I thought that when the time came, I’d be really sad about sending this post out.
But I’m not.
I actually feel a HUGE sense of relief and that a weight has been lifted, which tells me that I’m right to trust my instincts on this.
I didn’t want to end on a post like mornings but I’ve never been very good at “Endings” and you often don’t get to choose how things end.
I’ve served local Mum’s and their children via NorthHantsMum for 8 years.
Served by providing a free service and served by doing my time.
(Yes, it has felt a bit like a prison sentence for at least a year but I didn’t want to feel like I was failing all of the new Mum’s who, in the current climate, will need the support of something like NorthHantsMum even more than ever before.)
I’m no longer the idealistic new Mum who started NorthHantsMum on 22nd June 2011 and wanted to do something good with what she’d learnt.
Someone who thought she could leave the world a little bit better than before.
NorthHantsMum has grown WAY beyond what I ever, ever anticipated. It’s kind of like my second baby.
I’ve poured a LOT of my heart and soul into it over the past 8 years and I’m very proud of what we’ve done on NHM.
I feel like it’s been such a positive thing, despite the negativity that’s been thrown at me in the past 6 months.
We’ve done loads of good things together, had loads of amazing opportunities.
Not just me but many of you and your children have also benefited.
And for that I will always be very proud.
So many thank you’s, I honestly don’t know where to start. It’s hard to remember who to thank when you’ve been running something for 8 years!!! I know I will miss some and for that I sincerely apologise.
(Oh yes, I know this list of thank you’s is almost as long as the LONGEST Oscar winning speech <blush>, but it’s my blog and I’ll write what I like! Hahahaha).
Firstly thank you to My Beloved, Mr NHM, who has put up with me running NHM for the past 8 years, often at the detriment of our time together. He’s put up with me moan about him on a public platform, been given a pseudonym he never asked for and had some of his life shared for public consumption (via the “Weekly Things to do” posts. Remember them?!). He’s patiently listened to me talk about NHM for so long and given me so much “black and white” advice and I love him so very much for that. There is no way I could have carried on for so long without his love and support.
Thank you to Miss NHM for being the inspiration for NorthHantsMum. She continues to challenge me in soooo many ways (I naively thought parenting her would get easier as she got older. It hasn’t <faceplant>!) and, despite how much of a strong willed pain in the arse she can be at times (I often wonder where she gets it from. Sigh), I am infinitely honoured and privileged to be her Mum. I have no idea how she has coped with what she has been through in her short life already. She has so much courage and her willingness to forgive inspires me continually. She has SUCH a big heart and already wants to do so many good things in the world. I am SO extremely proud of her and the person she’s becoming. I love her more than I ever thought I could.
Thank you to ALL of the volunteers who have given up their time and energy to help me out. I seriously think there are about 300 of you!
All of the Mum’s who have written up NHM Reviews for the benefit of others. All of the Mum’s who have helped out in the background with things like formatting posts, administering groups and tagging me in posts. All of the Mum’s who tested the “new” wordpress website in 2015. All of the Mum’s who wrote a NHM Reader Experience post so they could share what they had learnt for the benefit of other Mum’s.
I literally couldn’t have kept NHM going without your help. There are so many of you I don’t want to name anyone in case I miss someone out. You know who you are and I will be forever grateful for all of your support.
I would especially like to thank those Mum’s who worked REALLY hard in the background to help me out, especially Juliet whose wise words have kept me sane during the past several years, Shona for her sense of humour and for telling me like it is and to Wendy for covering my arse FAR too many times to mention in the past 8 years! At least I now know that the clocks “Spring Foward” in Spring! Hahahaha. I know I never said thank you enough, but hopefully you know how grateful I am for your support and help. If you ever want a Reference, you know where I am ;-).
Thank you to all of those amazing Mum’s that I have met through NHM who have become some of my most treasured friends. You know who you are and my life would be infinitely worse off without you. Thank you for your wise words, your passion for NHM, your true friendship and for letting me hug you too much <blush>!
Thank you to Tina, Andy and Abi for your wordpress expertise and for stopping me from having a heart attack every time the site crashed in the past 8 years! I am so grateful to you for so frequently going out of your way use your technical skills to help me when I was panicking that new Mum’s wouldn’t be able to find the breastfeeding support schedule.
Thank you to all of the Mum’s who came along to a NHM Networking meeting over the past 5 years. Seeing small businesses grow and the impact that this has had on local Mum’s and their families has been a true highlight of my life.
Thank you to everyone who ever came to a NHM Expo or a NHM Meet Up, as a seller, buyer or attendee and thank you to everyone who helped me with setting up, planning, cleaning up and promoting. They were bloody hard work but I’m glad I did them.
Thank you to all of the local businesses who have given up their time, service or products for free to help out NHM Readers.
Thank you to all of the small business owners who have actively supported me on my NHM journey with Guest Posts, offers of their time and services and words of encouragement. All of you are doing such great things to try to make the world a better place whilst providing an income for your self and your families. I will be forever in awe of you as running a small business is really hard!!
Thank you to all of the Mum’s who bought their children along to events. I have seen so many of these children grow up, many from when they were teeny babies, and it’s been such a privilege to be a tiny part of their journey.
Thank you to everyone who came along to the cinema with me, via the NHM Cinema club. Although I still haven’t quite gotten over how awful “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was even with Elton John doing a chicken dance! Hahahaha.
Thank you to everyone who ever listened to me rant about how much I hate Facebook. The amount of time and energy I have wasted on this platform in the past 8 years cannot be calculated (it was so bloody MUCH) and thank you to anyone who has ever had to listen to me rage about how crap it is!!! :-D. I am REALLY looking forward to having a break from social media!
You might think this strange but I am very grateful to the Mum’s who posted negative comments on the baby clinic post. Had it not been for your outrage and negative comments on me sharing my opinion, I don’t think I would have stopped to think about why I was still running NorthHantsMum. Thank you also to the local business owner who accused me of killing her husband and taking food out of her children’s mouths earlier this year because I had shared a post from a competitor of hers (Please don’t ask me who it was because I won’t tell you). I really, really, sincerely appreciate your feedback as you helped making my decision so much easier. (That’s honestly not sarcastic, I am very grateful).
Thank you to everyone who sponsored me for my Sky Dive in 2015, all of those wonderful, wonderful people who helped to fund raise for the “Sitting with Jane” bench in 2017 (I might actually have the time to go sit on it now, as it’s been at least 18 months since the last time! <faceplant>) and everyone who helped to raise funds for local community charities via NHM.
Thank you to all of the people who have recommended NHM to other Mum’s and Dad’s by word of mouth, sharing about NHM with their friends or by sharing leaflets. Your passion about what we’ve done on NorthHantsMum has sometimes been overwhelming and I will always be very grateful to you!
Thank you to everyone who has gone out of their way to comment, email, tweet or PM me in the past 8 years. Your support has been phenomenal and I will be forever grateful.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has ever read NorthHantsMum. Whether it was one post or since the beginning, I am so grateful.
That’s all folks!
My priority is my family, my marriage and my husband and daughter. I’m looking forward to being able to put ALL of my energies into them.
I no longer have any energy left to support anyone else other than those priorities.
As one of the trusted women in my life said “there’s no more “me” to go round”.
Since making the decision two weeks ago, to close NorthHantsMum, I’ve realised that I’ve been toying with the idea of stopping NHM for at least a year but didn’t want to let anyone down.
Didn’t want any new Mum’s to miss out on what NHM has been able to offer our local Community for the past 8 years.
Didn’t want to feel I’d set an expectation that people assumed would always be available.
Ever since the Children’s centres closed in 2016 the amount of support requests coming my way has dramatically increased and many of them were waaayyy beyond what I ever expected to be dealing with.
If I’m really honest with myself I haven’t been feeling it since Miss NHM’s Coeliac diagnosis in May 2017. That was a curveball we didn’t see coming and we are still struggling with the fall out.
As Mum’s we are raising the next generation, which is the MOST important job of all. Which also means it’s the hardest job of all.
As I said earlier this morning, Motherhood is the HARDEST job in the world (Fatherhood is the 2nd hardest job in the world ;-)) and I do believe that in the current climate it’s getting harder.
I know that as NorthHantsMum Readers, we are all just trying to do our best for our children, regardless of our circumstances and I would love to continue to support you on that journey.
But it’s time to hang up my wordpress login.
Time to clear the way for some new blood to step in and take up the reigns.
NorthHantsMum was always about pregnant Mum’s, babies and young children up to the age of 6 years old.
Miss NHM is 8.5 years old and I’m so far removed from babies and toddlers now that I’m not the right person to be running something like NorthHantsMum anymore.
What happens next
NorthHantsMum.co.uk will remain for the next year at least and I will continue paying the hosting costs each month. Once I get less than 10 hits a day I will close the site down.
I will keep the “Louise NHM Smith” profile active for the time being but I don’t expect to post to it anymore and I won’t be doing any more anonymous NHM Reader questions or sharing any items that would be relevant to local parents. You will still be able to message me if you think there might be something that I can urgently help with, but I won’t be sharing anything with the NHM Community, so you will only get my insights when I check my fb inbox ;-).
Most Facebook groups that haven’t been active in the past 6 months have already been deleted.
I will keep the following groups active for the time being but will probably archive them after June 2020:
NorthHantsMum Publicity for Local Businesses: Support local Businesses!!!
NorthHantsMum: Mums running Small Businesses
NHM Part Time Jobs
NHM Pregnancy in Basingstoke and North Hampshire (Due 2019)
NHM Allergy/Coeliac Disease Parents
Basingstoke 2019 Year R (NorthHantsMum)
NHM Basingstoke Homeschooling Networking
All of the other groups will be archived at Christmas 2019, so if, for example, you want to save any recipes from the “NHM Family Meal ” group, please do it ASAP.
Keep on being Awesome Mum’s!
If I’ve learnt anything over the past 8 years it’s that my mental energy is finite.
And it’s time to put ALL of my energy back into my family, especially my daughter who inspired me to start NorthHantsMum.
Excited about what the future is going to bring.
I’m excited to see what happens next, which tells me that I am definitely doing the right thing for my mental health and my family.
I’m looking forward to taking some time out.
I’m looking forward to having an awesome summer and not having to worry about September or Christmas on NorthHantsMum for the first time EVER since my daughter was born in 2011.
I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the new space I will have in my life.
I wish you and your children all the very best of luck in ALL of your future endeavours and I will be forever grateful for your support.
I love this quote from Jim Rohn which sums it up for me perfectly: “Here’s part of the drama then. I go with you, for when we all leave here and the lights are out and the place is dark, I go with you, because you are taking my notes and hopefully some of the spirit, some of the stuff I had besides just the notes, so I go with all of you. But here’s the big drama. All of you go with me. See that’s so unbelievable. So, as I leave here, I promise not to leave you behind. I will take you with me in my thoughts and in my heart.”
Thank you for reading. It’s been a blast!!!