Wednesday, 3 July 2013

My Britmums Live experience

For those of you who don’t know, BritmumsLive! is the biggest parenting conference in the UK, run annually by the parent blogging network Britmums. This year was my first year and I was lucky enough to have some financial support from The Open Nest, a post adoption support charity that has recognised the benefits of adoption blogging as a support tool.

At the front for Kirstie Allsopp



The conference was a good mix of keynote speeches (from Katy Hill, Katie Piper and Kirstie Allsopp), inspirational sessions from respected bloggers sharing their stories, informative sessions on improving blogs, opportunities to meet brands or sign up to their blogging ambassador programmes and networking times. I won’t bore you with the details because if you don’t blog, you won’t want to be reading about Wordpress plugins or the basics of good blog design! (And if you do, then keep an eye out on The Adoption Social where we’ll gradually be sharing some ‘how to’ posts!)



Sticking to the water at the BIBs



 I also attended the BIB (Brilliance in Blogging) Awards, which was another useful opportunity to network, and drink a glass or two of fizz – Soda Stream as well as Cava!
As well as the freebies, there was laughter, there were also tears and it was a great idea to include boxes of tissues on all the tables for the final session where bloggers read out their own nominated posts and where we celebrated the life of a well-known blogger who sadly passed away – Kerry from Multiple Mummy. I cannot explain how it felt to be singing Firework by Katy Perry along with about 500 other people, whilst getting teary about a woman I’d never met…it was very emotional, and I’m honoured to have been a part of it.





I have learnt lots and returned home feeling inspired to develop my own blog, perhaps in some slightly different directions with a little diversification, and The Adoption Social. As Sarah (from The Puffin Diaries and the other half of The Adoption Social) was also attending, it was a great chance for us to meet up and think about new things we could develop together too, and we certainly have some ideas for The Adoption Social which we’re already busy with.

But next year, we need more adoption bloggers there to fly the flag for our niche corner of blogging. The collective blogging voice is powerful, and together adoption bloggers (and by that I mean anyone involved) can raise awareness and bring change. This Britmums event is for 500 parent bloggers, yet Sarah and I were the only adoption bloggers there (that we know of), and at times it was very definitely aimed at birth parent bloggers – from the MAM stand and samples in the goody bags, to the keynote speeches about childbirth and preparing your lady garden for the midwives to see!
I might be a birth mother too, but I cringed at times at what felt like a lack of inclusivity. That’s not to say it was exclusive, but there was little sensitivity towards people who might have come to parenthood an alternative way…Having said that, every single person I met was friendly, welcoming, interested and interesting, it was really great to meet the people behind some of the blogs that I am most interested in and admire.
But, how great would it be to use an opportunity like BritmumsLive! to share the ins and outs of adoption? To share the process to become an adoptive parent? To educate people on the trauma that children in care live with? To encourage more people to think about adoption – whether that’s becoming an adoptive parent, or just changing their outlook and thinking differently…

It would also be a great learning opportunity for those who want to start or develop their own adoption blogs, and a chance to join the parent blogging community (which seems to be really friendly!).
And mostly it would be great to meet each other! We could even sneak off to a cocktail bar somewhere nearby?

Tickets are already available for next year. Think about it…





3 comments:

  1. Brilliant post, thanks for writing about your BritmumsLive experience. We are all gradually making a difference I think and Adoption Social definitely is.

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  2. Yes I'm with Sally! GO Adoption Social :) and BritMums Live sounded awesome thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I really had to laugh at the "lady garden prep" bit! When I had my pre-adoption assessment medical the Dr did a full-on breast exam! I was bloody surprised! I could have done with a talk on "making your armpits look acceptable for when the Dr fondles your norks - and how to avoid eye contact in the appropriate fashion". Glad you had a good experience, and I like your call to action to get more adoption and fostering bloggers into the mainstream.

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