From the moment the women were walking up to the welcome desk to collect the incredible welcome bags full of goodies, you could sense the excitement and anticipation. The opportunity to finish a coffee or tea while still hot, have an entire, uninterrupted adult conversation and look through a market without worrying about little hands breaking something was tantalising.
It may have taken a little while to remind our brains to relax and stop looking around for our children, but we had the whole day to indulge in this luxury.
What other event can you go to that leaves you feeling encouraged and appreciated for the hard work you do as a mum while simultaneously inspiring and urging you on to be an even better mother and more fully yourself? I loved the recognition that being a good mother is not solely about our parenting skills.
Speakers also challenged us to embrace who we are and take action to improve the quality of our relationships. These aspects of our lives have such an impact on our role as mothers.
The authenticity of all the speakers stood out to me. These weren’t people pretending to have it all together or talking out of theory but from their real, lived experience of parenting and relationships.
- Amanda Viviers (amandaviviers.com) set the tone with sharing her story of only getting one leg shaved due to an interrupted shower that morning. She went on to talk about being the “leading lady of your own life” and looking for the best in others, even when they are irritating you.
- Miranda Miller from MOPS Australia gave us practical tips for decluttering and simplifying without having to be a minimalist and the impact that can have on our headspace. She also inspired us to take those special items out of storage and put them on display where you can enjoy them.
- Kelly Burstow (beafunmum.com) inspired us to examine what fun looks like to us and to be the mum that we were created to be rather than trying to do fun like someone else. She encouraged us to have a big picture of family values and goals to underpin all that we do and give us clarity in making choices for our family. Her tips for frugal fun were genius and her top 10 toys and other items for kids included some things that you may not have thought of before. It was a delight for me personally to meet Kelly who has long influenced my parenting through her blog.
- Cherie Macchiusi, State Coordinator for MOPS WA, presented on the language of “lurve” with her usual candour and forthrightness that had everyone laughing but thinking about their own relationships, the expectations we have and the differences in communication between men and women.
- The panel of four (very brave) men answered an array of questions submitted by the attendees giving us insight into the different way of thinking and relating that men have in general. I appreciated their wisdom and honesty.
- Louise Pekan, Coordinator of a local MOPS group, shared her deeply personal journey of pregnancy loss and the impact of having a community of women around her to support her. I know many in the room would have been able to relate to the pain she shared and been able to see the hope Louise has now.
- In between all the speakers, Emily Old had everyone entertained with games and giveaways.
The inspiration from the speakers alone would have made this day wonderful.
A highlight for me, and for others I know, was the opportunity to spend a day with friends, old and new, chatting about everything from the frivolous to the deep soul conversations. Having amazing food that we did not have to cook to enjoy with these conversations was a bonus. There is something so integral about food and community.
Mothering is vital to our communities and society at large and yet we are thrown in the deep end with little training. The Better Mums Conference is like professional development for mothers that leaves you inspired, better connected to other mothers in the trenches alongside you and motivated to try something new in parenting and your relationships.
20 May 2017 is already booked in my calendar for next year.