Monday, 23 June 2014

I Am That Woman

"OMG She's doing it!" - that was the comment posted with this picture taken by my friend and fellow blogger Claire Morfee as I took to the stage at #Britmumslive to read one of my posts as part of the Bloggers Keynote at the weekend.

afra willmore (madmumof7)  reading bloggers keynote at #britmumslive

She knew how terrified I was - had followed my journey from my excited shrieking when I first got the email inviting me to speak, through the dress shopping, hair-style discussions right up until the actual day when she was right behind me - figuratively and actually!

The FDIL was up front with her iPad at the ready to record my five minutes of fame for my family and in between them I quaked feeling increasingly stupid, scared and sure that I would be faced with a wall of silence.

I had spent the whole day in a state of... well just a state really. Let me give you an example of how nervous I was. I was booked into a nearby hotel with FDIL, Claire and DH and DS#1 and had pre-paid for breakfast. Normally I take full advantage of the spectacular breakfast starting with cereal, moving onto a full English and finishing with lots of toast and marmalade all washed down with every one of their fruit juice choices and lots of tea.

On the morning of my keynote I ate a small bowl of cereal, a small bowl of grapefruit and drank half a glass of orange juice.

Thankfully during the day I was able to pick at the spectacular Morrisons buffet - mainly on pineapple which they served with a double dip of a sweet fruity sauce and crumbled biscuit! I didn't touch the chocolate or lemon tarts, delicious as they looked, and couldn't face any of the delicious smelling dishes offered by Britmums for lunch.

By the time 4.45pm rolled round I could only sit, trying not to sweat or cry. Trying to smile and engage whilst just wondering if words would come out of my mouth when I got to the lectern. Or if I'd even make it to the lectern without tripping up and displaying my substantial mommy underwear.

Those of you there know neither of the above fears materialised. Turns out I am part performing chimp and as soon as I stood in front of the sea of faces I went into show-mode and read my blog post without too many fluffs.

blogger keynote with madmumof7 at #britmumslive 2014

I sat down with friendly applause ringing in my ears - I speak "up front" at Church quite a lot but of course no-one ever claps so that was new to me. I looked up at the screen and spotted that they'd displayed pictures of my children. That nearly broke me. I felt so proud of them, myself and my blogger friends.

You see, for the last couple of decades I have been "that woman with 3,4,5,6,7 children."  And at the weekend I realised I am more than that now.

I am that woman who spoke in front of 100s of people in the same industry - spoke out loud the words that flow from my head through my fingers usually when I'm alone to people who apparently want to hear my voice.

I am that woman whose work was considered good enough to entertain some of the countries top bloggers and I am that woman who is able to influence people through social media and the internet.

I am that woman that people approach to ask for help with promoting their causes and businesses. I am that woman who people feel they know enough and think enough of to ask advice of.

I am that woman who can be whatever woman I choose to be. And for the realisation of that I thank Britmums and all of you who clapped my keynote speech at the weekend.


madmumof7 at #britmumslive

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I just really enjoyed the Morrisons buffet!


 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg

34 comments:

  1. Well done! A brilliant achievement and confidence boost, and great to come to such realisations, too x #whatsthestory

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    1. Thankyou - it's funny how the strangest things can open your eyes isn't it?

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  2. What a fantastic achievement. You should be very proud (as I think you are from reading this). Rightly so x

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    1. I know - I feel a bit silly being so proud but I am!

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  3. You were a natural up there!! You spoke so brilliantly and with such humour. I loved your post.

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    1. Thankyou - I felt like I went into tap-dance and jazz-hands mode a bit and another blogger said in the nicest way that I looked a bit bonkers but it was so good for me to realise that I could overcome those nerves and do it.

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  4. Well done you! What a great achievement!!

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  5. You were awesome! I'm just sorry I didn't get to meet you. X

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    1. I didn't get to meet half the people I wanted to - I think next time I'll make a list and tweet out to people so I don;t miss anyone.

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  6. You rock! Wow what a feat! Congrats for this =) #WhatsTheStory

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    1. Aww thankyou! It was a great confidence booster and diet aid!

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  7. You were awesome! I'd have never had guessed you were nervous all day!! Well done Afra, you are THAT woman, that bubbly, strong, well spoken, funny, awesome woman!

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    1. Tinuke that means a lot to me - I'm sorry I didn't get to say hi as you are THAT woman too!

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  8. You were absolutely fantastic! Loved your keynote speech lovely x

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    1. Thank you so much - I'm going to cry soon I think with all this lovely support!

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  9. I had to leave around then but I listened to all of your keynote and you were bloody FANTASTIC!!!!! I remember thinking no wonder you did radio. Your voice is SO engaging and I chuckled all the way througout it. I reckon you would be excellent at doing podcasts.....or even Archers maybe on Radio 4?? Well done you!!

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    1. Wow thankyou- on the odd chance I listen to my own radio show on listen back I think I sound like smash and nicy and oddly seem to have a lisp that only I can hear? And jump between Home Counties and a Black Country accent depending on my mood!

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  10. Good for you! Sorry I missed your moment of fame but I will never forget your help in finding the Premier Inn with me, you have a little mention for it on my blog, it is the little things that make a big impact. thank you.

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    1. Thanks for the mention- I will always help anyone with anything I am capable of if I can and it was nice to chat and get to know you better.

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  11. It sounds like a resounding success. You are rightly very proud. Well done x #whatsthestory

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  12. Wow that is awesome - congratulations on being chosen and I wish I could have been there to hear your reading, it sounds like it went down well! I just had a look at the post and will come back to it again when I have more time - I will say though phew! for the news that your five year old still likes a dummy because my son will be five in September and still very much attached to it (although he is only allowed it at night for the most part!). X #whatsthestory

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    1. welcome to the unfit mothers club - *passes jaffa cakes * Seriously this is why I wanted to write the post as we are all so wracked with guilt about stuff like dummys and potty training and weaning etc it's nice to hear someone else admit their parenting is not always perfect!

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  13. Fantastic Afra and you were absolutely awesome! You read with such brilliant enthusiasm, your words really came to life. Well done you x

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    1. Thank-you Suzanne. I wished more of my bloggy friends had been on my table but the room filled up so fast for the final keynotes.

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  14. What a great post Afra. You must have been thrilled to do this and you were absolutely brilliant, well done for getting up there and speaking - especially in such an enthusiastic way. Your family should be very proud. Was lovely to see you too #whatsthestory

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    1. Thankyou Charly- was lovely to see you too. I was thrilled and now a bit sad that I've had my turn and won't be able to do it again!

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  15. Great post, and brilliant achievement.

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  16. You are also now that woman who is on @YouTube reading the very same post - so so glad that I recorded it. Hope you add it to your post if you get a moment.
    Much love
    Liska xx

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    1. Thankyou Liska - next stop presenting the Oscars!

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