In 2010 I was riding high. Everything I seemed to touch turned to gold, businesses were doing well, the children were doing great, I only had to write my name on an award app and I was short-listed. Life was great!
2011, Laura and I billed as 'The Bigger Picture' all aspects of Networking Mummies were based on this mantra. The franchise launch – Being Part of The Bigger Picture , our own magazine – The Bigger Picture Magazine. But what happens when your bigger picture changes??
Early 2011 decided to through me a curve ball. After a bit of a health scare I discovered I was pregnant with my 3rd child. Quickly followed by the news that this wasn't going to be a normal pregnancy. At 22 weeks we were dealt the blow that if the baby survived the pregnancy she would have some kind of chromosomal illness. After visiting the hospital every 2 weeks from January to May I gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby girl Olive weighing 5lbs – and thankfully she is perfect in all ways. A little medical miracle. I am so grateful.
Not long after her birth I started to feel 'under the weather' and after weeks of testing was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. Am currently under going lots of blood tests and scans and this along with juggling 3 children under 5, 3 businesses and one super supportive partner I knew something had to give. Although it does feel like 2011 has been the worstyearever.com!! It's actually the catalyst I've needed to make changes.
Initially I discussed with David selling one of our daughters (well we have 2 ;) ) but decided that the best option was to reduce my work load. During the midnight feeds I wrote a book – like you do – which is due to be published in March 2012. This book very much encompasses the blogging I do over at JoanneDewberry.co.uk and my other business Charlie Moo's. This is very much a focal point of 2012 for me.
After much thought and consideration I decided to step down my involvement with Networking Mummies. This has been such a hard decision to make. I have made some amazing friends along this journey as have my children. I've shared experiences that have made me laugh, cry and burst with pride with the some of the most awesome people – you will ever come across. I defy anyone to not be able to say one thing that Networking Mummies has given them. For me there are so many!
Here are a few special messages – there are so many of you who I hold dear so apologises if I don't mention you!!
Heather Smith – every time I see you – you make me smile! After that first meeting back in February 2009, I am so thankful for your support and attendance over the past nearly 3 years! You are one of the original Networking Mummies and I have enjoyed watching your business (and Maddie!) grow.
Darren Toms – I don't think you will ever realise the impact you have on my life and I'm thankful for you arriving at the Scout Hut in Ringwood that dark November night!! I'm proud and pleased to have shared my special evening with you at the Langtry Manor without yours and Laura's help I would never have won x
Kirsty Bowderbank-Steel – Not only do I admire, respect and adore you!! But I'd also like to administer intravenously a good old dose of CONFIDENCE!! You are so amazing don't forget that!!
Heather Martyn – I will be ever thankful to Networking Mummies for bringing you into my life!! This year has been such a roller coaster for both of us and I'm glad you have been there to share the ride!! I don't need to say anything else you know how I feel!! X
Special mentions to Lisa Hagg destined for great success, Asha Verhoeven don't under sell yourself your amazing and people will pay a premium for your 'skills', Margaret Hitchmen cake is always welcome I've always been thankful for your wise words and experiences, Maggie Ayre & Lara Williams I look forward to seeing you every month at Brainstormers.
Laura Morris … well what can I say this hasn't been easy there have been good times there have been the bad times, both personally and professionally. Our lives have changed sooo much since that first meeting at toddler group! Here are a few of my favourite moments - our first appearance on the radio 'heeeelllllooooo', the first business mums exhibition 2009 and the realisation of what we had achieved, taking on the Hampshire Branch, our first journal, Langtry Manor awards, WOW awards, increasing from 3 to 5 branches, spa day! I know you will be awesome and Networking Mummies will concur and succeed amazing things.
Thank you all for a blast!!
Please do join me in wishing Good Luck to Laura and the new co-owner Stacie Calder Roe.