What are the best bits of BritMums Live?

Yesterday I told you all the worst bits of my BritMums Live weekend so here goes with the really good stuff in no particular order.

Best Bits Of BritMums Live

1. I got a night away with Him Indoors whilst the little darlings went to stay with my step-daughter.  So whilst other bloggers were out to dinner, I was making the most of the hotel bedroom and remembering why we got together in the first place and hoping the walls were thick.

2. I got to meet Ruby Wax and she signed my book and spoke my name.  Be still my beating heart.  How wonderful of BritMums to put Ruby and the issues of mental health right up there at the start of the event.  A brave decision and one I applaud.

3. I started to see that there are many opportunities in blogging that I may not have quite understood before.  The future starts here and I think it may turn out to be rather marvellous.  I learned a lot from the panel session on the first day.

4.  I worked out that I want to start making proper strides in my writing.  Attending the Getting Published and E-Book sessions proved fruitful.

5. I got ever so slightly squiffy at the  Brilliance in Blogging Party and met and fell in love with  that Hayley one before she became world famous with her keynote the next day.  I am putting her autograph on ebay as we speak.

6. I did not win a Brilliance in Blogging Award which I was so pleased about as did not feel I deserved to do so having seen the other finalists.  Plus I would have tripped up the stairs in my drunken state and the pink Crocs wellies I had won.

7. I saw some of my fave bloggers and Penny Alexander and Mummy Whisperer  in particular get their awards and was very pleased for them, huge warm feelings of thrilledness.

8. I discovered Katy Hill and found her so funny, engaging and true.  She tells it like it is and I love anyone who does that particularly about the challenges of parenting.

9. I started to understand more about social media and search engine optimisation.  

10. I heard the wonderful Sarah Brown and she changed my life right there and then. 

11. Despite myself, I moderated the Blogging for the Greater Good session with what appears to be quite a degree of success.  Working with the lovely Michelle from BritMums made it that much easier.

12. I spent a lot of time over lunch with Polly Gowers from Give As You Live.  She speaks so much sense and I have that chat as one of my absolute highlights of the conference.

13. The food was amazing and sustaining as the whole event really too it out of you in terms of over-excitement, nerves and the rest.

14. I joined Ellen Arnison and Mammasaurus for the Sod the Stats!  Blogging for Happiness session.  Having survived the first speaking engagement in the morning, I felt much more chilled.  I managed to be me warts and all.  Whether that was a good or bad thing is for others to decide.

15. Although I had plenty o f wobbly moments, I pushed through them and spoke to people and did not sit shyly at the back in workshop sessions.  I also remembered that other folks would be shy too and when I spotted people who looked that way went up and spoke to them. 

16. I laughed and cried in the blogger keynote sessions with several stories resonating deeply with me particularly Karin’s about post-natal depression and Ellen’s about not slating ourselves for being bad mums when actually we do out best.

17. Someone said to me “Oh, you are one of them, aren’t you?”  Turned out they meant I was part of the BritMums team.  I am never quite sure how I managed to become part of that wonderful team but am really glad I did.  Susanna and her lovely colleagues have truly changed my life for the better and I thank them for that.

18. I met some of my blogging heros but also learned that there are a lot more out there to get to know better.

19. I felt like a somebody rather than a nobody.  It is so easy to lose sight of yourself as a mum.

20.  I hugged.  Yes, me, the most hung-up person in the world found herself fuelled by wine throwing herself on unsuspecting bloggers.  What can I say?  It was emotional.

What do you hope are you best bits of BritMums Live 2017?


How do I start a post when I am still a little in shock from yesterday’s events?

For those who missed it, we held a Twitter party using the hashtag #groovymums.  If you are a #groovymums you are officially on trend according to Twitter.

The original idea was to acknowledge that the Groovy Mums blog hop and online support network established in September 2011 was 6 months old.

I thought most of the participants of the groovy mums blog hop would take part and maybe a few interested observers.  I was amazed to see loads of people joining in and some very interesting debates and chats taking place.

At some point in the party and yes I was sober but my head was still spinning, people started to tell me that #groovymums was trending at number 2 on Twitter.  This still seems very surreal to me but does at least show the power of mums when we get together and tell our stories.

Topics covered included ..

How to combat the isolation many mums feel

How to still have your own identity when you become a mum

How powerful or powerless mums are in society

How peer support can help mums move forwards in their lives

How media images and the celebrity culture affect how mums feel about themselves

What things get left behind when you become a mum and whether you can recover some of them

The hopes, dreams and aspirations of mums

How to increase energy levels and feel better physically

How to tackle mental health issues including post-natal depression and where to access support

Mums’ self-image

How to get involved in volunteering and how it might benefit mums

How to get back to work or into self-employment

How to get involved in learning

How mums can carve out me time and what mechanisms help them to do so

Whether partners and children can benefit when a mum puts herself first sometimes.

As you can see, it was an awful lot to get through in one hour.

I would like to thank so many people but if feels like the Oscars where I could end up writing for ages as so many people helped.  Particular thanks go to the parenting and blogging networks (Tots 100, Britmums, Love All Blogs, Mumsnet, Netmums).  None of this would have happened without those women in the last 6 months who have joined in with the Groovy Mums blog hop.  Personally, huge thanks go to Hayley, Louise, Caroline and Kat who are always there to put me back together again when I need it.  Finally, to each and every person who promoted or took part in or get in touch about the Groovy Mums Twitter Party.

Now for some more questions so please leave a comment, contact me on kateonthinice@gmail.com or tweet me @kateonthinice

1. Should we have another party or regular parties?  If so how often and what time suits people best?

2. Do you have any particular topics you would like to see covered via Groovy Mums?

3. Do you think you might link up blog posts to the Groovy Mums blog hop?

4. Would you like to take on a new role with Groovy Mums?  It will be unpaid but might be rewarding in other ways or enhance your blog profile.  If you are interested in this, please email me and I will be in touch by the end of the week with more information.

5. If you are an organisation or business, would you like to link up or partner with Groovy Mums in some way?  I am very open to ideas so drop me an email.  It would be lovely, for example, to see some prizes offered to participants at the next party.

Groovy Mums continues to evolve so all ideas and feedback are most welcome.

In them meantime, if you have a blog or website, you are most welcome to use the Groovy Mums badge which you will find in the sidebar.

If you think that the party was inspiring, changed things and/or stood out, you might want to consider voting in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards using the bright pink buttons on the right.  Thank you.


I am picking up now but for much of the day my mood was so low. Black clouds weighing me down.

I hate how even with post-natal depression long gone (years ago), I can still be right back in the depths. I am not a nice person to know at such times. I get taciturn and solemn. If Him Indoors is around, I get angry and raise every real or imagined sin with him.

What were the triggers this time?

The weight gain this week and the malfunctioning scales. I have felt so in control of things for the last couple of months and then suddenly the scales were telling me either that I had not lost any weight at all or that I had reached my target weight already. It felt like I was going slightly mad and that it has finally happened, happened …

Untidiness of family. This is a bugbear for me. Am I the only person that can see when things need tidying, putting back, cleaning up? I hate how you just think you are on top of things when you walk in another room and it is a disaster zone and not of your making.

Husband texting one of his female work colleagues outside work hours. I hate this side of me but when you are stuck at home and lacking in the glamour department lifestyle wise and looks wise, I can feel really easily threatened.

Son’s birthday. He is sort of on the cusp on becoming a teenager and right now I have no faith that I am equipped to help him navigate all the challenges ahead.

So what did I do? I drank too much last night which is so very self-sabotaging. I ate too much. I had a big go at Him Indoors for anything I could think of.

My son’s birthday has motivated me to get sorted and I am Ok now, not quite as up as I would like but functioning decently enough and capable of enjoying his birthday tea and so on.

I just hate how these dark days can creep up on me and have such an adverse impact on my own life and those around me.

Before anyone has a dig at me because some mums once did saying I was too needy for them to want to know, I know that lots of mums feel this way. Blogging has taught me that if nothing else.

I am going to post later with a fun meme thing to make up for dragging readers down with this one.

I had a pleasant evening last night and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up towards 11pm, I was in a foul mood. Nothing had changed apart from how I was feeling.

An argument with Him Indoors ensused. I had an idea that I was pre-menstrual but when in the grip, it makes far more sense to rant at the world and its husband in general. When I am like this, I am very insecure but instead of seeking reassurance, I lash out with wild accusations based on nowt or nowt much. This does not make for marital harmony.

I am less patient with the children and animals too. To be honest, I just want everyone out of my face. I remember how with good female friends when students we used to curl up on sofas and eat chocolate at these times whilst watching nonsese on the telly. Men just don’t join in like that, do they?

This morning, I felt like wallowing but managed to write my #groovingmums post. I can’t be bothered with people when feeling vaguely yucky but not enough to be ill. There is also that lacklustre feeling and a lack of motivation to do owt really.

I did not go out with my Dad as I normally do and enjoyed some me time. I laughed at myself a bit on Twitter and on the blog. Therapeutic stuff. Then I thought I would do something constructive and look up PMT on the internet. Most pissed off to be told it affects people aged 20-40 years. Bloody Hell! I am even too old for PMT. Menopause and hip replacements here I come. Oh, the deep joy of being a woman!

Dad came in asking why charities ask for money at Christmas as if it were my own personal fault they do so. “You know about charities” says he. Yes, I worked for charities but only a tiny minority of them and they are a very diverse bunch. He had his view and was not to be moved. I had to really concentrate hard not to snap. “They should ask for money from businesses”. Tried to argue that yes they do and companies do offer support but that did not fit in with his world view. I hate clashing with Dad so retreated back to my cuppa and the sofa.

I hate pre-menstrual tension and I hate our society does not work round the real lives of women. Why can’t we all have a few days in a posh hotel paid for by the state when we are feeling this way? Why can’t working women have proper flexible working so they can fit in little inconveniences like PMT? Why don’t they cover things like pre-menstrual tension, post-natal depression and the realities of women’s lives in our education system?

Now in any other circumstance, having a good rant like this would lift the black clouds but PMT does not work like that. Come on virtual friends, hand me some cyber chocolate and take me away from it all.

Britmums ask us about pleasure this week and as part of that we are to highlight the 5 blogs we love and why we like them so much. I have so many blogs that I read and enjoy that it is so difficult to narrow it down So here are 5 blogs that do different things for me and thereby bring me a pleasure of sorts. I have avoided mentioning those who have mentioned me as it would be too obvious and I will cover them in a feature I am planning for later this year. I have also not gone on about the wonderful women who do the world-famous blog hops as largely I have covered them in another post.

1. The blog that made me learn most is here http://cazandbelle.blogspot.com/

Caz is an Angel Mummy to Annabelle. To my shame, I had not really called mums who lose a baby mothers before. I am not proud to say that by the way but I am pleased that through Caz’s blog I woke up to the reality that if you have carried a child you are a mother. Caz is am amazing lady sharing her feelings so openly whilst fundraising for SANDS too. Caz’s blog is not always an easy read but it is an essential one in my view to understand the impact of babyloss. Caz last posted 8 days ago and I hope her next post will be sharing very wonderful news indeed. Please pay her blog and visit and offer your support for this inspirational woman.

2. Here is a recent find http://dichotomyof.wordpress.com/

If you want to know what I think is good writing, head over to this blog right now. I wish I could write as well as Laura does. I just write words but she paints pictures and has the most poetic way of expressing things. I like her also for her apparent healthy attitude towards authority (as I am a rebel, I will leave you to decide what I would see as a healthy attitude lol). Her blog also has wonderful recipes and anecdotes on family life. She is someone I would like to converse with into the early hours of the morning.

3. A blog I love to read but also a blogger I like to communicate with http://theramblingpages.blogspot.com

If you like my blog, I think you will like this one. It is this Mum would say all over her blog a work in progress but then aren’t we all works in progress as women and as blogs? I like the honesty of emotion and struggles in this blog, the questioning and the discovering. Here is a Mum coming to terms with the reality of children that society chooses to define as “special needs”. I could come up with other reasons but one of the main ones is that I would love to meet this woman and make her a friend.

4. http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com is my fourth choice.

I wanted to choose a blog that talks honesty about post-natal depression. I had several to choose from but I have chosen this one as through it you are likely to find out more a very fabulous organisation that is actually trying to ensure that mums who are struggling do get support and understanding and that any stigma surrounding the issue disappears. When I think of the impact on post-natal depression on the woman herself (I was there too!) and the children of that woman, her partner, wider family, friends and colleagues, something must be done. Kate over on http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com/ is trying to do something positive and I salute her for that.

5. It Could Be You! What I mean is that if I look at the other Britmums blog prompt this week about how I would spend a whole day to myself, the likelihood is I would be investigating new blogs for part of that day. That is the real pleasure about blog reading, there is always a new delight to be discovered. To do it for me, you are likely to be quirky or funny, challenging or questioning, funny or heartfelt, honest and true. I look forward to finding you.