When the childless mum Meets Other Mums…
What’s so great about my job is that ever since I started Allmumstalk, I immediately began to walk into these extraordinary life stories that my mind feels they must be double or even triple checked to make sure I got it right as I’m always truly astonished by them.
Same thing happened when I learnt the true and genuine story behind a website that not only shares understanding, humour and reassurance among mothers by creating friendship matches based on mums’ own profile criteria, but it offers private chat groups in a secure and friendly environment which often results in like-minded mum friendship bonds. And God knows that we, mums on the go, millennial or not so millennial mums, new mums or the panicking type surely need all the support we can get from other more experienced mothers or purely from other mums going through the same motherhood odyssey as us: Meet Other Mums.
Yes, Meet Other Mums. Or how I’d like to call this one: Meet Sally Oddy. She is not a mum, yet you wouldn’t guess it. She’s however the heartening and propitious type of woman supporting from scratch a tremendously ambitious project that is meant to help mothers while going through this frenzied pilgrimage called motherhood. Sally is one of those role models that make me highly proud I get the chance to talk about these characters who carry on inspiring every soul around us day after day…But I wouldn’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll let her share an amazingly uplifting and motivational tale for all women of different communities…‘I left full-time employment just over 3 years ago to set up my own Marketing Consultancy (Opal Marketing Limited). I’ve been providing marketing support mainly to law firms and accounting practices since then and it’s still my bread and butter. Then early last year something in me shifted and, having always believed I don’t want children, I suddenly couldn’t imagine not having them.
I’m 41 in December so no spring chicken and it was actually really challenging trying to make the decision whether or not to even give it a go. I couldn’t find any networking sites or support groups for women my age struggling with the decision and the seed of an idea was born! I’d originally thought I’d set up something just for women in their late 30’s and above who were struggling with the decision / trying / dealing with infertility / adoption / late mums etc. Most of the sites out there require you to fill in the ‘how many children’ ‘when are you due’ questions so they are quite exclusive in that regard! Then a few of my younger friends got pregnant and all said they felt isolated and it was hard to connect with other mums. The seed started to grow!
We agonised over our decision for a few months and, in May last year, finally decided to leave it in the hands of fate and see if we’d get pregnant. Then in June my mum was diagnosed with cancer. Everything went into freefall. All the wonderful magical thoughts of babies went out the window and we all focussed on my Mum’s health and treatment. She passed away in January of this year.
In May we went through IVF unsuccessfully. We won’t be trying again.
I’ve had just about the worst year of my life all in all. But…sometimes out of the blackest night the brightest star shines and in February I got to work on my new little idea. Over the months I realised that what I really wanted to do was create a site that mums could join for free, find friends in their local area, create national support networks, chat, blog and arrange get togethers. So, the childless motherless woman created Meet Other Mums! Quite ironic really.
Meet Other Mums has been my saviour – I’ve loved discovering so many talented, creative, intelligent, and down right hysterical mummy bloggers and the thought that I’m helping make mums lives a little brighter gives me purpose. I love working on the site and everything that goes with it and am tapering off my marketing business so I can dedicate myself full time to Meet Other Mums!
So that, in a rather large nutshell, is that!’
Wait, here’s more…
What sorts of things are people matched on?
At the moment mums are matched on location, age and children’s age. We are currently adding loads more profile criteria and as more mums join the matching function will become more and more sophisticated to narrow down matches. When looking for mum friends things like what magazines you read, what job you did / do, whether you intend to return to work can all be indicators as to whether someone will make a good mum friend so we are trying to cover all the bases.
Once mums are matched (and can you match with a group or is it just one person?) what happens?
Mums are matched with individual mums. You get notifications every time your profile is matched with someone as new mums are joining all the time. Once you get your matches you can view their profile, send a smile or friend request and get chatting through the private instant messaging function that sits securely within the site – no need to disclose any personal information up front. Once mums strike up friendships and get chatting they can decide whether to arrange a meeting in person or invite a group of mums to a relaxed social event to check each other out a bit. It’s all very friendly and relaxed with no pressure at all.
Are there any other features on the site people can use?
As mentioned above we host guest and regular bloggers (Allmumstalk is one of them) on the site which are incredibly popular; I’m in the process of refreshing our chat forums to make them more user friendly (topics range from issues mums are facing with their little ones; general stuff like days out to very emotive and personal issues like depression and abusive relationships. Its been great to see members reaching out with love, support and understanding); Social Events (invite your new mum friends or just anyone local to meet up at the park; museum; café etc. no more lonely museum visits with just the kids for company!); Groups (create private groups with your new mum friends based on shared experiences or ideals and have private discussions only your group can see).
Which would be a great ambition for you?
One of my greatest ambition would be to try to inspire and empower women. I’ve actually also started my very own little blog that is intended to do just that (http://sunshineinmysoul.co.uk). I would also love to feature interviews with inspirational women who have their own success. Creating meet Other Mums really has changed my life and given me a new purpose and new career, which is amazing!
What is your biggest piece of advice to women out there?
Have self-belief, perseverance, confidence in your ability and a firm belief in your dream. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
If thirsty for more creative fun ways to enjoy motherhood and its perks, follow Allmumstalk Facebook page or you can get lots of colourful ideas from my Instagram#allmumstalk (I’m such an Instagram junkie!). Cool mums tweet, so throw at me your tips if braver (#allmumstalkhere)! 😉
Motherhood can be beautifully challenging yet tough. Good news, we’re all in this together!