Richmond Unwind Supper Club with Steph Douglas and Deborah James

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Take some time for yourself! Join us for our first supper club in the glamourous surroundings of The Gate Restaurant, Richmond Harbour Hotel. for an evening of delicious food, brilliant company and wonderful conversation. You will enjoy a welcome cocktail or G&T from Marussa’s Porters Tropical Gin and a delicious three course meal, followed by conversation with Steph Douglas and Deborah James about how they make time to unwind, whilst balancing family, work and everything else.

Find out more here

New Event produced by Superself, featuring massage, meditation, yoga and more

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Liza at @superself.1, a year 3 @nuafashioncomms student, has written her dissertation on the six dimensions of wellness, she knows her stuff. She has created a bespoke, glorious event for 17 lucky mums on Sat 6th April at @erpinghamhouse filled with:⁣

  • yoga and meditation with Atma Gyanam from @theyogatreenorwich

  • an interview with @carlyrowena (I’m interviewing Carly about how we can build fitness into our lives, motivation, confidence and there’s time for q&a. It’s basically like having Carly in your lounge)⁣

  • a tasty vegan lunch at @erpinghamhouse

  • essential oils and their emotional benefits workshop with Holistic Nutritionist and Life Coach @kristiebecker

  • mini massages with 3 therapists from @jackiehamiltonschoolnorwichAND Jackie herself and tea tasting ⁣

  • The ticket cost is £49.84 inc booking fees, ALSO including an exclusive, amazing goody bag (Carly may have had a hand in it ) and a bespoke wellness manual⁣

  • Any profit will be donated to @mindnorwich

    Liza will be revealing more details over on her account @superself.1 as the weeks go by. She researched a lot of London events before designing this one - it will be welcoming, encouraging and you’ll leave with actionable ways to feel better in your day to day life.🌱💥🧘🏼‍♀️⁣

International Women's Day 2019 - @sallywhitewrites

Went to the pub last night and Sally said things I didn’t know, that I wish I had the knowledge and vocabulary to say - so I asked her to put it down for us. You’re welcome. Guest post by @sallywhitewrites. Please give her a follow. She may make you think differently.

Sally wearing Black and Beech

Sally wearing Black and Beech

On Tuesday it was Pancake Day. We celebrated with pictures of pancakes piled high and floury faces and doughy disasters. Not one person raged against it: not one person demanded to know why pancakes get a special day but pork pies don’t.

On Thursday it was World Book Day. We celebrated by getting out the glue gun and cobbling together four thousand Where’s Wallys. Not one person has grumbed and griped about the lack of a DVD Day.

On Friday it is International Women’s Day and bet ya bottom dollar there will be a fragile white male snivelling about the lack of a Men’s Day and the fact that feminism has ‘gone too far’.  

Here are two staple responses for you to have in your pockets for these predictable complaints: 1) International Men’s Day is 19th November. 2) Really? When? Give three specific examples. 

I’ve learnt the best way to counter ignorance is with a question. Someone once taught me the power of the phrase How fascinating – tell me more. Try it in the face of righteous fury- it works because either they have a legitimate point (ie, the ‘white women’ cisterhood effect of IWD) and you will learn something. Or they will splutter and mutter about suffragettes and horses and you can raise an eyebrow and wither them.

And if that doesn’t work- if they still ask you to ‘prove it’- use these well-researched and irrefutable facts from Criado Perez’s excellent book, Invisible Women that prove the damage of a patriarchy.

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  • Women are 71% more likely to be injured in a car accident (and 17% more likely to die) than a man is because crash test dummies are based on average male weight, height and muscle distribution.

  • Mobile phones are designed to fit in the average-sized male hand.

  • Google’s ‘comprehensive’ health app could measure your copper intake (?!) but has no way of recording your period.

  • When it was first launched, Siri could find you a prostitute but not an abortion clinic.

  • Female Viagra was tested on 28 men but only three women.

  • Women make up only 11% of HIV cure trials.

  • Voice recognition is 70% more likely to recognise a man’s voice.

  • Female police officers are wearing stab vests design for (bust-free) males.

  • The research in to the effects of chemicals in nail polish, shellacs, polish removers and gels is pretty much non-existent despite them being linked to miscarriage, cancer and lung disease.

The problem is two-fold: there are not enough women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and women are less visible. We all know that the presumed pronoun is ‘he’. We assume male. Women are the exception (notice in supermarket aisles ‘Toiletries’ and ‘Women’s Toiletries’ for example). Men actually talk more than women but women are perceived to be more talkative. Is that because we are less used to listening to women? We need men to see us as humans with the equal right to safety and life rather than just our ‘wives and daughters’ or background noise. 

These facts alone should put pay to the complaint that feminism has ‘gone too far’. But if not, just let them know that out of 144 similarly developed countries, the UK came 53rd for equality: 91 countries are doing better than us. According to the government’s own research, the pay gap is 9.6% and, at this rate of progress, we won’t have pay parity for another 97 years. Too far? Pal, we are not going far enough or fast enough. 

But I get the temptation to bristle: I understand why men who benefit and are oblivious to gender inequality might be defensive. I’ve been there too. Recently I’ve begun to think about how I benefit from being white and middle class. I started listening to voices that are outside of my echo chamber. I’ve starting thinking about feminism in light of how others might experience it. I’ve put some hard graft and emotional labour in to becoming a better intersectional ‘feminist in progress’. I’ve winced when considering ‘white saviour complex’ and flinched in recognition of my own exclusion of working class voices. It is hard work. But it isn’t the job of BAME women (black, Asian and minority ethnic) to spell it out for us again and again: it’s our job to listen once and do the work.

Follow people who have a different perspective and hear them when they speak. Go, now, to Instagram and follow Stand for Humanity. Candice Brathwaite. Yes, I’m Hot in This. Niqabae Chronicals. Jameela Jamil. Go to podcasts and listen to The Everything Project episode Being Black. Ask questions. Look around. And what ever you do, don’t say you ‘don’t see race’ because if that’s the case, you’re not looking hard enough. 

Use International Women’s Day to reflect. Consider how far we’ve come in the last twelve months. We’ve outlawed upskirting. We’ve elected more women in to American politics than ever before- including representation of women of colour. We’ve repealed the 8th amendment and empowered women in the Republic of Ireland. We’ve unveiled a statue of Millicent Fawcett. We’ve seen Rwanda elect a parliament that is 60% women. We’ve put the shame back on the perpetrators with men like Phillip Green and R Kelly finally being held accountable. 

We’ve shouted and protested and gathered and listened and roared.

And now we keep going and we keep fighting until we all have equality.

By Sally White, at sallywhitewrites.com

Sally White in white

Sally White in white

How Annie and Steph make work, work

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DETAILED EVENT NOTES ARE HERE

This was the 16th We Got This (Sometimes!) Norwich event (there are clearly a lot of topics to cover when you have kids and are trying to navigate life, right?!)

Annie Ridout in Norwich, photo by    Emily Gray Photography

Annie Ridout in Norwich, photo by Emily Gray Photography

Annie has written a book about how to become freelance when you have kids. Steph left her job and set up a business because she knew her job wouldn’t work round kids. Seventy women came to hear them both share their experience with fizz in a beautiful setting at Bill’s in Norwich. The audience were at various stages - looking for the next step, already freelance but wondering if they made the right choice, maybe didn’t have a choice so are trying to be more effective. The general feeling was “we want to be with our kids, we want and need to earn money - how on earth do we balance it all?”

Steph Douglas in Norwich, photo by    Emily Gray Photography

Steph Douglas in Norwich, photo by Emily Gray Photography

Before we start looking at the advice, a quick side note:  we had a couple of women in the audience who are not mums, and they found the event just as useful - if you’re reading this, and you’re freelance, you’ll get some positive action from Annies’s book. Whether it’s reassurance, inspiration, knowledge - I’ve been freelance for over ten years and things have changed a lot. Put some new tools in your toolkit. Annie’s book is just £7 from Jarrolds. 

The feedback from this event has been pretty immense to be honest. I know there is a gap for women like us, which is why I started We Got This (Sometimes) but even so - the environment we’re in, and trying to navigate is tricky and Annie and Steph are pretty awesome at agreeing to share their experience. Some of the feedback:

Top tips for a mum considering going freelance

“So here goes! I have officially handed in my notice and I am leaping fearlessly into the world of freelance (well, maybe a bit of fear but going to go for it regardless). I'm freee... except that I'm very much not. Two wonderful but high maintenance little ladies will be quite literally hanging on for the ride. Thank you Emma @wegotthissometimes for the brilliant 'Making Work Work' event on Wednesday. Very wise words from @annieridout and @steph_dontbuyherflowers, not to mention the brilliant women in business (or soon to be) I had the privilege of meeting beforehand. I've been totally inspired this week and I'm ready as I'll ever be. Now time to prepare to welcome some babies! 🎉👶🎉” SarahWelcomeBaby

“Happy Friday everyone!

The Freelance Mum, 4th Estates, Annie Ridout

This week I feel like a cloud has lifted after a number of months feeling quite flat (career-wise), I suddenly have hope and a bit of clarity for the future! I took voluntary redundancy from my job in HR and assumed I’d look for another similar role but with three kids it’s not easy to find a flexible senior position (@mother_pukka ’s #flexappeal campaign couldn’t have come sooner). I know I’d never dared leave without a plan so a restructure and a pretty toxic environment was the push I needed. I attended @wegotthissometimes event with @annieridout and @steph_dontbuyherflowers @dontbuyherflowers this week and something just clicked!

Hannah and Martine at  PX Success ,  photo by    Emily Gray Photography

Hannah and Martine at PX Success, photo by Emily Gray Photography

Fast forward to today, I got home to an empty house (which never happens) so settled down with this book and noticed Annie wrote “well done for making the leap”, it just reaffirms everything and makes it feel more real! I’ve gone from worrying to being excited about the future, yay!!” @home_we_call_westie

“Thanks so much @wegotthissometimes for a great event! And huge thanks to @steph_dontbuyherflowers for the inspiring mentoring. I feel fired up and ready to go” @hello_lovely_party

“Such a great feeling to be surrounded by like minded individuals who all have the same daily struggles of raising children and trying to stay sane!” @wired_mama

“These events keep me going. Being in a room full of other women nodding their heads along to what Annie and Steph said make me feel part of something. They were both so honest and thats what makes us all come together!” @little.dottie.designs

“Great event last night thank you. First one I’ve come to and was really impressed with the content and how it was run.” @bigmindcoaching

“It was a really good evening and has given me a big boost. Thank you!” @greenandrowe

“Thank you so much for another brilliant event. I had such a good time. “ @cherished_heart_jewellery

“Little message to say thanks for a great night at Bill's Norwich last week.  I've felt really rejuvenated since!” @melissamorgandesigns

Many thanks to co-sponsors Minivino Wines who bought their recyclable, resealable wines for everyone to try, and to Liz their Marketing Director who helped women in the speed mentoring sessions. Huge thanks also to Ginger Fashion on Timber Hill, who showcased their big Scamp and Dude range and gorgeous Norfolk cushions. Please follow them, and buy their things - the event couldn’t happen without them! Little Freddie supplied gorgeous gift sets of organic food for mums to try with their weaning babies, which went down very well. 

Have a look at @wired_mama - she made this wire art for We Got This which I love!

Wired Mama    wire art - she can make any word, in a range of fonts, most sizes

Wired Mama wire art - she can make any word, in a range of fonts, most sizes

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What did I find most useful?

As a freelancer and a small business owner, I feel the pain and benefits of both. What I found most useful:

  • Try to break the cycle of the guilt I feel when I am working about the kids and then about the work, when I am with the kids

  • Remember to be kind to your partner above all else 

  • Concentrate on stories, less on sales (like the “why” that Simon Sinek promotes)

  • Encourage Mike to and all my friends husbands to listen to the Dear Sugars podcast as recommended by Steph (link is in the event notes)

  • Know what to delegate and when - you can only grow if you delegate.

What’s next?

Steph speed mentoring

Steph speed mentoring

I mentioned a We Got This (Sometimes) business club, which seemed to have a lot of support - that’s what I’ll be working on next. I’ll be in touch - if you’d like to know more, there is a mailing list on this link called #PowerHour Business Events - that’s where I will send details, or please email me here.

DETAILED EVENT NOTES ARE HERE

There were surveys on your chairs for Liza, a student who is planning a Wellness event for mums - a digital version is here if you missed it, please feel free to complete if you didn’t attend, the survey is here.

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Bill’s Norwich - it’s pretty up there - photo by    Emily Gray Photography

Bill’s Norwich - it’s pretty up there - photo by Emily Gray Photography

Annie’s book signing with    Jarrolds

Annie’s book signing with Jarrolds

Thank you to our co-sponsors    Minivino Wines

Thank you to our co-sponsors Minivino Wines

Thanks to co-sponsor  Ginger Fashion  on Timber Hill

Thanks to co-sponsor Ginger Fashion on Timber Hill

IMAGE GALLERY

All photos by Emily Gray Photography