DPCON 13 – Digital Parents Conference 2013
I was never meant to go to DPCON this year. There were several constraints – the day job, finances…life.
Then almost like it was meant to be, one day while lurking on the Digital Parents website, I noticed Jane of Java Jane had put her ticket up for sale as she couldn’t make the conference and wouldn’t want the ticket to go to waste. I cold emailed Jane as it was a fair few hours later than she had initially posted thinking the ticket would definitely have been snapped up. Jane responded straight back and said it was still available, it was a sign. I explained to Jane that I was a single parent and would appreciate any concession possible. Jane happily obliged for which I am eternally grateful, Thank you Jane.
So I was in luck but there was still another hurdle. You see, this year DPCON is happening on a Wednesday and a Thursday which means being a solo parent, I would have to ask the boys’ dad to look after them on 3 week nights. I wasn’t sure if he would be okay with that but more importantly, I wasn’t sure how the kids would feel about the change in their routine . It has been 3 years since the split, they have never spent a school night with their father. Fs2 at one stage said “ But Daddy doesn’t know how we do our homework” You can trust Fs2 for telling it like it is, you really can ! More than FS2 though, it has been FS1 who hasn’t been entirely okay with the idea.
Once I had an okay from their dad, I took the bold step of buying my ticket. Bold because I was doing something out of my comfort zone, leaving the kids behind, trusting everything would be okay… In parenting world, that is a big ask, in single–parenting world, it is a monumental ask… a large part of you is always ensuring that the children have an extra cushion wherever possible, you try to soften the blows every step of the way. To somehow make up for the relationship you couldn’t work out with their other parent. I am not advocating that it is the best way but quite often, that is how it is.
Now the next step would be to find accommodation within an affordable range close to the venue. While I was still considering my options and the official DPCON hotel seemed out of range, I saw an FB update by Rhianna over at A Parenting Life wondering if anyone wanted to share a room. Genius! Why hadn’t I thought of this before? It was a sign. I messaged Rhi and put both hands up for sharing. Rhi was keen , I was keen – And in no time I had myself a DPCON roomie. Yay!
The weeks leading up to DPCON have been busy at home, at work and on the blog. I haven’t kept very well for the past few weeks so that hasn’t helped either. The excitement though hasn’t dulled at all, I can’t wait to learn more about the craft, perhaps gain a better sense of direction moving forward but most important of all, meet all my fabo new bloggy friends. Yep that’s the bottom line folks! Meeting all the awesome bloggy peeps and the shopping, lets not underestimate the shopping. Infact, there may or may not have been a bit of a shopping spree leading up to the event. Trust me , this is a big deal in the Aussie blogging world and a girl has to look her best, plus really any excuse is a good excuse to shop. Period.
Now lets fast forward because:
a) I don’t want to put you all to sleep and
b) I would ideally like to finish writing this post before I get to Sydney and at this rate, it’s never gonna happen.
Yes, you heard it , as I type , I am on my way to Sydney for DPCON13!!!! Okay now that I am done being dramatic, I have to admit my nerves still a little bit frayed from what has been a jam packed day in every sense of the word.
I almost thought I wouldn’t make it to DPCON.
Saturday, FS 1 ( Fab son 1 for new readers) came down with a temperature which meant we were off line for most of the weekend. I thought he would be better by Monday but that didn’t happen , the poor thing felt tired and weak, I’d feel terrible sending him to school that way so we ended up staying home. At this point though, I was gradually heading towards a guilt ridden panic zone , how could I ever leave my sick child and head over to Sydney for 3 whole days of blogging fun? Where are my priorities? What was I thinking? I was a terrible mum.
This morning, my little man looked a lot better (phew) but still didn’t want to go school. I somehow pushed him to go and headed off to work. More guilt, more “bad mother” feelings. I promised, I would come get him if he fell sick again but he had to atleast try. Every ounce of me hoped that he’d get back into the swing of things once he saw his friends. I was wrong. At midday, I had the ominous phone call from the school front office, he didn’t look too well and I would have to come get him. Guilt, guilt and more guilt. At this point, I was going to ready to abandon DPCON altogether. Then I spoke to a dear friend who talked a bit (lot) of sense into me…Stay calm , get FS1 and reassess the situation. Is he really as bad or is it just a case of separation anxiety. Wise girl.
Within 3 hours of being at work, I
scrambled calmly managed to finish whatever I needed to do, raced back to the school, picked up both boys and brought them home. FS1 seemed a bit low yes, but nothing major and definitely nothing a few tight cuddles couldn’t fix. I requested them both to be extra good so mummy could finish packing. After weeks of obsessing over what and what not to pack, I still have a nagging feeling that I have forgotten something or perhaps it’s just the mad rush of it all. Amazingly, there were no fights, no cushion wars, nothing. I actually finished packing an hour before their dad was supposed to pick them up, heck I even did one quick lot of dishes and watered my plants. Eventually, I sat down with the boys for a cuppa. There were kisses, tears and cuddles galore I can assure you. I knew then that I would miss them terribly, I knew they would miss me too.
They left and soon after, I left home for the bus station. It feels surreal to finally be heading to Sydney, I suppose I am still wound up after the day’s events, anxious and exhausted. I need to deep breathe, let go and trust that everything will be okay. I need to take the next 3 days well in my stride and soak up all the bloggy goodness there is to come. I need to appreciate that I am able to go along this year. Last year I was a blogger who had just begun her journey and avidly watched DPCON12 from a distance through FB and Twitter streams. I was envious, I wanted to be there.
Tomorrow morning, I will be at DPCON13 rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the Aussie blogosphere, making new friends, finally meeting the bloggers whose words I have admired from a distance. Listen to some amazing stories, perhaps share mine. Dream a little more.
Someone, pinch me please.
Have you been to a bloggers conference ? How did you feel ? What’s your best tip?