On Saturday I attended Mumsnet's Blogfest '15, it was my first blogging conference. I am still processing, my head is full and it's hard for me to put everything into order but I'm going to try and share what I learned.
Listening to Meera Syal CBE, Bridget Christie, Polly Vernon, Catherine Mann, and Margaret Atwood (via link to Toronto at 4am!) was inspirational. Bryony Gordon hosted a fantastic talk in which the ladies discussed being a mum at the same time as trying to have a career. I heard how a supportive partner is handy, knowing your worth is important, but being able to express yourself is essential.
Mum's need to realise that it is okay to be something other than a 'mum'.
I particularly loved something Meera Syal said about an old Punjab saying,
"When a child is born, two people are born."
I completely agree with this and I think it takes a long time for women to truly know who they are after giving birth.
Now that LP is six years old I am not just thinking about where my children will go or what they will do, I'm thinking about where I will go and what I will do.
In the talk hosted by Fi Glover there were discussions about the kinds of things we share online. How much we share and are we safe doing so?
I listened to Lucy Cavendish, Robert Crampton, Shappi Khorsandi (hilarious), and Abby Boid (Cogito Ergo Mum) talk about the things they've shared in the past and whether or not they regretted it. There were some things I agreed with, and others I didn't, but when Shappi spoke about getting a stalker, who was able to find out where she lived from photos she shared on Twitter, it reinforced my decision to protect my children's identity.
I have never, and will never, share photos of my children on this blog. Not ones that reveal their faces anyway. They have pseudonyms, LP and BP are obviously not what I called them at birth!
I am the one that decided to start blogging, and yes I write about my children, but that does not mean I can write whatever I like without thinking about consequences. Anything I put on this blog is available for anyone to see, including future employers, and that could adversely affect my children's future.
Just because they're my children does not give me the right to paste their life all over the internet*.
*Please do not take this to mean I judge those that do share photos of their children. I don't.
I love sitting in my room every day, tapping away on the keyboard and sharing various stories online. I rarely interact with anyone other than the Hubby and the boys and I'm okay with that.
I have never enjoyed large, loud parties, I don't like to be the centre of attention.
Going to Blogfest was a big step for me, one that I thought I would hate. Walking into a huge room with hundreds of people I didn't know filled me with dread.
As it turns out I enjoyed it!
I was in a room with hundreds of people I had something in common with. We were all bloggers, we shared at least that and it was a topic to talk about. I chatted, mingled (a little), and laughed.
It was lovely to meet the bloggers I've made online connections with, bloggers who know my children through the blog and asked about them.
By the end of the day I was exhausted and my head felt like it was going to explode. There was so much to take in, I left King's Place feeling overwhelmed but inspired.
A few days on I can say that I will definitely be attending another Blogfest. I was inspired by amazing people, got to meet some great bloggers, and learned more about blogging.