Pregnant then Screwed LIVE 2020: The what’s, the who’s and our best bits!
Pregnant then screwed. Sound familiar? It’s a pretty lonely place to be isn’t it. Well not anymore! Pregnant Then Screwed, LIVE brought us all together in a fantastic, supportive and hugely practical way. It gathered hundreds of women (and the odd man!) making them feel confident, hopeful, connected and empowered, professionally and personally. It.was.brilliant.
This year was the second I have attended. And put it this way, I will be going back. We’re even thinking of travelling to York for the next one in March!
How does it work?
Much like a festival, you’ve got the main stage with all the mainstream action, plenty for everyone going on there! Then you’ve got a series of breakout sessions, seminars, workshops and panels for some more of the specifics.
This year’s main stage panels were:
- Opening by Sindhu Vee and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, Joeli Brearly. She was SO funny I’m going to see her live. I hope she wears her sparkly hairband!
- Building communities that make you fly – hosted by one quarter of Dope Black Mums Endy McKay, Roshni Goyate (founder of The Other Box), author and blogger Kathryn Wallace, Nicki Sprindz (MD of UsTwo and co-founder of Ada’s List), Sarah Hesz (co-founder of Mush). I really took from this all the places we can find communities – in playgrounds, in our neighbourhood, online…it was a stark reminder of our need to be around people especially in the hazy days of motherhood
- Motherhood, Identity & Guilt – Sindhu hosted this one again alongside another quarter of Dope Black Mums Nina Malone, blogger/comedien Victoria Emes (aka The Crafty Fox) and comedian Jen Brister (who signed our book for us afterwards!). This panel convinced me of the thing my husband has been trying to do for weeks – that putting my 9-month old baby into nursery an extra day a week wouldn’t make me the worst Mum ever!
- The afternoon was hosted into the very bright and energetic Christine Armstrong (author of The Mother of All Jobs) and the Singing Mamas Choir led a procession of grooving women out to the park
- We missed some of the Campaigning Panel, but that was hosted by Zelda Perkins, former assistant to Harvey Weinstein and activist, journalist, campaigner and politician Shaista Aziz; and leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Mandu Rei;
- The My Bloody Uterus was hosted by Deeba Syed, campaigner and sexual harrassment lawyer. Emma Barnett, from Radio Five Live, talked about periods. Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, talked about the motherhood penalty, and Cari Rosen, editor of Gransnet, discussed older motherhood and menopause.
Of the panels we did catch, the conversation was not for the faint-hearted. And possibly not for the tender ears of someone who has not experienced motherhood. As (child free) Gem put it, “I don’t know if knowing is better when it comes to all this.” Admittedly, this was following a lot of talk of post-childbirth haemorrhoid examinations.
After a “I’m not really into poetry” conversation between Gem and I, we were still in the room when poet Holly McTish came on to the stage. A tiny, unassuming and sweet looking woman, she was nervous to start off with but had no need to be. She was hilarious! And so talented! She read us a series of brilliant poems which spoke to every woman in the house! Her performance was captivating, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She told the normal tales of motherhood we know so well but in an empathetic and cuttingly funny way. We both loved her.
In other rooms there are a series of clinics. Flexible Working hosted by some of the incredible recruiters in the flexible working space; Start Your Own Business led by one half of the incredible team behind Mush; Confidence Building with our very own hero Lauren Currie OBE (aka Red Jotter); Game Changers with Helen Bryce, Davd & Goliath. All attended by great examples of people who have been there and done it, or who offer a service to help.
This year Katie Massie-Taylor and Sarah Hesz from Mush were there, Katie on a stage panel with THE best behaved little boy I’ve ever seen, and Katie hosting the Start Your Own Business clinic, which we attended. Her three (also very well behaved) beautiful girls were with her. She was a live example of how us mums can Make It Work, with incredible focus and efficient use of time, but with constant distractions and interruptions little people. It was the embodiment of a mumtrepeneur and a very inspiring example.
We met lots of amazing women. We had our book signed by the funniest, most matter-of-fact mother and comedian Jen Brister. We chatted guilt-free childcare and imposter syndrome with one half of the women behind podcast Dope Black Mums.
We met friend of TWFM Lauren Currie, aka Red Jotter, face to face at last! We’ve quietly (and non-threateningly) stalked her since seeing her for the first time last year Pregnant Then Screwed, LIVE! She has been really supportive of us on social media (and has of course been featured as our hero of the month!). We tried to sign up for her confidence workshop but were too late. So we grabbed her for a chat instead.
We spotted her immediately – she stood out in her bold tartan suit. Confident and striking but super approachable. We chatted investment, pitch decks and business progress. She really listens, intently almost, giving you the time and space to talk, congratulating me on starting to talk to camera on social media. She’s very calming and encourages you to give yourself the pat on the back you deserve. I can’t wait for her day-long confidence workshop I’ve booked on to in March!
We met Sarah Ronan who runs the live shows on behalf of Joeli Brearly, and thanked her for an incredible day. And we met a few of our very own members including Carrie Swatten and Alison Hay. What a treat!
I have never wanted to be labelled or branded. I like to think I am special and unique and different. I want our business to be unique and special and different. I want to believe I’m in a room full of people who only I have the power to help in the way that I can. Doesn’t everyone feel like that?!
Until I am sad, lonely, inept or confused, then I want to know that I’m following the same path as so many women before me. I want to know that I will be OK and that this is normal and ordinary and that it will pass.
And this is that Pregnant Then Screwed, LIVE does.
I say this not to share with you the deep dark depths of my mind (you don’t want to go there). I share it because that’s where Pregnant Then Screwed gets me. Somewhere between the practical and the emotional. It brings together my business side with my motherhood and reminds me its OK, and actually really quite wonderful, to be both!
Some people aspire to do Ted Talks. I aspire to be on a panel at Pregnant Then Screwed, LIVE.
Whether you’re starting a business, changing career, pregnant, mothering or screwed, there’s something there for you. And plenty of brilliant and inspiring people in the same boat, and fighting hard for the cause.