ping ideas over each month and come up with (your final say) one list or take responsibility for one month on rotation (with your approval) like you did once with Our Pea Green Pod? I have certainly missed it of late, but also had a problem a couple of times with the link not being visable. I still posted, obviously and shouted loudly in the title that I was doing under the GM header. Maybe it would be worth a link being available via the GM Network on a fortnightly basis (weeks come around quickly!) with the prompts monthly. I don’t think it is time to let it die, I think it has just lost a little momentum, it must be a huge amount of work for you to run and with the other wonderful work you are on board with at the moment it’s no wonder it has needed to take a bit of a backseat. Could your links with BM HQ help with a re-launch through the GM network? Could it kind of come under the umbrella as a sister site (not sure of legalities here?) to help with promo? It is a very specific, support and positive steps type of network I don’t think it would tread on BM toes. Could you put out a little ‘recruitment’ pitch for a team of helpers? You never know, one day the GM Network might be having its own conference! I think it would be such a shame, to see how something was going so strong to end.

    Lynsey.

  5. Mummy Plum June 12, 2012 / 5:11 pm

    Hi Kate

    I found Groovy Mums at a time when I was relatively new to blogging. I’d started my blog in an attempt to ‘find myself’ again, and when I stumbled across Groovy Mums, the goals of it really resonated with me. I can honestly say that the reflections I had as I wrote my posts really helped me. That was only half of it though, I also found the encouraging support of the other participants of GM heartening and inspiring.

    I tended to write posts based on my own point of view rather than respond to the prompts, so if there was something I wanted to share that week I’d write a post, if there wasn’t – I wouldn’t. I found that my Groovy Mums posts were often some of my more soul baring ones. At times, they were more emotional to write. And for that reason, I didn’t/ don’t link up every week. And once things in my life got a bit more ‘on track’ whilst I still read and commented on other people’s posts, I didn’t feel the need to always post them myself.

    I agree with Polly’s comments about the linky. One of the best things about GM was reading other people’s stories and knowing that in different ways, lots of other mum’s had their own struggle with their groove. Without the linky that sense of connection and conversation is harder to forge across cyberspace. Possibly it also makes it harder for newer members to join in.

    I am so glad that from your perspective you feel you’ve got your groove back. As for where it goes now, essentially it was your baby, so your decision. I guess you’ll know in your heart how you feel about it, and whether you still want to nurture it as your baby, pass it on, or whether it is time to move on to something new and different altogether.

    Whatever you decide, it’s been great! x

  6. mrsshortie June 14, 2012 / 5:00 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I started off always joining in with GM, then I had a bit of a break over Christmas and then I did join in again for awhile, recently I haven’t actually done any blogging so I have been a bit awol! I loved it to start with, it really helped to know that there were other people who were also struggling, but also I enjoyed being able to give advice to others too.

    I liked the prompts to start with as they were differnt each week, and not based on any set themes. I found it harder as this changed to being under certain headings, but I still joined in as it gave me something to think about, and a reason to blog.

    As the others have said having the linky was the best part, it made it easy to ensure I read everyones who had joined in, and I think as a newbie I would need that focus too.

    It has been great having the GM and it would be a shame to see it go, maybe with everything you have going on it would be good to pass it on to a deputy for awhile?

    I hope I have made some sense (brain not great at the moment!!), and you manage to sit back and take stock of what everyone has said and come back with some decisions.

    X

  7. Glasgow Mummy June 17, 2012 / 9:08 am

    Was going to comment the other day, but far too difficult to comment on my phone, sorry!

    Grooving Mums has helped me immensely. There’s been a lot of change in my life since the blog hop started in Sept and I am thankful for the support and kind words from the fellow grooving mums and other readers of my blog.

    At the start, I was on maternity leave and had plenty of ‘me-time’ as toddler was still in nursery two days. I have less time for blogging at the moment as I’m working part-time and the toddler no longer sleeps, so my days off are jam packed with entertaining my 2.5 year old (and the baby!). By evening I’m knackered and more often than not I’m in bed shortly after the kids (especially knowing that I’ll no doubt be up with one or both of them during the night!). That said, I love my blog and do try to schedule posts here and there when I get the chance.

    I think you should start getting other mums to host and I would perhaps reduce the prompts/challenges to just one per week? I would be sad to see it go completely… but of course understand that you need to do whatever works best for you and your family.

    Best wishes, Sarah x

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