After seven years of coordinating all the testing for the annual Mother & baby awards I’ve finally decided that it’s time to ‘let go’.
At the beginning, I liked it as a nice manageable self-contained project that it was; because organising a hundred ‘mum ‘ testers for nappies, pushchairs, car seats and baby foods could exist inside school hours and outside school holidays.
However with each ‘successful year’ so the monster ‘baby’ grew, bawling, mewling and demanding my attention at every second of the day. My own offspring hanging around looking dusty and neglected in darkened corners or shuffling awkwardly so not as to disturb their ‘grumpy’ mater raging at humongous databases and endless e-mails…
And this year, having grown by around 20% each year, I’d lost count and almost lost the will. I think that there were more than 560 different products that had to be tested, each one by 10 or more different parents…when you start doing the maths and start to calculate the number of samples, testers, tester forms, calculations and emails, correspondence and phone calls it starts to feel just a little overwhelming. Plus, each product has to be matched appropriately…try finding mums to test a product to draw out an inverted nipple on an engorged breast, for example. It only really works on a tiny minority of women who have this problem with the first few days of giving birth! Add the fact that dealing with ‘hormonally’ infused (and that’s me too!) who’ll promise to test faithfully and then play the trump card ‘baby brain’ just when you are tearing your hair out for their results, or worse: flood, fire, divorce, post natal depression and family bereavement.
I threatened to ‘run’ a few years ago but couldn’t quite manage to let go… the words, “but we need you and you do such a good job” were enough to weaken my resolve even though I knew they were saying it just to save themselves the hassle of having to try to find some other gullible sap to take it on.
So, I’m quitting. I’m saying ‘goodbye’ it’s time for me to move on… it’s been hell at times but on the whole both a wonderful sense of relief and achievement (so like childbirth – funny that).
I’ve also made some good friends along the way who’ve made it a joy. So thank you.
- The Mother & Baby Award Winners 2010 announced. (jessicamilln.wordpress.com)