Women who get shit done

So I thought I would write another one of those gratitude posts, but they’re all so lame, so I retitled this one, and labelled it Women Who Get Shit Done. Such a great unconference title.

And more reasons why I chose Librarianship

It is a sisterhood. It’s filled with women. It’s filled with mothers. It’s filled with femininity. It’s a caring profession. It’s filled with women who are genuinely supportive of you. Mostly. This has been my experience and I’m being open with you about my journey here.
I recently attended an unconference for women titled WWGSD. I came away from it more drained than I am from a day at home with my kids. I was more mentally exhausted. More emotionally exhausted. Depleted even, more than anything else I think that I’ve ever experienced. Possibly even childbirth. That’s saying something, isn’t it? The third time round anyway. It wasn’t a bad depleted or emotionally exhausted. Don’t get me wrong. I had to clarify that at the time because I did get that sympathy ”

It wasn’t a bad depleted or emotionally exhausted, don’t get me wrong. I had to clarify that at the time because I did get that sympathy “awwww” response. It was worth it. You know that anything hard is worth doing. Anything that challenges you is worth doing. Anything that makes you vulnerable, that brings you out of your comfort zone, anything that opens you up, is worth doing. Talking, laughing, crying, childbirth, parenthood, hugging, you name the next five. Some of these things, literally open you up. To see who you are inside yourself. To quote Westworld, “it changes you. Shows you who your true self is… and I can’t fucking wait to meet that guy”.

Well me too.

Anything that changes you, is worth investing in.


I say to people that make it to my Playcentre’s gates, well done for getting here. You need that reminder. You got here. Well done. It was hard work, but getting your foot in the door is the first step to an achievement. Or if you get anxiety or agoraphobia or PND, getting your foot out the door is also an achievement.

Thank you team for getting me here and where I am today.

Thank you for coming here today.

Conversation starters

So this fantastic unconference was held in Christchurch a couple of months ago, which I was super lucky enough to attend. It was the second round of Women Who Get Shit Done, or WWGSD for short.

It. Was. Awesome. I can’t even remember when exactly it was, but I had the weekend away from the kids, and that was special in itself. I wrote another post about it, so I’ll post that soon.

I wrote this post, “Conversation starters” the day before attending. I was nervous about interacting with a bunch of adults I didn’t know. And I’d never been to an unconference before. I billed myself as the Playcentre delegate. I was attending with my 12mo son however, as a comforting cloak of identity, but ended up going solo.

Hana at WWGSD Chch

Conversation starters -Intended for use at WWGSD chch 2017:

  • Ko wai toku ingoa? Ko Hana ahau me a tenei ia Matthew.
  • No hea koe?
  • How do you manage to GSD with young kids?
  • How do you hang your washing?
  • If you could withhold one piece of advice for parents-to-be, under what topic what would you choose?

Contemplation: emergent leadership and Playcentre

So I’ve had a lot of time to think over the past five years.
You get that when you have children and aren’t in paid employment. In between the meal prep; nappy changes, nappy scrubbing, the third load of washing; mediation of sibling disagreements, etcetera – I have done a lot of thinking. Thinking about everything really. Problem is, this thinking doesn’t get recorded at the time and then you get an uncoordinated ugly braindump of a post like this one. The following is just a short summary. It may become a regular feature in all future posts this year.

I’ve been thinking:
  • libraries really can be the intersection point for their communities
  • Enthusiasm is infectious, make contact with it.
  • you need to be so flexible and up for anything if you want to go anywhere in any career. Quite literally, that sentence makes so much sense
  • Playcentre and emergent leadership have so much in common.
  • the number of children you have and how many hours you work – paid and unpaid – is not a measure of your self-worth
  • flexible working needs to be talked about openly at a management level
  • the “yeah, so what?” factor is real, when looking in at this period of life from the outside but, this too shall pass.
  • Making sense and a sentence is not my strong point right now.
  • This too shall pass.
  • When, though?!
  • I love my children.
  • It’s hard work raising them, but it’s worth it. Our lives are so much richer because of them.
Playcentre and emergent leadership have so much in common

Playcentre’s philosophy of child-led learning through play and experimentation matches emergent leadership’s – allowing people of all levels of any organisation to make decisions and lead from any position.

I haven’t read much about emergent leadership, but I went to a weekend school where it was a running theme, and have had conversations with people, and I gather this is what it’s all about – Give people the freedom to make their own decisions. Make mistakes, learn from them, share with others, and repeat until the desired outcome is reached.

The core of Playcentre’s philosophy is child-led learning – Children and whānau, learning and growing together. At Playcentre, we provide for their play, and we participate in their play too, but we step back more and assist and guide when necessary.  We observe and see what the children do and wait to see what emerges. It’s painful to watch things played out sometimes. Relationships are broken and we guide them with the mending part. Limbs are hurt, feelings, emotions are hurt. Over and over again. But we’re there to help them reconnect with each other and move forward together with their plan. Oh, I could go on.

I just wanted to share that for a moment in time, I felt an immediate sense of connection between what I practice in my life as a Playcentre Mum and the practice of emergent leadership.

So now is where I put a call-to-action. This is something I learned from a paper I completed this time last year. Insert a call-to-action at the end of a webpage. Where does the user go once they have read the content?
What have you been thinking? Tell me!