Six reasons mums should get themselves to mum events
At Upswing we’ve been fortunate enough to have partnered with many remarkable mum-focused events. We provide our ‘pop-up’ creche at some of the best in the country. Having been at so many of these types of events over the last few years, I’ve come to truly understand their nature and how they can help women at all stages of motherhood.
Mum events are a melting pot of the mum-human experience.
There’s mums who have just emerged from their newborn cocoon, squinting from the brightness of a space filled with friendly smiles and grown-up chatter. There’s mums who are run ragged from the frustration of wrangling toddlers, who thought about not picking themselves up from the kitchen floor, where earlier this morning they had dropped to their knees whispering under their breath ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. There’s mums whose children are mostly at school, or going soon; They can see the light of regaining a sense of self.
There’s mums running businesses and networking and making it all happen, and there’s mums dreaming of being like this. There’s mums who look like they are holding it all together, and a whole lot of honesty from those who don’t pretend to be.
Everywhere you look there’s fragility and strength, perseverance and agony. It’s the female experience of parenting in all its aching glory.
What’s most evident is the bravery. They’ve shown up, they’re here, despite everything.
I love being amongst this because it’s part of the reason I started Upswing – to help mums and bring them together. It’s clear to most of us that we can’t do and handle all that motherhood brings on our own. The catchphrase ‘It takes a tribe’ is so common now, because it’s true. We need a support network. People to vent frustrations to, highlight joys and share sorrows. We can’t always find this type of support in our homes from our families, so we absolutely need a tribe of understanding people to turn to.
I’ve realised that it’s possible to find this tribe through these mum events. It’s absolutely possible if you’re brave enough to reach out, show vulnerability (because we all have it) and listen closely. Beautiful connections are there to be made.
If you’ve not yet been to one, the thought of it makes you cringe, or you’ve been there and it just didn’t work for you, I urge you to go along to a good one. Give it a go.
Here’s what makes an amazing mum event and why you should try to get to one:
- They make you feel connected
We are all in this mum thing together. Look around and you will see YOUR generation of mums who are going through exactly what you are, in the same span of just a decade or so. We are facing the same issues at the same time: 2017. Our experience now is very different to others before us and those to come after. These are your people. You aren’t alone in this. Mum events provide the perfect opportunity to get to know your people. Your generation of mums. You will be amazed at the similarity of the things you face.
- They make you feel human
Mum events have a very humbling way of making you feel human. The good ones, will be self-deprecating and downright funny. They won’t be fake, superficial and make you feel like an alien because you’ve got baby vomit on your top and snot on your pants. Chances are, if anyone notices, they will laugh and recall an instance where they had the remains of a poo-splosion on their sleeve during a meeting. Your mum event should help you recognise the mothering experience as a shared one, warts and all. You’re not invincible, and no-one is. You are human. Mum events are special in this way. From my experience, they are the most ‘real’ type of events you can go to. Try to relish in the humanity of the event.
- You hear other stories
Often, regardless of the specific content of the event, you will get to hear stories. Stories are society’s way of connecting us to each other. Many high-profile presenters, speakers and panellists at mum events will offer story-telling to resonate with their audience. Stories of triumph, tragedy, highs and lows, often in relation to being a parent and/or starting a business or finding a calling and achieving great things. These stories are being given as gifts to you. Take them in. If they resonate, hold on to them. Draw comfort or inspiration from them. Share them with others.
- You learn useful things
Sometimes, if you pick the right ones, mum events can be incredibly useful. There’s a whole range of amazing content on offer and being able to cherry pick what suits you is a huge benefit. Subject matter can include how to start a business, ins-and-outs of marketing, social media strategies, how to self-nurture through nutrition, exercise or spirituality. Topics can range from peri-natal depression to scaling a global business. There’s skill-building and up-skilling events – workshops on photography, cupcakes, craft and computer skills. Choose anything that makes you feel creative and lights you up.
- You get a break from yourself
The mental toll of parenting is often most felt by women. We are relied upon in so many ways – big and small, we carry the mental load for our families all while bearing the burden of sleeplessness. And if that wasn’t enough, we weave guilt, self-doubt and worry throughout our stream of consciousness. This can amount to depression, anxiety and any version of negativity which interrupts our ability to be truly content with life in the present moment. Get out of your own head. Get out of the house. Talk to people other than yourself – it can do wonders to lighten the load and let some light in. Use these events to take a break and be kind to yourself.
- You get inspired
Inspirational talks make you see what’s possible and could even help you discover or create a new path for yourself. When becoming a mum, we receive an almost forced opportunity to find a new direction. Not all our workplaces will support us, and many dismiss us the moment our baby bump shows. We are compelled to – not always by choice – find a new path. At the same time, we have a great opportunity to re-invent ourselves. We can re-train or skill in a new area, start a new business or go freelance – all in pursuit of a more flexible, family-friendly lifestyle. If you have this opportunity, embrace it. If you are at cross-roads and contemplating a career change, mum events are a great place to be. You will be inspired by others’ journeys and this may help you figure out how to navigate your own.
So next time you are scrolling through your Facebook feed, bleary-eyed, hoping for connection – click on ‘learn more’ or ‘book now’ and get yourself to a real event, with actual real mums going through the same things you are. Your generation of mums. And maybe, if you’re brave enough, you will find some of your tribe.
Upswing is privileged to be a part of so many mum events and to know the tireless women and men who put these together. Personally, I am grateful to have found part of my own tribe among them.
Linked below are some of the mum, business and women-focused events which Upswing has partnered with or supported in some way. There’s so much on offer. Jump on their sites and find an upcoming event, or find your own. No matter what stage of motherhood you are at, there’s something out there that will help you in some way. Just show up. Be brave. Take it all in and see what sticks.
Hopefully I’ll see you there, and you can laugh at the snot on my pants 😊