Archive of ‘Meets’ category
In Charlotte’s December column she gifts us with another banger from her poetry collection, because Christmas is coming, stress levels are high and we can’t get enough of them. (more…)
Amongst the melee of music, magic and mayhem at Nozstock this weekend, I managed to grab some time with Ella Nozworthy. Ella is the daughter of ‘Farmer Noz’, who lends his name to the festival. She has a two year old daughter and is expecting her second child later this year. We chatted about festivaling whilst pregnant and with kids and how Nozstock came about.
You’ve just organised a festival with hundreds of acts for crowds of thousands of people. And you’re pregnant! How do you feel?
Tired! Though I’ve timed it better this time, because last time I was pregnant I was eight and a half months by the time of the festival, so there was very much a contingency for what would happen if I went into labour whilst the headliner was on! I’m feeling a lot better this time round! Not quite so heavy and waddly round the festival site this time!
I’m obviously having to slow it down a little bit more, and a few of our support staff are having to take on a little more than normal this year. Actually, I’ve tried to use it to my advantage! You’re not expected to walk as much, and if any of the crew sees you carrying anything they take it straight off you. Last year, when I wasn’t pregnant, I was a bit like ‘no lift? Oh fine! I’ll walk to the top of the hill myself then shall I?’ The bands and the artists are also always more friendly when they see you waddling around backstage!
What advice would you give to pregnant mums-to-be who are planning to go to a festival?
Definitely do it – just make sure you’re comfortable! Make sure you’ve got somewhere comfy in the shade to just crash and relax when you need to. But there’s no reason why you should be able to enjoy it and have just as much fun as anyone else.
How has having your own children altered the way you approach running a festival?
It does change the way that you see festivals and Nozstock has changed since I’ve had my baby. It’s enabled me to scope it out from a different point of view. Before I was pregnant I was always keen that there should be loads going on here for kids, but you don’t necessarily think of the logistics. Before my daughter, when people would say ‘should I bring a buggy?’ I would always think, ‘I don’t see why not!’. Now I know from experience how hard it can be to push a pram on grass…or mud!
Nowadays, I’m much more like ‘no! That music must stop at a certain time because the children need to sleep!’ So hopefully, my own experiences of being a parent here are helping to make it easier for families that visit.
More and more parents are bringing their kids to festivals. Why do you think that is?
Festivals have generally become more inclusive. If you think of festivals 20 years ago, there was still very much that image of either hippies in a field or moshy music-lovers and that’s what it was all about – standing in a field and watching a band. Whereas now a festival isn’t entirely about the music, and it’s more about the experience. There’s always going to be great headliners, but you can go to a festival now, without even wanting to watch any of the bands, and still have a brilliant time because there is so much to do. I think this appeals to families. And I think families now are more willing to push the boat out, try new things and experience new things as a family. Festivals are catering for that now.
And what makes Nozstock unique?
For Nozstock, right from the start, it was very much a festival we wanted everyone to go to. I couldn’t run a festival I didn’t want to attend! Because as a family, the Nozworthy’s are all very different anyway, so to appeal to everyone it was always very eclectic and all-inclusive for that reason. At the first Nozstock, I was thirteen and Nan was in her 80s, but we both loved it! Maybe in different ways and for different reasons, but why shouldn’t you be able to bring your whole family to a festival and all have a really good time? Logistically, things have improved as the festival has evolved to make sure it’s as inclusive as possible. To this day, everyone at the festival still feels like they are part of our big family!
I love my daughter dearly, but there’s a small part of me that thinks she might be a diabolical dark-lord, hell-bent on world domination. Here are five reasons why my 18 month-old might actually be an evil genius:
1. She has already identified physical weak spots that when exploited with minimum hassle on her behalf, yield maximum pain for me. When I refused to let her drink bubble mixture the other day, she threw the mother of all toddler-tantrums and squirted the mixture directly into my eyes. I spent the rest of the evening feeling like my eyeballs had been dipped into a madras.
2. And it’s not just the physical abuse she is adept in. Her ability to mentally cut to the core of my innermost insecurities is already finely-tuned. The other day she was playing on the floor by my dressing table whilst I was putting on my make-up. I finished the last flick of mascara, looked to her and said, ‘how do I look?’. She slowly turned to me, evaluated my face and simply said, ‘more’. What a metaphorical dagger to my ego that was!
3. She has an amazing memory for what really grinds my gears. A few weeks ago, she accidentally knocked the wooden panel below the oven off when she pushed her trike into it. I immediately re-attached it with a warning that messing with the oven is dangerous. Seeing how concerned I was about this ‘magical panel’ must have stuck with her. More recently, when I said she couldn’t have chocolate for breakfast, she ran to her trike and pushed it full-pelt into the oven to remove the panel once more. As it fell to the ground she looked at me, smiled and said ‘uh-oh!’. That level of malevolence is only reserved for future dictators and traffic wardens, surely?
4. They say that a true sociopath can absolve themselves of any wrong-doing even when they’re caught in the act. To anyone with a toddler, does this behaviour sound a little familiar to you? When I found my daughter jumping on our coffee table and I asked her – whilst she was on the table – if she was jumping on the table, she looked me dead in the eye and shook her head. I think I fear and admire that level of confidence in equal measure.
5. Finally, anyone who has checked their baby video monitor at night to find their child sat up awake in bed must agree that they look a little freaky. In the night vision light, her eyes wide and staring, I can only conclude that her night-time manoeuvres must be for future world domination.
Or maybe she’s just being a normal toddler. Only time will tell. But you might want to start building that bunker in the back garden just in case.
This is an amazing guest post by Charlotte who writes her own blog at Musing mum
It’s the closing day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness week and this subject is very close to my heart and a lot of other single mums. As a single parent you are twice as likely to be depressed than a mum in a coupled relationship. I had Post Natal Depression with both of my children, and I want other mums to know that they aren’t alone in their dark feelings and thoughts at this difficult time of having a new baby. I also think that you are the only person that can make yourself well again.
The feelings I had after my recent relationship breakdown of being lonely, isolated, not part of a ‘normal’ family and feeling heartbroken, were so overwhelming for me. But even more so was the stigma, self criticism and failure that I felt as a newly single parent. Eventually, I learned that my post natal depression was a ‘gift wrapped in sandpaper’ for me. As in 2016, with a need to prove that I wasn’t a failure, I, along with a fellow single mum, started a Social Enterprise for Single Parents with a focus on wellbeing called Single Parents Wales. I wanted to reach out to others and end the stigma, instead replacing this with love and compassion.
My top 5 for Mental Health Nurturing.
1) Peer Support.
The best thing for my mental health was to go out and find other people who were in a similar position to me, who truly understood what was in my head and heart. I could feel the judgement and stigma disappear because they were the same as me. Peer support and the power of a group and true empathy is astonishing, I witness it’s almighty ability all the time. It is so healing knowing that you can talk to someone and that you have someone to turn to. Sometimes not offering a solution, just simply understanding. I have met amazing and inspiring single parents that truly pulled me out of the dark hole that I was in. But more than that made me recognise what a super hero you are being a single parent. The feeling of not being alone and being part of a community gives me endless strength.
2) Me Time.
As a parent we all struggle to find time to have a wee, so the thought of ‘me time’ seems impossible. But what if I told you it reboots the brain and has lots of health benefits? It is inevitably a bit trickier for single parents to find this time, but once you work out the logistics or really embrace the importance of ‘me time’ it will be easier. It could be saying to the kids that you are having a cuppa for 5 minutes whilst they play, having a hot bath with candles when they are in bed, or making some time for a hobby or interest. You have to start seeing that you are just as important as your children, and that if you are in a strong resilient state of mind then the first people that will benefit is your children.
3) Your Thoughts vs Reality.
The most poignant thing that someone pointed out to me was that my thoughts aren’t always true. When we are depressed, stressed, low in confidence and high in anxiety, our brains keep on at us about how useless we are, how our children deserve better and what a burden we are. Well these thoughts are not true, and if only we knew how more than enough we are, especially for our children, how enormously loved and missed we would be to our loved ones if we weren’t around, and how amazing we are for what we have been through and the strength, determination and kick arse ability we show on a day to day basis.
4)Not Letting Things Escalate.
It is so important to learn to master the tool of self regulating. This is about not letting your feelings, thoughts and anxieties get too far before you make a positive change. The longer that you leave things when you are feeling stressed and anxious the harder they will be to bring back. So it might be that you take the time to meet up with a friend, as you’ve noticed you are a bit snappier with the children, or you do some Mindfulness as the children’s dad is pushing your buttons. Rather than letting it escalate to the point where you are having to have time off sick from work as things have become too much. It’s about being emotionally intelligent and listening to ourselves. Being kind to ourselves and recognising that we are only human, so all of these things that we have to juggle without a partner means that we will get stressed, angry, anxious and upset. But it’s how we deal with this in the moment rather than letting it snowball.
5) What Works For You.
It might not be what works for you, works for me, and it seems that there isn’t a one size fits all, but it’s important to be armed with a massive resilience tool kit, with a hammer, spirit level, monkey wrench and three different screw drivers, to make sure that you can get to work maintaining and fixing your mental health. I find physical exercise works wonders for me personally. Which is why one of the first things we set up at Single Parents Wales was a ramble to promote exercise as a positive way to manage mental health. However, when the grey cloud descends this is the most difficult task for me. In this case I focus on just getting outside and going for a walk, as I know that this will make me feel better, and has a 100% success rate. I recently couldn’t shake my anxiety so got up and climbed a mountain, Pen-y- Fan in the Brecon Beacons, which I know sounds a bit extreme! I felt that I left my anxiety at the top and as I descended I couldn’t contain the smile and sense of achievement. For others it may be that talking things through to a friend, family or a professional helps. It might be ensuring that you are getting a healthy diet or making time to read or study. Whatever works for you, recognise that and make steps to do it often and make it a part of your life.
If you’re a single parents then why not join us? We hold social events, with and without the children. Including our popular rambles fortnightly. We also hold Wellbeing Workshops and Mindful Play and Art Therapy sessions.
Find us on: Facebook @singleparentswales
I’m attempting to get organised with this blogging lark. I hold my hands up. It’s flipping difficult at times and that’s because I have two other businesses outside of this & a toddler. It’s no mean feat but I’m not here to whinge, I love it. However, I do want to get into a routine of getting stuff live on this site and also having features that you love to read so make way for Business Mother Monday.
When I started the Instagram account for This Welsh Mother I suddenly started to find loads of amazing Welsh Businesses. They come in all shapes and sizes but I find them crazy interesting for two reasons.
For one. I just love business, it’s my specialist subject so I’m totally interested in what makes people go it alone. I love to see their passions and talents and I just love seeing how they manage it all.
Secondly, I want to support them. If I can buy from a ‘person’. I totally will. I think it’s great to support other businesses, I want to support Welsh Businesses and hell if another Mother is rocking a business, I want to be a part of keeping that going.
So that’s what Business Mother Monday is all about and I need your help. I’ve started messaging some of my Insa-biz-crushes to get them to feature and I’m asking them to recommend one of their faves too but if you know a business mother they can be little biz, medium biz or big biz (who cares) why not send me their name and I will hunt them down and get them to feature. We get to be nosey and take a peek into their business brain and also we get to know more about their amazing business.
If you would like to nominate someone, you don’t have to know them personally, it can be anyone you find inspiring/interesting, please just drop me an email – email@example.com & put Business Mother Monday in the subject line.
It’s a common question, so common you can feel it coming before the words even come out of her mouth. “So….when are you going to have another one?”
I don’t find Motherhood easy and I also don’t mind telling anyone that fact. I struggle to juggle the demands of business and writing and being a partner. I miss things, I drop the ball and sometimes I forget where all those other labels end and I, me, the woman begins.
However, I have a secret weapon in my purse and I call her Michelle Reeves. Actually, everyone calls her that, it is her real name. Michelle is a goals and success coach for women, a mum of two under 8s, a PND survivor, MIND charity ambassador and creator of the Happiness Habits Routine™. She is craaazy passionate about helping busy mums find the space and grace in their day for THEM and grow their positivity, power and productivity. Check out her free resources, affordable courses and 121 coaching programmes at MichelleReevesCoaching.com or grab her free 5-day mini course ‘How to Overcome Overwhelm’ HERE
6 habits of successful people you should start today
If March arriving on your doorstop made you stop and weep at the lack of progress on your goals so far this year, you’re not alone. It can be hard push through the self-doubt and wavering motivation so many of us have when we’re trying to achieve something new!
We might not have the luxury of a real life mentor, someone we can meet up with on a regular basis for advice and guidance on our lives or businesses. But as a goals and success coach for women, creating resources, online courses and working one-to-one with my clients, I’ve always got a watchful eye on my virtual mentors.
They’re successful entrepreneurs, leading their industries and I watch to see what makes them tick. After all, if it works for them, it could work for me. There’s no reason why we can’t apply other people’s winning strategies to our own lives.
So from productivity to attitude, here’s 6 habits of successful business women, and men, that you can apply to your life or business goals today…
1. Get smart
How SMART are your personal or business goals? You may know what you want to achieve this week, even this month or next but for successful entrepreneurs, that’s not enough. They have a clear results-based plan for their future and make sure that their goals hit 5 key criteria every time so that they’re: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. (I teach more about my simple system for goal setting and intentional living in the Happiness Habits Routine™.)
2. Focus, focus, focus
Just popping on to Facebook to see what’s happening? DON’T. Successful entrepreneurs have a laser-like focus and don’t let themselves get distracted. Instead, try using the Pomodoro technique – spend 25 mins on one of the tasks on your to do list and reward yourself with a 5-minute social media break. Or use timeboxing to be more productive with the time you have.
Alone we can be great, together we can be greater. Collaboration can be an excellent way to pool time, talent and resources both in business and in our personal lives – who could you partner with? How about sharing the school run with another Mum to get an hour back in the morning for yourself or trading skills with another business owner to save money on outsourcing?
4. Model others who are already where YOU want to be
Tony Robbins created his multi-million dollar business to by modelling what other successful people did and then applying it to his industry. Who are your virtual mentors? What do THEY do? What strategies do they use? What personal routines or habits do they have? If you’re in a creative industry modelling doesn’t mean copying, though – make sure you’re still authentic to your own voice and readers.
5. Just ship it
Seth Godin famously advises entrepreneurs to step out of their comfort zone and just ship their product instead of tinkering away at it until it’s perfect. In a similar way every time we post about our business on social media, write a blog post promoting our services, paint a picture or try anything new in our lives we can fear that we’re opening ourselves up to criticism, judgement or ridicule and spend hours or days worrying, editing, tweaking. Get it 90% right, press GO and move on. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll deal with it.
6. Belief in yourself
Successful entrepreneurs have an unwavering belief in themselves. When they get knocked down they bounce back up and keep going. They’re resilient because they trust that they’ve succeeded before and so they will again. Don’t let self-doubt stop you from achieving your dreams – whether they’re personal goals or professional ones.
You can do this!
I’d like to thanks Michelle for writing this amazing guest post for us and I’d love you to share this post with all your busy mama friends!
You can find Michelle on all her social platforms below:
Go say Hi
This Welsh Mother Meets is an opportunity for us to point you in the direction of someone great, someone we think you will love.
Ruth Bullions is one of those women who looks a) effortlessly beautiful b) Like she has ALL her shiz together.
We both hail from the same small Mid-Wales town, where I went to school with her younger, equally talented sister, Rhian. Over the years I have online stalked her, while she parents children, forged a career and bossed creative sideline businesses like it ain’t no thing. Basically, she’s girl crush fodder.
In recent times she has launched her own blog & started a clothing business for Welsh Mammy’s (Ahem, you may have seen me talking selfies and rocking one of her tee’s). For the launch day of this site I wanted to shine a glaring light on her & all her online glory in the hopes that you can get to know more about who she is? what she does? and believe me, you will soon be part of the fan club.
So Who is she?
Ruth Bullions is a Multi -Tasker. She writes her own blog Real Life Mummy & she recently founded welsh apparel site Pethau Mam. Because this isn’t enough to keep her busy she also dabbles in interiors & is Mum to two busy boys, a baby girl, and an almost teenage step daughter.
Where is she from?
The bright lights of Betws, Ammanford with her husband and four kids, 2 cats and a few fish.
What does she do?
Aside from the Mothering, the blogging AND the clothing biz, Ruth is a Teacher of Art, Design & Technology. Amongst all that other stuff she manages to show up as a Governor at two primary schools, and make the odd cake now and again for Bluebell Cake House. Oh, and she also volunteers at her son’s Cricket Club. (She secretly thinks she may be doing a rubbish job on the Wife front – But we all of beg to differ).
We asked Ruth
What is your favourite place in Wales?
My favourite place is Wattick beach near Dale. I grew up going on camping holidays to Pembrokeshire, but I haven’t been there for around 20 years! It is my dream destination. Smooth sand, red rock, sea like a bath. One day I will get round to finding the secret path that leads to the secluded beach. I’ll take my children and just soak up the old memories, while making new ones.
What are your favourite things to do?
I LOVE a day out. Last year I signed up to the National Trust, and it is well worth doing. We live close to Llandeilo, where you can find Newton House and Dinefwr Park. There’s long walks to the castle, deer roaming around, activities for the children to take part in, and the house is set up so that kids can pick things up, try things on, and sit on the furniture. It’s so easy to relax there, and educational too. A day out isn’t complete without a tea room pit stop too for either lunch or a cuppa and cake – it’s got to be done! We recently visited Powis Castle near Welshpool and loved every bit of it (and every bite of cake!).
Where can people find you?
Already know you need to catch up on Ruth’s latest adventures? You can find her –
Each week I want you to give a virtual hi5 to a Welsh Mother so if you would like to nominate yourself or someone you know please feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org Oh….. & have you signed up for our weekly newsletter? It’s a special read, just for you (lock yourself in the bathroom with your phone – you deserve it)