Since becoming a mum and going freelance I regularly find myself walking into a room of women I don’t know who are also mothers. What to wear? What time to arrive? Will anyone talk to me? It’s like being the new girl at school.
A huge amount of social engagement is now conducted online. Everyday, I’m chatting away on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. So venturing out into the real world sometimes is a wee bit scary.
When Pippa from Story of Mum asked me to come and share my story at The Photographers Gallery I immediately said yes. Making the video was a piece of cake – I am married to a video editor after all; and the great things about video is you don’t have to face your audience. Standing up in a room full of strangers is another matter!
When I get the wobbles before a mums event I remember my friend Katie saying at the beginning of 2013, “What’s to be scared of? They’re just women; we like women don’t we?’ Katie is the same friend who told me to ‘Stop shilly-shallying,’ when I was trying to decide whether to go freelance. The woman speaks her mind.
The thing is when you have a baby you go out less. I get tipsy more easily and need to get home before I turn into a pumpkin. But going out is good. It’s nice to be a person (empty out the nappies, raisins and calpol sachets from my handbag and replace them with lipstick, powder and cab fare home). It is liberating being with other women; sharing experience can be really powerful. Together women are natural creators; they make things happen.
I just love hearing other women’s stories and it’s nice when people listen to mine too. I now realise it’s good to say yes and normal to feel apprehensive. When I told friends about my Story of Mum video and being asked to speak at the event I kept saying, ‘I don’t know why they’ve asked me.’ Maybe what I should have said was, ‘I’m really glad they asked me!’
And though my live performance of telling my story wasn’t as safe or polished as the video I made for the exhibition, I’m really glad I did it. Thank you so much Pippa for creating Story of Mum and making me and hundreds of other mums part of something special. It’s been a blast.
Tell me, tell me, tell me…which video do you prefer?
Is there something about a real life experience that connects us in ways that the virtual world can’t? (I do realise the irony of asking this online, I do, I really do!) Please comment, tweet, email etc and let me know what you think?
Do you find going to mums events and groups a bit scary too? Are you glad when you make the effort to go out into the real world?
Featured are some of the photos of me and the other intrepid mums who came, shared and created. Photos by Pat Kelman Photography.