10 things I learned at BritMums Live!


After recording 12 things I learned at Cybher, I felt the need to match that for BritMums Live!, the second blogging conference I’ve been to this year. I got to ten but they’re good ones.

1. I can hand express!
We made a last minute decision that Laurence and Talitha would stay behind at home in Bristol instead of coming with me to London. She has a cold and is cutting four teeth, we think, and the thought of dealing with a sick baby for hours anywhere but home just didn’t appeal to him, quite reasonably.

So I threw a bag together, last minute as usual and surprised at how easy it is to pack when you haven’t got to think about an extra change of clothes should someone leak random bodily fluids. It is easy. It’s easy to forget a crucial part of your breast pump!

I realised on the train and madly tweeted around, begging any other milky mothers to take pity and bring me a pump. Simply Hayley kindly brought me a manual pump the next day.

It did mean I had to hand express into a coffee mug over night, which I was so stressed about but you know what? I was able to do it. In fact, once I got into it, I couldn’t believe how effective it was! I think part of the barrier for me was my own lack of confidence so thanks, Contented Mummy, for giving me some tweeted breastfeeding peer support and a kick up the bum (up the cleavage?) by offering to hold the cup while I squeezed, though that wasn’t needed in the end – I hasten to add!

However, the fact that I tweeted and had been variously retweeted meant that a lot of conversations at the conference began with: “How are the boobs?” I’m thinking of bringing this into common usage. Along with “blogger mastitis” as suggested by Transatlantic Mom when I told her this was the first blogger event I’ve been to and not got plugged ducts.

2. I love working with a brand I believe in
Reusable nappy company Bambino Mio was my sponsor for BritMums Live! and I loved rocking their logo on my badge, telling people about them and tweeting my thanks for their support. Working with them gave me the motivation to make a video about everything you need to organise a cloth nappy changing station so I’m glad to have done that. I genuinely love using their products so the relationship was a really natural one. It’s made me reflect on how I want to interact with brands on Circus Queen. I always want any partnerships I take up to be beneficial for my readers. I won’t BS you.

3. I’ve still got mixed feelings about Google +
I was a lot more careful this time about not overbooking myself so only went to things that really jumped out at me. I’m just beginning to build my profile on Google + but just haven’t had to the time to properly devote to it. The message I keep hearing about it is mixed and let’s just say that my feelings about still are. There is a lot of frustration around how it all works. I’m just not convinced yet of what it will do for me as a blogger and as an individual. Are you on it? Are you getting much from it?

4. I want to do more video
I went to a session on Youtube run by Christine Beardsell and while I don’t think I learned anything new, it reminded me again that I really want to do more video. I spend a lot of time looking at videos on Youtube, especially when I want to learn something new and I just think there’s a lot of Circus Queen stuff that would translate better into a video than a text-based post. Take a look at Circus TV, if you’d like to see what I’ve done so far and give me some feedback. If you’re on Youtube, my channel is CircusQueendotcom.

5. I am both broody and scared of the newborn thing
The babies! It’s not good to be away from my baby when I see other babies. There were lots of beautiful little babies snuggled up to their mothers in stretchy wraps or other carriers. I had to include a picture of Bump2Basics with hers. A babywearing image is becoming a requirement for my coverage of blogging conferences. So, yes, I’m a bit broody. But I’m also terrified of going back to that stage where they need you SO much. It does not help that, after he retweeted my breast pump request, I read Mutterings of a Fool’s post, Frustration.

6. Less is more
I had a lot more conversations at Cybher but I’m terrible at making small talk and that’s all there was room for. I’m so glad that although I didn’t meet as many bloggers this time around, I was able to have much more focused conversations. It was much less stressful so a lot more fun. Thanks for the meaningfuls Inexpert Crafter, I’m counting UFOs, WAHM-BAM, Bump2Basics, MsXpat and Circus Mums.

7. But more is fun too

I have a muddled relationship with consumerist culture. My husband works in advertising, after all. I loved leaving with all “the swag” but if I take a step back it does seem a bit much. That hasn’t stopped me from sorting things into gifts and keeps though. My favourites items were The World Atlas from Barefoot Books, lolly makers from Crocs (needed somewhere to put that breast milk pumped at the conference when I got home) and a photo session with I Carried a Watermelon.

8. Semi naked waiters don’t do it for me

Call me humourless, but the muscle boys in their pants handing out Prosecco simply offended me. Objectification is not okay no matter which sex it is. And if they don’t think they were objectified, it’s because they live in a culture where objectification is normal. I was also a little embarrassed when I wanted to get one’s attention but really didn’t fancy touching his bare shoulder. Another one’s throwing around the word “MILF” didn’t fly with me either. At all.

9. I do not miss London Underground

I’ll spare you the details because they’re so boring. It took me an hour and a half to complete what should have been a 20 minute journey. The bright side is that I got to chat with Thinly Spread who was also heading back West.

Breast milk lolly for Breastfeeding Awareness Week, anyone?

10. Reuniting is the best bit

I walked into the car park at Bristol Temple Meads. Laurence and Talitha were in the back seat. I’d left early because she’d been so fussy. When she saw me her face lit up in an expression I’ve never seen before. It was the look that can only be translated as unadulterated love. I hope I never forget it.


38 Comments

  1. June 25, 2012 / 8:56 am

    This is a great post (and especially how you used the lolly makers!) and I agree with much of it. It was my first conference, I did enjoy it but was so happy to get home to my boys!
    Corinne recently posted..Brit Mums Live 2012 – In Pictures

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 25, 2012 / 10:06 am

      I’m thinking I won’t overnight away from T til she’s night weaned. It’s too hard on all of us being apart. But it was great. Haha, I wonder how Crocs will feel about that actually!

      • Chloe
        June 26, 2012 / 10:43 am

        Hi Adele, we organised the lolly makers for the Britmums goody bags – after reading this post we wanted to let you know we thought it was a brilliantly inventive idea for storing milk! Also this could be a great idea to help sooth baby’s gums when they are teething to!

        • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
          June 26, 2012 / 11:14 am

          Glad you agree!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 25, 2012 / 10:06 am

      Lovely to see you and have more of a chat this time. You have got such a soothing voice by the way! Voice for radio!

  2. The Fool
    June 25, 2012 / 11:48 am

    Thanks for mentioning my post! Agree with most of your points but particularly Google + not quite sure what to do with it yet but think there may be a flurry of activity as everyone tries it out.
    The Fool recently posted..What I learned on paternity leave

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:39 am

      Yeah, by the time I get to it that flurry may have died down!

  3. June 25, 2012 / 12:01 pm

    You weren’t the only one put off by the half-naked waiters. I told anyone and everyone (including the waiters) that objectification is exploitative and NOT cool.
    Melaina25 recently posted..What I Wore Wednesday: Window Shopper

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:38 am

      And apart from the fact that it is exploitative, it’s just tacky! What does it say about how we as mothers are viewed as well? Are we sexually deprived or something?

  4. Lucy
    June 25, 2012 / 2:04 pm

    Hello Lovely to meet you! Love the post! Interesting that we both had to hand express!? I adore your blog!
    Lucy recently posted..What I learnt at Britmums Live!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:35 am

      Thanks, lady. Will pop over to you soon.

  5. Tinuke
    June 25, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Ooh was very lovely to talk to you over lunch, I agree less is definatley more, otherwise it can become overwhelming and you lose track on who you’ve talked to about what.

    I was gutted there was no Crocs Lilly tray in my goody bag as I love making lollies- never used it for the boobie milk, wonder if you could give it to a baby like that as a healthy alternative to a lolly!? (is that a little taboo or a really cool idea!?)
    Tinuke recently posted..Britmums Live 2012- My Experience

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:37 am

      Oh no! Sorry you didn’t get one. It’s not taboo at all. Babies do drink breast milk, after all! And they’d love it because it’s sweet.

  6. June 25, 2012 / 2:14 pm

    The waiters…not cool at all and we were telling one of them what we thought. His response was to pull my jumper forward and look down my top, saying that my chest was on display too… I was holding Mum on the brink’s baby at the time. I was too shocked to say anything. We weren’t at a hen party – not that I would have expected that to happen if we were.

    I am loving your breast milk pops though! Not literally… but you know what I mean.
    Sian recently posted..Wilderness Festival

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:35 am

      Christine Mosler told me that happened. That’s appalling. I mean, isn’t that an offence or something? And while you were holding a baby? What the hell?!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:33 am

      Sorry it was so brief but I think that’s the nature of these things! I loved looking at your baby! I actually haven’t written as much as I know about cloth nappies on here so if you have a question do tweet me. There are a few fab blogs/sites knocking about too. I’m enjoying http://www.fluffydumplings.co.uk/ at the moment.

  7. June 25, 2012 / 7:41 pm

    Gutted we didnt catch up = but spent a lot of time tweeting about boobs!!!!

    Glad you were missed, cracking use for crocs lolly holders and hopefully see you soon x
    Jane recently posted..Trying to win back a lost love ~ Northernmum

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:30 am

      There were just so many people! Sorry to have missed you! I’m guessing your boobs are OK?

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:29 am

      Hopefully the message about the waiters will get through. Yeah, me and commercialism aren’t sure what to do with each other… But I have found a use for everything I took away!

  8. June 25, 2012 / 10:23 pm

    No10 is definitely the best bit 😉

    Lovely to finally meet you in person – just wish there had been more hours and less people – not sure I’m good in a crowd
    Muddling Along recently posted..Anatomy of a blogger

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:28 am

      I don’t believe that at all! Lovely to have met you if briefly.

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:27 am

      Haha, I might challenge someone (other than Talitha) to try one.

  9. June 25, 2012 / 10:45 pm

    Adele it was lovely chatting with you. I will let the little lad know he is contributing to your broodiness! Good one on your croc pops 🙂
    Tanya (Bump2Basics) recently posted..Double or Trouble?

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 26, 2012 / 12:26 am

      Lovely lovely chat! And he is so beautiful.

  10. June 26, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    Hi Adele,
    It was lovely to meet you at Britmums.Enjoyed your post. Those post event bags were heavy! Kids enjoyed it though. I did catch a glimpse of those waiters as I left!!! Looking forward to following your posting. Might link with you on google +, I’ve just ventured into it, not quite sure yet…..
    geraldine recently posted..Gocco – still very much alive and kicking

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 27, 2012 / 10:30 pm

      Lovely to meet you too. Yes, I need to sort my google +. I also need a few extra hours in the day or less of a need for sleep!

  11. June 26, 2012 / 9:46 pm

    I definitely agree with you on the waiters – not necessary at all!

    The amount of swag I could bring home was greatly restricted by EasyJet and their limit to one item of hand luggage on the way home to Belfast, but I still managed to squeeze in enough goodies to keep the kids happy.

    Congrats on the expressing success!

    Don’t think we met, but maybe next year!!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 27, 2012 / 10:31 pm

      EasyJet should have an allowance for parent blogger conferences! 🙂

  12. June 27, 2012 / 12:25 pm

    Oooh plugged ducts were my nemesis. I’m glad you avoided them this weekend and managed to get on okay hand-expressing!

    I didn’t happen to bump into you this year, but if I had I would have been asking tons of questions about Bambino Mio. We use bamboo Little Lambs as everything else we’ve tried has not cut it with Oscar’s mega pees (I have to double up even on bamboo!) but we never tried Bambino Mio so maybe next year 😉

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 27, 2012 / 10:32 pm

      I’ve heard amazing things about Little Lambs. If you like, email me at adele@circusqueen.com and we can talk nappies. x

  13. June 28, 2012 / 8:45 pm

    Sorry, only just spotted this (via Technorati, of all places). It was wonderful to have a really good chat. I really felt I got a good deal of meaningful chats in this time, which I’ve never managed properly before – I wonder if it was because it was over two days.

    The girls were very pleased with the ‘goodies’ – sadly, more so than with me, though I did get some good cuddles.

    I didn’t like the semi-naked men at all, but I’m pleased to say that I was very happy with pretty much everything else (except maybe the lunch I picked) which is good.

    I must come down/across to Bristol some time and gate-crash one of your South West meet-ups.
    Tasha Goddard recently posted..Someone build Michael Gove a time machine

  14. July 5, 2012 / 10:05 pm

    Aw, I got a mention, thank you.
    I was so chuffed to meet you, seems we’re on a level with some things at least.
    D x
    Dee recently posted..The Inexpert Housewife

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