A full time project.
I started This Welsh Mother in March 2017. I had launched a Catering company with my partner James in 2016 and things were going really well. I had, for the most part, given up my previous business and was making a bit of money writing a blog about my journey as a first time mum. I have loved writing for as long as I could remember but writing about me all the time didn't seem the right fit.
At the beginning of 2016 I was trawling the Internet for some parenting stuff. I don't really know what I was searching for, support, a laugh, things to go to, who knows But what I do know, is that I was sick of spending my day's on Instagram seeing all these really fab mum-clubs and events all happening in big cities.
I knew Welsh Bloggers. I knew of some Welsh based groups but I couldn't find what I was looking for, so late one night I started it. Within 30 days of sharing the Facebook page on my personal Facebook profile it had over 1,000 Likes - and I knew I had the interest I needed to build a website.
The thing with blogging or running a website is, that you either take the pressure off and blog as a hobby - no deadlines, no need to monetise, slow & steady OR you make it your job and in that event, prepare yourself for a hefty amount of work.
I knew I wanted This Welsh Mother to be my next business project so I set out my plans in my original 'Manifesto' blog post.
I had three main aims
1) To create really good content for Welsh Mums
2) To offer opportunities through the blog to other Welsh Mums (reviews ect)
3) To give something back by starting a scholarship
Soon after starting I realised that This Welsh Mother was a big project. In order to keep the reader numbers high I had to write new posts daily, schedule the social media on twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Email PR companies, handle product and review inquiries and be around to comment on everything that got posted on our (very busy) Facebook page. It was not a chore, because I loved it. But girl, it was a lot of work on top of my existing business, occasional freelance work and a one year old who never slept more than 4 hours.
Over time we had great guest posters like Hayley Raine-Diplock (who went on to start her own blog 'Winging it with two boys', Amy from the organisation 'Single Parent Wales' & I can Cards and the wonderful Charlotte who writes 'Musing Mum' blog) - all of them helped me keep this thing going.
In August last year I joined a group of businesses inducted into the E-Spark programme in Cardiff. I went there to work on my plans for This Welsh Mother and get feedback from some great business minds but I struggled with it. I struggled because a lot of people still don't fully understand digital based businesses and especially not ones like this but I thrashed out ways to get this business to be financially viable.
And then I took some time out.
I think in all businesses there comes a crunch point and mine was in November last year. I attended the first ever Youpreneur event in London. I ended up Masterminding with some of my business heros and totally geeking out on business stuff for 3 days with one of my best friends in the world. Youpreneur took me out of my village and the world I had become accustomed to since becoming a Mum and it threw me back into one that I was very used to in my 'old' business life. It was freeing.
It was nice to talk to people about my background and experiences. It was nice to tell people what I'm good at! and it was really nice not to watch CBeebies for a weekend. Shortly after this I was offered a consulting role on some really good pay terms and I took it. I took it to see if I 'still had it'. I took it because I wanted to wear grown up clothes, have grown up conversations and drink the occasional hot coffee and I planned to fire that money back into This Welsh Mother to firstly, keep it going, but secondly to improve it so that when the contract ended I could step back in and do bigger things -
Stepping into my 'old life' was difficult because, I came to realise. I am not my 'old self' and after six, very hard months I learned a few key lessons that are pertinent to me (but this is not the case for every Woman, working is never one size fits all)
I couldn't perform in the same way that I used to and that was a very hard pill to swallow. There is a pace to my old industry and it was like stepping out onto a treadmill that was already set to 23. I needed a slow jog, they needed a sprinter.
You can only split yourself so many ways and know when you do, you spread yourself thinner with each slice. I quickly found myself feeling that I was 'making do' all over the place. I didn't feel I excelled at work, I felt like a really crappy parent & a very absent partner. After spending time thinking about that, I wanted no part of it.
and finally, the time is never right but the time is now. When I took a look at the advice I had given to friends, coaching clients & even companies - I could see I was taking none of it myself. I can see I have changed but not everything has. I still think I'm hilarious. I still think I'm really good at business and I'm happy to admit, I do not give two flying frigs about failing.
One of the additions I've found since Motherhood is an honesty and acceptance for certain traits I may have kept hidden pre-child. I have a weird, awkward personality. I'm extremely outgoing and confident and yet I blinking love spending a lot of time alone. I do not want to blend in, ever. I'm comfortable with myself. With My face. With my humour. So why not try?
I fear that we have been conditioned that trying something new is for the young. That Youtube and Instagram are for Fitness models and people with remarkable faces & houses. That is not me. And let's face it, I am unsure how many 35 year olds have decided to start a media company from their spare bedroom, In Pontypool.
For all it's hardships, Mothering Fred has made me feel like living anything else than a truly fulfilling life is doing both of us a disservice. Motherhood has made me feel like I have to show him that being exactly who you are and following your real passions are the biggest goals to reach in life.
So here it is. The Masterplan. I hope, that by reading this you feel drawn to what This Welsh Mother could become and would be willing to tag along for the ride...
And with that.... Welcome to the plan
This is the first stage of content creation that you should see for This Welsh Mother
I'm currently in talks with a few organisations to develop print content for you, hopefully on a quarterly basis
The giving back stage. I'm meeting with Business Wales in May to discuss how I can go about launching a training arm of what This Welsh Mother does
This won't be easy and I fully accept it might not work out - But if there is one thing I do well, It's launching. I just know in my bones that this could be such a great thing! But, I can't do it alone.
Without you, none of this is possible. You can help by getting involved with the site, offering to write something or appear in the podcast? Nominating yourself for a column, suggesting places, topics or people you'd like to see or hear from (you can do all that by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you have very little time but you still want to support Welsh Mothers simply like our social posts if you see them and if we post a new blog post 'Just Click Through' - it takes seconds but it is those numbers and interactions that help me keep this business going at the moment.
Transparency and being realistic is really important to me - so 've thought of a few way's to document this whole process and i'd love to take you along for the ride.
If you want to be a part of this journey - why not sign up here for a weekly update which will be sent each Sunday. It will include links to each weeks videos, new blog posts, meet up, merchandise & any opportunities...