Hello #britmumslive … goodbye Three Years & Home

Last Thursday, it was touch and go as to whether I would actually be heading down to London for BritMums Live. I’d been looking forward to it for ages but was suffering from a nasty bout of mastitis and a seemingly never-ending headache. But dosed up on antibiotics and paracetamol, I figured that I’d probably get more rest if I went compared to staying at home with my lively, little dudes. And although I had to keep popping back to the hotel room to pop more pills and lie in the dark for a while, I can’t complain at having twelve hours (TWELVE STRAIGHT HOURS!!) of sleep on Saturday night.

So, how was the conference?

It was weird. At times, I really enjoyed it. At times, I wondered why I was there. At times, I was completely inspired. At times, I swore never again.

Having had a night to sleep on it, I’d say that it really did me good.

First and foremost, BritMums Live is about the people; the people who make up the crazy world of blogging and that, for the most part, live beyond my screen. From Jane (In a Different Voice) who has the most infectious smile and laugh, to Vickie (29 Year Old Mama) who I knew I would love and did, and Ang (Mum of Three Musketeers) who is quite possibly the nicest person I have ever met.

And then there was the lovely Jenny from Kyna Boutique who’s almost like my personal shopper (you temptress, Jenny!), and Emma from the amazing charity First Days who does such brilliant and much-needed work, to Carissa (Little Likely Lads) who’s the coolest and most beautiful lady that I now know and who I would’ve probably stalked for a little longer had I been feeling better.

And I can’t leave out Katie (Hurrah for Gin) who was quite frankly robbed of the Brilliance in Blogging Fresh Voice award, Sarah (Older Mum in a Muddle) who deservedly went home with the Best Writer award, and Vicki (Honest Mum) who didn’t win an award but would definitely have if there was one for Swishiest Hair and being generally fantastic … such a fun and truly delightful lady.

It made my weekend to catch up (finally!) with Gillian from A Baby on Board as we’ve chatted for so long and are in the midst of concocting secret plans together so it was great to meet in person.

A special mention has to go to my longtime, online buddy and Friday-night roomie, Natasha from The 1970s Diet. It made my weekend to see her face when she realised that I’d forgotten to tell the hotel that she would be staying in the room instead of my husband and therefore it was assumed that she was the Dr Southern to my Mrs Southern. If you ever chat to her online, feel free to address her as such.

BritMums Live 2014
With regards to the sessions, I sat in on a few and enjoyed a couple. The travel session was my absolute favourite. Who wouldn’t want to glean advice from Emma from A Bavarian Sojourn and Trish from Mum’s Gone To? Throw Simon Calder in to the mix and that’s pretty much my dream panel. The Instagram session with Marte Marie Fosberg was absolutely brilliant too. Oh my, what a talented lady! I was truly in awe.

The other sessions, while I didn’t particularly enjoy them, served an extremely important purpose. There was a lot of talk about how to grow your blog, your brand, your profile, your followers … and it made me feel uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time questioning why I felt like that and on the train home, I came to the conclusion that it’s because my blog, Three Years & Home, doesn’t quite feel like me anymore. I like my blog but I don’t love it. And I really, really want to love it. I love blogging and I adore having some kind of creative outlet. It’s fun. But Three Years & Home is kind of over for me. The thought of this blog growing even further fills me with no joy whatsoever.

So … it’s time for a change. Consider this my notice period. My notice period before I move to a brand new, shiny job. A job that reflects where I am now and what I want from my life. But as with any notice period, you don’t just had your resignation letter in and run. Oh no, there will be a wind down period. I won’t leave you with an abrupt goodbye.

There are a few posts that I’d like to write under the Three Years & Home banner to keep things neat and tidy and all wrapped up with a bow. My current plan is to bid you farewell at the end of July and then hopefully, welcome you to my new abode in September. A new home that I’m already super excited about … more excited than I’ve been about blogging for a long time.

My dear BritMums Live, I wasn’t 100 percent convinced about you while I was there, and I’m still not sure whether I’ll return, but and it’s a really big BUT, you’re making me take a step that I may not have taken otherwise and it’s a step that I’m truly fizzing with excitement about.

And really, The Mumdrum, thank you so, so much for sponsoring me and trusting me with your twitter feed during the conference. Many wouldn’t have been so brave. I hope I didn’t let you down.

64 thoughts on “Hello #britmumslive … goodbye Three Years & Home

    1. You were missed at BritMums. I’d been looking forward to meeting you for ages. I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities though. Maybe I’ll gatecrash one of your get-togethers when you’re up north.

  1. It really was a highlight of my weekend to meet you. I felt much the same as you, you summed up my feelings about the whole thing – I’m a little bewildered now! Lots of love x

    1. It was chaotic, wasn’t it?! I have the beginnings of another parcel for you. A couple more things to collect and I’ll send it down x

  2. It was so nice to finally meet you, even if we didn’t get to chat enough! I love the idea of a new adventure and I look forward to September although I will miss 3 years and home not popping up in my inbox every day! x

    1. It was nice to get a few minutes with you. You’re so popular!! I like the idea of starting something new in September, almost like the beginning of a new school year.

    1. Ha! It’s actually something that I’ve been debating since this time last year when I found out that we would be moving back from Switzerland. I think it’s just taken me a while to find my feet since the big move.

  3. I’m so glad I managed to grab a squeeze from you! I’m sorry we didn’t catch up longer, I didn’t realise you were poorly. Sad to hear about the notice but excited to hear/see your new abode… I caught sight of your train mind dump pic on facebook and very excited to see what you come up with! xx

    1. I was dying to come and have a glass of wine in the garden with you but was on my way back to my room to throw up. Oh the glamour! I think I’ve finally settled on the new name. Very excited about it.

  4. Great post Rachel it all sounds very exciting. I’m glad you got some inspiration from the conference, i think i mentioned i had some of the same feelings. i think if anything it made me want to take a wee step back, just because it suddenly seemed so all encompassing.
    Did you decide on a name?! x

    1. I have decided on a name. I’m stealing the one that you chose for me :-) I might get laptops thrown at me for this, but I think it might be the parenting community that I want to step back from rather than blogging. The linkies, the events, the reviews, the obsession with stats and rankings … I think that’s the part that I don’t want to be really involved with. I want blogging to be lovely and fun.

  5. You are super amazing and I can wait to follow you in your new adventure, I am very intrigued as to what it will be about! I so glad that I got to meet you, you are all that I imagined, so friendly and k

    1. Thanks, Mich. And it was an absolute pleasure to meet you at BML. You’re so refreshing and really funny. It was a treat x

  6. Cheers to new beginnings that’s very exciting! I think i would have had similar feelings if I was there, I wanted to go to meet the lovely people I have ‘met’ through blogging!

    1. It was so nice to meet everyone in the flesh or though some are really, really not like their online personas. It was bizarre at times.

  7. Oh Rachel I am so very excited for you and what you will create next. I was so worried upon starting this post that you were just out stopping. Eeek. It was so lovely to see you over the weekend. I feel very much the same and my own blog will be changing over the coming months as well. It’s great to get together and get inspired. Good luck and keep us all posted. (completely agree on the Katie being robbed) I thought she would for sure have it! ;)

    1. I think that sometimes conferences can confirm what you already know or want to do. They can give you that little push to go through with rather than daydream about it. Lovely to see you. You’re always so smiley x

  8. Exciting! I felt similarly to you about it all bit there were one or two sessions which gave me a light bulb moment. Such a shame I didn’t find you! New blog sounds really exciting and I can’t wait to read it x

    1. Exactly and it was those lightbulb moments that made me realise what I want to write about and unfortunately, those things don’t really fit with my existing blog. Plus, it’s always nice to start afresh with a clean slate. It can be therapeutic.

  9. I didn’t go to Britmums Live this year. I have been a few years before but like you I changed my blog and I changed my direction – after 7 years of blogging about babies and parenting I’m now almost a year into my new health and fitness blog and I love it :) I throw in a few posts about my kids once in a while too, just because my blog – my rules!

    Wishing you all the best for what’s to come! Blogging is what we love to do so we gotta do it the way we love it the most :)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel a little less nervous now. I want to change my direction a little and cover things more relevant to me rather than the kids … but I’m sure they’ll get a mention now and again.

  10. ….. and it was so lovely to meet you too. I just wished I had spent more time chatting to you, you have a lovely energy about you. And I had no idea you were suffering a nasty bout of mastitis – I hope you are feeling better now. I have loved reading this blog, I love how you come across in your writing, and I’m really looking forward to your next project – you sound so fired up about it. I too am about to take a big break from blogging over the summer; I need to have a little rethink about what I’m doing now too. X

    1. I’m feeling much better now, thank you. Sunday was still awful but then it started to clear. So annoying that it had to be during BritMums though. It’s good to have a break from blogging. I find that I enjoy twitter much more when I don’t blog. I guess it’s because I have more time for chatting as I’m not writing. It can often bring about more and better ideas that slogging away all the time.

  11. Ah, the drama and then lovely stillness of taking stock. I love that you’ve given us a window into your thoughts.
    I’ll be sad the see the end of Three Years & Home (it was one of the first blogs I came across when I started on my own blogging journey), but I’m also very, very much looking forward to seeing what you do next.

    1. I’m really excited to start afresh. I imagine some of the content will absolutely be similar but I have plans for some lovely new things which don’t seem to fit with this blog … I don’t know why, here just doesn’t seem the place for them.

  12. Was lovely to see you briefly Rachel (how hard is it to actually chat to people for long enough?!) and I have come away feeling a little like you. How exciting and can’t wait to see what changes you make. I would love to have the guts to change my blog, I hate the name, but I just don’t dare as I would worry that I wouldn’t be able to grow it up again. Can’t wait to see your new adventure- I will be there from the outset subscribing as I love to hear about your life. I think I have been reading your blog for years now! x

    1. There’s never enough to time to talk but lovely to steal a couple of minutes with you. I’ve been dithering about changing my blog since the middle of last year when we decided to move back home. Initially the thought of all the work needed to grow it again put me off but this weekend confirmed that I blog because I like it and not necessarily to have a huge following. It’s been like a weight off my shoulders and I can’t wait to start again.

  13. I think the travel session was my favourite too. Ooh if only I could travel every other month. :) Was so good to see you about 5 minutes after I walked in. Definitely made me put me at ease pretty much straight away!

    1. Imagine staying in fancy hotel rooms all around the world?! If I didn’t have kids, I would definitely dedicate my life to being a luxury travel blogger. It was fab to see you again on Sat … shame it went so quickly.

    1. I’m hoping that a fresh look with inspire wonderfully creative content. Or it could end up being style massively over substance :-)

  14. I’m so glad we experienced Britmums together and I was sorry to blow you out on Saturday for Fredo my weak child! Exciting times ahead – I feel it signified a change for both of us and it feels right! And I should know what I’m talking about being a Doctor and all! x

    1. It was so nice to meet you too. And instantly recognisable thanks to your What I’m Wearing to BritMums post. It was nice to finally put a face to the blog that I’ve been reading for so long x

  15. I do hope you aren’t leaving us for good though?? There will be another blog won’t there?? Thanks so much for supporting our travel panel, and the wonderful comment! So glad you enjoyed it! It was so lovely to meet you finally too!! Anyway, I will be keeping my peepers peeled for updates!! Emma xx

    1. Definitely not leaving you for good. I want to become a luxury travel blogger like Mrs O. Trying to scour the internet for six star hotels with a creche ;-)

  16. Oooh now that sounds like you have lots of exciting things planned – I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and I loved getting to meet you and chat – seeing people in person is definitely the highlight of Britmums for me!

    1. So many plans, so little time. I think that’s the biggest problem that I have (all parents, really) … I want to do so much but have to do it in manageable chunks or I’ll explode. It was so lovely to meet you. You write like no one else and I love to read your stories.

  17. Exciting to hear what’s coming next. Hope you enjoy your notice period, and get things all set up ready to go. always nice when something clicks and you realise what it is you want to change.

    1. It feels like such a relief. I think I was plodding along, still enjoying blogging, but feeling like something wasn’t right. Now I’m all fired up again.

  18. Interesting to hear your take on Britmums. I haven’t been and maybe one year I will. Can’t wait to see your new venture, I shall be reading. I don’t seem to have the motivation for blogging at the moment, feel a little disillusioned with all this ‘branding’ and ‘followers’. Think I need to get back to basics and blog because I enjoy it! Xx

    1. I found the whole ‘grow, grow, grow’ thing a little off-putting. I just want to have a space that I’m proud of, has lots of nice things and that others enjoy reading or glancing through now and again. More followers would be nice but I’d prefer it to happen organically rather than strategically. I love reading your updates so I hope you find your motivation soon x

Leave a Reply