Lynne & I struggled somewhat last week with balancing work commitments (of running a small business) & being mums.

Since getting back from holiday the previous week poor Theo has been poorly with an ear infection. After perking up for a few days he then seemed to get a bit hot and bothered again, and just wasn't himself. Lynne's daughter, Katherine, then also started spiking a very high temperature and developing a dreaded rash. They all spend time together each week with Nanny, and so unfortunately tend to pass any coughs and colds between them.This latest bout of illness of course happened in the week Lynne & I had hoped to attend the Digital DNA event in Belfast, which on any regular day would be difficult enough for us. She has the school drop off and I have a nursery drop off and a 9 month old to try and get out of the house in a timely matter! Conferences obviously tend to start first thing in the morning, which is usually the same time school is starting. I know lots of people manage this on a daily basis, but I wasn't known for my good time-keeping even before having children! Throw in some vomiting children and sleep deprived parents and it was looking even more unlikely for us. Please feel free to share any tips with me about how to get out of the house more quickly in the morning!

As you will well know, when you are on a different schedule to your normal routine then the timings simply don't work. For example, if we were starting at 8.30am every morning then we would have a breakfast club or something organised for childcare. When you suddenly have to be somewhere a lot earlier than normal, then other arrangements have to be made and quickly. However, somehow we both managed to make it (albeit on different days) to the event thanks to some careful rescheduling, drop offs/collections and of course wonderful Grandparents (got to keep them sweet!) Lynne had also hoped to attend another event 2 days later, but poor Katherine needed to stay in bed and so she took the morning off to look after her instead. Would you believe these were the first events we had tried to attend in ages though? That's what we get for trying to network and learn new things! I'm really glad we made the effort to attend Digital DNA though as we got lots of great tips to try and improve our digital marketing techniques. Have you ever had a nightmare time withpoorly kids when you had somewhere important to be?

It is very difficult to leave your little ones when they are ill and we are very lucky that we have our Parents to help us out, and that we are a Family Business and so can cover for each other if someone needs time off to be Mummy/Daddy. In the original days of BasketsGalore there were so few of us that no-one ever had a day off sick & holiday were few and far between. I remember in the lead up to Father's Day one year I awoke with a stiff neck, so mum had to come & drive me into work so I could still process customer orders! Lynne originally started out on her own, with mum helping her, and she used to say BasketsGalore was her baby. This meant it was hard for her to take time away from BasketsGalore, and also from Annabel when she arrived. It was a balancing act, but now she gets to have both in her life and we manage quite well. It is only when we have meetings scheduled, events booked or holidays to cover that things become more tricky. Or ifit is December. Christmas time is just flat out for us and so no-one is allowed to be sick - either babies or us!