This month’s ‘Mama Of The Month’ is dedicated to the brains and brilliance behind the one and only ‘PIZZUP’ – a fantastic night out for mothers…
Lorna Hayward aka @mrshhayward from The Mumblings put on her first ‘PIZZUP’ in April 2017 with a handful of women. This December she pulled off a night to remember with 300 mums with legendary DJ Luck and MC Neat…
For one night, mothers (including myself) left ‘responsibility’ at home, let their hair down, put on a fabulous dress, drank prosecco, ate pizza, met with other like minded mothers and danced the night away to nostalgic music that momentarily made us all feel like we were back in our 20’s and didn’t have a care in the world. It was honestly a night to remember
Here is her story…
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – name, where you’re from, how many children you have etc…
Well hey there. My name is Lorna Harriet (hence the ‘H’ – ‘L’ annoyingly wasn’t available) Hayward. Nee Poll. Born in Canterbury, raised in Henley-on-Thames and now residing in the borough of Wandsworth alongside my husband, Jamie and our two girls – Elsie (4) and Marnie (2)
2. What was your profession before you became a mother?
I worked in Client Services within the digital advertising industry. I went back to my job twice, after both my girls maternity stints, and left Soho just over 7 months ago to freelance. I intended to stay within the similar sphere of work, however my blog and various chance meetings led me down a path of ‘Content creation and copywriting’ which has been both nerve-wracking and bloody amazing!
3. What changes does a woman have to apply to her life when she becomes a mother that you weren’t aware of?
Selflessness. I never knew just how selfish I was before, and I really don’t think – until you have children that you can. The freedom I had to just do whatever the hell I wanted (within reason) and when I liked. I’ve always been pretty organised, and OCD has always played a large part in my manicness day to day, but now it’s on overdrive. The level of juggling (even more so, since becoming freelance) to keep on top of the house, kids, work, alongside being able to keep a flicker of your own life alive is, well – it’s bloody hard!
4. Tell us about PIZZUP – what is it?
PIZZUP is a night out for mums. Somewhere to drink (a lot) of booze, eat enough (delicious) food, and dance. No networking (unless you want to) no panels – just an informal night off, and out with a bevvy of awesome women. Some come with a mate, some come alone but we all unite over a drink or ten.
5. Why did you decide to throw nights out for mothers?
I always struggle to provide a succinct answer to this one. Much like how most Ideas start – it’s usually derives from something that is lacking. I know many say it – more often than when I first had Elsie – but motherhood can be really lonely, and equally pretty isolating – even for a social butterfly like myself. I was really craving a good night out, and off with like minded women. I have also never massively felt like I have belonged a particular group, network or circle since becoming a mum. NCT wasn’t a huge success, mum groups never really floated my boat and I guess I’m quite a needy person like that. I always felt on the periphery of something, but never quite in it. I had gained some interest from my blog, and a few local mums had suggested meeting in real life (after initially connecting through the weird and wonderful world of Instagram) and it just seemed like a natural step to organise a night out than try to battle conversations alongside the kids. There are tons of ‘events’ out there for mums these days – from business networking, to parenting panels but I guess I was just craving something a little different. I wanted to have the whole venue (not just a function room, where I felt hidden away) and know that if I was stood at the bar ordering a my potential 10th drink of the night, that I would be saddled up to someone who would also be facing the kids in the morning alongside a mutha of a hangover. There’s something about being with, drinking alongside and talking to women who get it. I still love going out with Jamie, and our mixed group of mates, but I believe there was a need for an en masse collective of ladies who all wanted the same as me. So, I did as my mum always says and I JFDI (Just fucking do it) What started with 35 of us (still a huge achievement for me) ended in 300 last week. Bonkers!
6. Your last CHRIZZUP was a huge success. Congratulations! Tell us how you pulled it off!
Ha! God knows! Actually, that’s a lie. Serious supplier coordination, a lot of communication and perseverance! I’ve never organised events before – it’s not my job, so I’ve learnt (a lot) on the job. I’ve made a few mistakes, but ultimately I have kept in the forefront of my mind what would I want from a night out and taken it from there. Pulling together the POST PIZZUP PARTY BAGS has always been a tough one. It takes a serious amount of hustling, hounding, chasing up and logistical trickery!
7. What have been the highs and lows of organising PizzUp?
I guess one thing to remember is, PIZZUP isn’t my day job. I have three jobs (as a freelancer) – I have two kids, so at times it has been FULL on, and I’ve felt like I was drowning a bit. think more than anything the pressure of hosting women, most of whom I don’t actually know – has got to me. I’ve found myself starting to panic that supplies won’t arrive, or ladies won’t turn up. And yet – each time, I’ve been surprised with the positive results. Equally, I also think it’s good not to be complacent about it. Things go wrong, they always do – I have to juggle childcare, or there isn’t enough prosecco but they all sort themselves out in the end, mostly with support and encouragement from others. My poor mate Lauren has had me cry on her at every PIZZUP so far I think! She bears the brunt of my pre PIZZUP nerves.
8. What will PIZZUP look like in 5 years from now?
Crikey. I really don’t know. I know what it won’t look like, if that helps? I don’t want PIZZUP to become inaccessible. I love that many of the near on 300 women who came to PIZZUP last week weren’t on Instagram, or just ‘dabbled with Facebook’ – I like the inclusiveness it brings. I feel a responsibility to facilitate women, who happen to mums in having a wicked night out. It’s that simple. I was chatting to someone through work the other day who said her friend (who happens to live locally to me) was struggling a year on – not having really fitted in, and hadn’t clicked with a group of mums. My immediate reaction was ‘oh you need to get her to PIZZUP’ – not because I want to sell a ticket, or because I need to get PIZZUP in front of her, but because I think she sounded like she genuinely needed it, and would meet some ace mates.
9. What advice would you give any mother who is in desperate need of a night out?
COME TO PIZZUP! In all honesty? Feel the fear, find ya lippy, stick on your trainers (or your heels) grab a good mate, and head out. There is so much to be said for letting go a bit. Motherhood can feel hugely relentless at times for me and I crave being able to just feel a little ‘free’ – event if it’s only for one night.
10. What knowledge will you pass onto your daughters when they become mothers
Surround yourself with good people. And Excellent women. It’s taken me to 36 to filter out the people in my life who might be good for others, but are not good for me. I want to try and instil confidence into them. Not showy confidence, just an inner confidence that is able to carry them through school and beyond. I wish I had the confidence to have walked away from some crap friendships in the past but we live and learn.
Thank you so much Lorna for being December’s MAMA OF THE MONTH… a true party planning legend and I cannot wait for the next PIZZUP… It makes us mama’s feel like we’ve all still got it… and we have!
If you would like to be MAMA OF THE MONTH or think someone else should be, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!! Louise x