Chi Chi Moi
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Work/Life balance with adopted children and running a small creative business

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This is a blog I have been wanting to write for a while now, as all working Mums know trying to reach that elusive ideal work/life balance is tricky.

My work/life balance is almost laughable, here’s my story: nearly 4 years ago after much hoop jumping, my partner & I were approved to adopt. As a woman in late midlife I was a surprised, I suppose that part of me thought we would never be approved! My partner is younger than me but we have been together for twenty years, so I guess you could say our relationship works.

I have two adult children and one grandson, they are amazing and I am very proud of them, but talking about them will have to wait until another post.

So, back to work/life balance with small (adopted) children. Firstly I could not run my business without an amazing team. I had started Chi-Chi Moi in 2005, to be honest it was a hobby that ‘got lucky’. It took me quite a few years to take my business seriously and still am not great at business, but I love 'creating' it is my lifeblood and I tend take a creative approach to work too!

When our two young children joined us in 2015 I stepped back (well physically and time wise but not emotionally) from the business. Jess, Faye and Milly who work for me did brilliantly whilst I stepped back.

Our children were 7 and 2 when they arrived, I still cannot believe the youngest one was SO young. She turned 3 after being with us for just over 3 months, but was really just a baby, she was so well behaved. We have since discovered that she was probably in an emotionally frozen state, basically she was too frightened to be anything except perfect. I can now say she is no longer frozen and is very comfortable at shouting at us when she doesn’t get her own way!

So how does my day work? Most days I wake at 7am, many days in the last 4 years I have either been woken up much earlier or woken up at say 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep (these are the worst days). We now have a tight routine (our son loves and needs routine).

The children go to two different schools which is okay as my partner takes one to school and I the other, most mornings run to plan but occasionally they go fantastically wrong, so the stress can be dreadful (I have developed high blood pressure in the last two years, what a surprise!). If all goes well I get to work around 9.30, I rent a premises about 20 minutes from home and often pick up knitting from our knitters on the way to work.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have an elderly Mum who has unfortunately more or less lost her sight due to Macular Degeneration, she lives by herself and does amazingly well really. Some days I will call in on her on the way to work, but more often it's later in the day.

So by the time I arrive at work (anytime between 9.30 and 10.30, sometimes even later!) I am in need of a coffee.

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I also now realise that this blog post is going to be so long that it will have to come in instalments.

Next time I may even start talking about work!

Till then, take care

Jan x