Friday, 17 January 2020

To Them I Am Perfect

Recently I've had a bit of a revelation. My children were eating fish finger sandwiches (declared by my little boy as "THE BEST FOOD EVER!"), playing Minecraft (I have no clue what the hell is happening in it) and chatting nicely (unheard of). And for the first time in a long while I thought to myself "this is where they are meant to be". For years I have worried about my kids and if I am really doing a good job. In my head I had little tick boxes that I used to decide if we had had a good day or not. A checklist of how to be the perfect Mummy.

'Children eating healthy meals at the table whilst we chat about day to day issues' would have gotten a tick. 'Mummy manages not to raise voice and children leave the house fully dressed by 8:35am' might have been allocated two ticks. 'The shower would be clean and fresh towels laid out first thing on a Saturday morning' well that would have been 10 ticks and a small triumphant dance from me. It was an internal reward chart going on in my head. Me allocating myself points and valuing my parenting abilities based on a whole host of things I have seen on TV or social media.


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Monday, 30 December 2019

A Very Bloggy 6th Birthday

So here we are again! My annual round up post of the year celebrating the day I decided to start brummymummyof2. I was a Mum to a baby and a toddler who had recently gone back to work two days a week after running a busy head of department in a Black Country school. Three days a week I was with my beautiful children but also during nap times I was bored AF. I wanted something just for me. I followed the odd person here and there online and it always struck me how different I was to the average social media Mum. I couldn't relate to their perfect homes and stylish clothes. I decided to shout into the black void of the internet and thankfully some of you shouted back.

2019 has been the best of years as well as the worst of years. I can't really talk about all the amazing things I've experienced without touching on the hard start of the year. As many of you will know the constant scrutiny, negativity and my own enforced online comparison led me to seek professional help. So I spent the first six months developing boundaries and really trying to realise that I am good enough. I am industry that I don't really belong in. Which in turn leaves me unsettled. It values looks, celebrity status and 'who you know' above intelligence and integrity. Which obviously is a bit different to teaching. I am now in a MUCH better headspace and thanks so much for all your support during this tricky time. I really needed it.

A highlight of 2019 was working with Alzheimers UK on their Share The Orange Campaign

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Monday, 23 December 2019

The Truth Behind The #ADs

I get a lot of DMs and comments asking me about my job. Often the first time I meet someone and tell them what I do they say they don't understand how I make money. Or they express that they think I am really lucky to have such an easy career. I never really get offended. I will try and explain to them how it works. This industry is very new, especially for people from my generation who see it as something unobtainable and cannot quite fathom it out. So I thought I would explain step by step what goes behind producing a #AD. How I get approached, how I create the ADs and most importantly...how the hell do I get money for it!

Step 1 - The Approach
As I have been blogging for six years I have built up a contact list of PRs, agencies and companies who approach me to work with brands. They want to put their product in front of my wonderful and engaged 250K followers. In the beginning I made sure that I had my email across all social media so they could get in touch with me easily, now I work with a management team who get sent these emails. On average they may get between 10-20 emails a day with perhaps one or two being relevant. Relevant to me is that it is a brand I would use, my followers would like and I wouldn't mind receiving payment in exchange for my work. We are asked to work for free continuously. Almost as if this is just a hobby and not my career. We very politely decline (mamas got school shoes to buy!).

Step 2 - The Negotiation 
So a brand has got in touch and wants to work with me. My manager checks in and sees if I would like to do it before he goes any further. The information I need to know from them is what are they promoting, what are they looking for (e.g I won't put #ADs on Facebook or on my blog so need to be upfront about that), the deadline and how much the fee is. This process can often take a bit of back and forth before you come to a compromise both you and the brand are happy with. This could take minutes...or days. This year one brand took six months. Which is fine. As more often than not the PR agency is dealing with the brand and they have certain criteria they stick to. It is not uncommon for a brand to say "no" at the last minute. So for me managing my budget in a job where payment is not always guaranteed is a constant juggle.

Any excuse to use this photo of me and Mark working for Matalan this year!
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Friday, 20 December 2019

12 Signs You Are Going Out Out. Mum Style.

Preparation
Preparation is key. You have learnt from previous mistakes that you need to ensure your other half is available for babysitting duty not only for the night. But for the following 24 hours. As hangovers post 30 last four times as long. If this is not possible you decide to only have a "few drinks". Which is forgotten exactly one hour into your precious, and rare, evening of fun.

OOTD (that is youth speak for Outfit Of The Day)
Times have changed. Your shoes are now boot based. Bags are an over the shoulder affair. Tights are thick, black and come up to your boobs in a vain hope to smooth out any lumps and bumps. You would wear hold your stomach in tights. But last time you did. You got stuck in them in the toilet and had to SOS for help.

Knowing Ones Limitations
You give yourself a pep talk. You are now mature and you know your limitations. You know gin makes you weep. You know rosé makes you fight. You feel smug as you know yourself so well. You beat the youth who are still learning about themselves. You are mature. And will enjoy your evening in a classy fashion.

Remember. Gin makes you cry...ah sod it!

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Monday, 11 November 2019

12 Signs You Are Beginning To Think About The 'C' Word

1. You suddenly acquire a whole host of catalogues in your house. Which are read more than any book your kids own. They get ripped up, fought over, stuck on to various bits of tatty paper. You roll your eyes over each and every "can we have this Mummy?". Mentally totalling a grand each of gifts they "NEEEEEDDDDD".

2. You start to dread the ads in between kids TV programmes. Each one bringing something more ridiculous that your child HAS to have (I'll never forget the Unicorn Fingerling search of 2017).

3. You become obsessed with getting a bargain. Any 342 you're there. Any 'get £10 off when you spend four bazillion pounds offer' makes you squeal with joy. You aim to save so much money this year. THIS WILL BE YOUR YEAR! It will basically be a free Christmas. Ahem.

4. You want to smash yourself in the face when you realise you bought a toy that you could have got for £2 cheaper in another shop (I'm looking at you Spiderman Web Gloves. B*stards).

Calorie Free

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