I first connected with Bridget via a Facebook, I loved what she had created for so many mums. As they say, you need a village and that’s exactly what she has done. We then met in person at the Melbourne pro-bloggers event, we chatted for hours and is such a dear friend and fellow biz mama.#mumssupportingmums says it all.
Natalie: Tell us a little bit about your family.
Bridget: My husband Luke and I are both 33 years old and we’ve been married for almost 8 years. We have two beautiful little boys; Harrison, 5 and Mitchell, 3.I grew up in Kilmore, an hour north of Melbourne and went to Assumption College (I was Bridget Clancy back then). After meeting Luke in 2004 we decided to move to Adelaide two years later for Luke to pursue his football career in the SANFL. We only planned to stay for one year…. 11 years later we returned to Melbourne in 2017. We absolutely love Adelaide. It’s a beautiful city and a great place to raise children. Our babies were born in South Australia so it will always be a special place for us.
Natalie: How did Midnight Mums begin?
Bridget: Living interstate and feeling somewhat isolated from family contributed to the birth of Midnight Mums, however, I never set out to create a large group or following. It was an accidental creation and one that I am very proud of. I’m a very social person and I love to chat. Once I became a mother and I was introduced to the silence of witching hours I had an urge to share my experiences and wanted to hear from others, and thanks to the World Wide Web I could connect with other mums. While scrolling through Facebook as I nursed my newborn during the wee hours, I connected with another new mum who I hadn’t spoken to since school. To be honest, I’m not even sure if we ever really spoke at school, but, both being new mums gave us so much to chat about. We fed off each other, supported, cried and laughed together via private messages on Facebook. I began a similar conversation with a second new mum who I met in the hospital. While chatting back and forth with the two mums I thought, why not pop us into a little group and so, Midnight Mums was born at 2 am with a total of 3 members.
Natalie: What do you love most about your work?
Bridget: The power of the snowball effect is unbelievable and watching my little group turn from 3 members into 85,000+ members from all around the world has been an incredible journey. What I love most about Midnight Mums is seeing women connecting and supporting each other. It takes a village to raise a child, and that’s exactly what Midnight Mums is – a virtual village of #mumssupportingmums.
Natalie: You abseiled down the 7 story St James Building in Melbourne’s CBD in April, how did you deal with the fear?
Bridget: OMG! It was so scary! Standing on the edge of a city skyscraper and having to lean yourself backwards off the edge was horrible! BUT, thankfully my support guy, Mitchell (also my son’s name) took control and supported me all the way down. Mitchell kept saying, “just shuffle back a little more Bridget” but I wasn’t going to(I couldn’t) let go. It’s funny in situations like that, you turn to complete strangers for all the support in the world (much like Midnight Mums provides to thousands of women each night). I can remember Mitchell saying to me “let go of my hand Bridget” lol. As much as I didn’t want to do it, I knew I would be so proud of myself if I did. Once I was over the edge (pardon the pun) I felt a huge relief, it was a wonderful experience and my guy Mitchell was fantastic. Sometimes you just have to take that next step.
Natalie: You have over 85k members in the Midnight Mum’s group, that’s a lot of support for mum’s who need it (Amazing!). What have been some examples of how it has helped mums?
Bridget: Over the years I have been fortunate enough to witness some wonderful acts of kindness. One heartwarming story that I’ll never forget was when one of our lovely members turned to the group for support. It was her son’s 4th birthday party and she woke up to discover her son’s kinder friends couldn’t make it. She was devastated. She had a party booked, a super hero cake and an excited 4 year old boy but she had no idea what to do or how to tell him. The mother turned to Midnight Mums for support, asking for advice on how to break the news to her son, she was blown away by what happened next… and so was I. Members from all around Australia started asking for her postal address so they could send a card or gift to her son. Members wanted to know which state and city she was based in, furthermore, members wanted to know where his party was being held so they could turn up with their own children to help celebrate. Within a few short hours, there were 30+ people at this little boys party but the story didn’t end there. Beautiful words of support came flooding in from all around the world and this story went viral with a wave of publicity and thousands of new members within days. It was a magical moment for our group, showing the power of support.
Natalie: What have been some challenges that you have faced in business?
Bridget: People often ask me “how do you manage such a large group”, well, simply, I could not possibly do it without my wonderful admin team. The young mothers who have voluntarily helped me over the years are amazing and together we have seen our fair share of challenges. As social media has involved immensely over the last 5 years, as do the difficulties involved. Internet trolls and keyboard warriors have certainly been our biggest challenge but once you learn to separate yourself and not take anything personally, it becomes much easier to handle. Personally, I have found the biggest challenge to be about trusting myself and taking the next step forward as I drive Midnight Mums forward. To give everything a go (sounds cliche) but it’s so true.
Natalie: I love your hashtag #mumssupportingmums and the idea that it takes a village to raise a family. What else has come from this for Midnight Mums? (ie: media, or cool collab’s, or more awareness of motherhood and the associated stresses)
Bridget: To this day I’m still taken back when someone recognises me or my brand Midnight Mums. It’s humbling. I feel very lucky to meet so many incredible mums (like yourself) and to have a platform that offers so much support to mums worldwide 24/7. Yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of events, part take in some really interesting interviews and collaborate with some incredible brands and organisations. I have a background in event management, so social networking is right up my alley.
Natalie: Do you have a favourite quote, prayer or miracle inspiration that you would like to leave with us?
“It takes a village to raise a child” and that’s exactly what Midnight Mums is – a virtual village of #mumssupportingmums”