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

Home-Start Norfolk – supporting Mums and Dads through the early years

Becoming a new parent is an experience like no other. Throughout those early years, it can be a rewarding time but also incredibly challenging. 

Left to right: Dr Sarah Taigal - a lady who has received Home-Start support in the past, Chrissie Jackson - patron of the charity, Ray McCune and Fiona Hall, Tanya - volunteer, Helen Brown - fundraising manager.

Left to right: Dr Sarah Taigal - a lady who has received Home-Start support in the past, Chrissie Jackson - patron of the charity, Ray McCune and Fiona Hall, Tanya - volunteer, Helen Brown - fundraising manager.

Many of us rely on the support of fantastic friends and family when we’re having a bad day parenting young children.  But what if you have nobody around to offer that vital support?  Perhaps relatives live far away or have their own challenges to deal with. What if you simply can’t talk to your family about your parenting worries? Where do you turn?

Home-Start Norfolk is an amazing charity, and the only one of its kind to provide regular, one-to-one support for parents, with children aged 0-5 years, in their own homes.  The charity aims to give young children, age 0-5 years, the very best start in life by supporting their parents. 

Through a network of brilliant volunteers, themselves parents or grandparents, Home-Start Norfolk provides regular, practical and essential support to hundreds of Mums, Dads and carers throughout the county. Weekly visits from a Home-Start volunteer give parents and carers someone to talk to, go out with and lean on; with volunteers helping families to get through particularly tough times.

“Some days, as a parent, you simply need to see a friendly face and share a coffee with someone who just gets it! And that’s where our volunteers can step in: providing a listening ear and some practical support and advice to help parents get back on their feet,” says Helen Brown, Home-Start Norfolk’s fundraising manager. 

A lifeline for so many Norfolk parents; while raising young families, it’s a service that’s in demand. 

Last summer, the charity conducted a survey of more than 200 Norfolk parents. With the results clearly demonstrating that many parents are struggling to cope with the demands of bringing up a young family and are in need of this vital support.  

Home-Start Norfolk’s survey found:

  • 88% of Norfolk parents said that coping with a new baby or young family was an overwhelming experience.

  •  65% said they were not prepared for the challenges they would face as the parent of a young child. 

  • 65% said they chose not ask for help from friends and family as it feels like admitting they have failed.  

  • More than 66% of parents said that simply having someone to talk to and listen to them would offer the biggest source of support.  

Ray McCune is a Trustee and says; “There’s an African proverb which says ‘it takes a village to raise a child’; placing importance on the extended family, friends and wider community to support parents of young children and help them learn and develop in a safe environment.  But in today’s world, many people are lacking that vital community support.  Our survey highlighted a real and serious issue facing parents here in Norfolk: one of isolation and loneliness. We want to tackle that and be there for more families in the county.”

“Even if parents have a wide support network of friends and family, it can be hard to ask for help.  You can’t do it all by yourself, but it’s very common for parents to feel that they have failed if they ask for support.”

Home-Start supports families throughout Norfolk, helping them through a wide range of issues including poor post-natal mental health, lone parenting, coping with multiple births, getting back into work or dealing with a life-changing event such as a death, illness or accident in the family.

By spending just two hours a week with families in their own homes, the Home-Start volunteers make a huge difference. 

But the service is in demand. And the charity needs additional funding to train, co-ordinate and support more volunteers, so it can reach out to even more families who need their help. 

That’s why, last year, Home-Start Norfolk launched the 5% for the under 5’s fundraising campaign

If only 5% of the Norfolk population donated just £1, Home-Start Norfolk could raise £44,650 – money which would translate into support for an additional 60 families and offer many more young children a better start in life by helping their parents.  

If you would like to support Home-Start Norfolk, please text or donate online:  

By text: 

·      £1  - text HSNO15£1 to 70070

·      £5  - text HSNO15£5 to 70070

·      £10 - text HSNO15£10 to 70070

Online = donate here

Connect with Home-Start Norfolk on social media 

Website            \\     Facebook           \\ Twitter          

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Fancy a sky dive?

How brave are you feeling? You can fundraise for Home-Start Norfolk by completing a skydive this May, all the details are here


Information provided by Home-Start Norfolk

Resources for working motherhood, January 2019

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I had a few women contact me who are considering their next moves post relocation to Norfolk or post maternity leave. I don’t feel 100% confident to advise as I’m in it right now, and some might say I have good days and bad days (!).

For the past couple of months I’ve been learning to integrate new clients into our lives, with less childcare than normal. It’s been “interesting” (meltdowns, late nights) yet now we’re in a sweet spot as it feels, fingers crossed, that as long as I “keep going” and as long as the system isn’t rocked by illness etc we can muddle along. These are some resources below that might help.

I see three options for working: freelance, business owner and being employed. As a career minded mum of two small children, I’ve found it impossible to find employed work at the level (and corresponding salary) I’d be happy with. I think it’s due to a lack of advertised senior Job Shares in this area. I am trying to talk to people about that.

I already own a business, which is my third baby, this one, We Got This (Sometimes!) which is a passion project. If I hadn’t started this business, I wouldn’t have the skills that have led me to my current freelance clients, which is lucky, as I love doing it.

I’ve been a freelancer for ten years, I act as a marketing manager for clients and sometimes as an agency account director. It’s incredibly rewarding having control over my time (although, at the end of day, if there’s a meeting, I need to go.) It’s interesting, and varied and actually taps into my skills really well. What is difficult is shoe-horning it in to childcare slots, as life doesn’t work like that. And all the other non chargeable things that are not paying the nursery bills, like finding clients, pitching to clients, chasing invoices, etc. Also the ‘personal branding’ element, which is new vs ten years ago. Am I meant to have an instagram for my work? How can I fit that in!

I also struggle with sharing the “load” aspect. My husband works more than full time, and is often away. He has stepped up and now does the food shop and meal plan which I LOVE, and does the washing if it needs doing, however he doesn’t see the blocks of our kids lives that are constantly shifting like I do. The party invites, the swimming lessons, the childcare juggling, the bill paying, the family visiting, homework, school admin. And I’m not really saying he should as he’s flipping busy BUT because I freelance, I am the flexible one who does the running around. One way we’ve recently found is if I work from 6 til 1 or 2pm on a Saturday, I feel better. Rock and roll.

Resources I have come across:

Returning to work after maternity:

1 - Guilty Mothers Club - Rock your Return online courses

Setting up a business:

2 - Selfish Mother - online courses

Finding out what you want to do:

3 - All Bright Academy - I’ve just been accepted into an online course

4 - Step Up Club

How to do it:

5 - The Little Black Book and The Multi-Hyphen Method have helped me. Podcasts: The Janet Murray, She Means Business, Show Me the Way, Nicky Raby, The One Girl Band Podcast

Freelancing;

6. AND NOW also The Freelance Mum by Annie Ridout (totally spotted that a few months back!)

7 - Doing it for the Kids Facebook Community

Mind soothing

8 - Sam James Coach - she’s a mum, she’s a coach and she’s ace.

The February event to me shines a spotlight on why I set this business up (admittedly Steph has been a huge influence on me!) in that I want to find my groove and ultimately not be stressed, be a good mum and a nice person. Hopefully it will do the same for you!

Click here to see ‘Making work, work’ event details


If you’d like to blog for this website, please email me emma@wegotthisco.com.

#wegotthiswednesday - Steph Douglas, founder of thoughtful gift packages company Don't Buy Her Flowers

Every so often, on a Wednesday, we ask a mum how they manage their work and family. This week, Steph Douglas, founder of thoughtful gift packages company Don't Buy Her Flowers, gives us her approach to feeling like she’s ‘got this’. (Sometimes.)

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

I'm Steph, I'm married to Doug and we have three kids - Buster, Mabel and Frank. I started Don't Buy Her Flowers in 2014 selling thoughtful gift packages. The idea came when I had my first baby and received 8 bunches of flowers - they were lovely but I was so overwhelmed and exhausted and it struck me as bizarre that the go-to gift was another thing to care for.

We started as gifts for new mums but very quickly our customers were asking to send packages for other reasons - there are so many occasions when someone could do with some TLC and people want to create something more personal that shows someone they've really thought about them. The idea is that our gifts encourage the recipient to have a sit down and take a bit of time for themselves, whether that's with a good book and a G&T, enjoying a hot cup of tea or locking themselves in the bathroom for a full head to toe recovery session.

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We're about to launch a new package that is all about unwinding - whether someone is sending a package to a new mum, a birthday, someone who has been bereaved or someone who is just having a bad week, we're all pretty overwhelmed and someone saying 'here, look after yourself' is so powerful. That person is acknowledging you might need some looking after and I had totally underestimated how powerful that is. I ran the business from home for two years, and now we have a warehouse in Gloucestershire, where I'm from, and a growing team. Which feels bloody great. I'm really excited about our next phase. 

2. What is your most embarrassing parenting moment?
Three kids in, I don't think I get that embarrassed anymore! I'm more likely to feel flustered - I had one of those moments the other day where I'd loaded the pram like Buckeroo and when I took a crying Frank out his foot got stuck and it tipped up and stuff was rolling across the floor... those moments would have killed me with my first but now I'm generally ok. I like to look for the pair of knowing eyes who will give you a 'yeah, we've all been there' look. Some days I can handle it, sometimes an accidental kick in the shins from one of the kids will leave me in tears but that's more down to feeling overwhelmed than embarrassed!

3.  How do you juggle your business with being a Mum to three? 
Hmm... sometimes I feel on top of it and sometimes - a lot of the time - I don't! Frank is in nursery three days a week and I feel that is the right balance for us at this moment in time, except I can't actually do all that I need to do with the business in three days a week so there's a bit of a gap. He usually sleeps in the afternoons he's home, and with evenings and a bit of weekends I can manage, but I had reached a point where I had more days covered and I was doing less in the evenings and weekends before Frank arrived.

I think the grass is always greener so I need to remind myself that this was a choice, I'm very lucky that I have that choice, and also this is a phase. When Frank is a bit bigger he'll probably go up to four days and I'll generally be less sleep-deprived so that'll help!

The first couple of years in business were incredibly tough - it takes a lot to get something going - and it feels much calmer than it did then. The business has grown month on month since we launched and we're at a level I couldn't have imagined two or three years ago, so it's important to stop and reflect on that as if you're always just focused on pushing forward it's exhausting. And I have Doug and three amazing kids. We're doing ok. 


You can follow Steph here @steph_dontbuyherflowers, browse for Mother’s Day (end of March) and all other thoughtful gifts here. Steph has also been on loads of podcasts, and inspired me when I set up We Got This (Sometimes!) - just search for her in the podcast library. I think the Scummy Mummies episodes with her are ace.