Tell us briefly about your personal and style background
Thank you for having me in your magazine.
My name is Chinenye Irabor, fondly called ChiChi. I’m a wife, mother, public servant, lifestyle blogger, and creative director of a fashion brand named Ceepple-Red. I live and work in Abuja. I’d describe my personal style as classic, polished, colourful, with just the right amount of edginess. Red is my absolute favourite colour to wear, and I have an affinity for blazers.
What can you say about quality content for social media as a blogger?
Nothing beats quality. It basically sets you apart and keeps you miles ahead in the social media stakes. People are constantly searching for compelling, engaging, credible and meaningful content, and so if you can deliver this timely and consistently, you are bound to be successful. It’s all about adding value, understanding the expectations of your target audience and exceeding them. You just don’t wake up and post anything on social media anymore. These days, you have to be strategic, you have to be intentional and make sure you don’t lose your authenticity in the process. The more you create high quality content, the more you drive engagement, expand your influence and subsequently generate good income. I’ve learned that quality is everything.
How do you handle running a family and blog simultaneously?
I’m still learning and adjusting. I have a full time job as well so it requires a lot of commitment, hard work, patience, planning, and effective time-management. Motherhood has deepened my appreciation and zeal for time management because it literally takes me from confusion and frustration to clarity and focus. I set goals and agenda for my family, job, business, and blog, prioritise them and endeavour to follow through. During the weekend I try to create time (that won’t interfere with family time) to do my research, creative thinking and drafts. I also have an unending list of content ideas that I fall back on from time to time. Honestly, following through on all the goals I have for my blog has been quite tough, but it’s something I’m seriously working on. I recently concluded a one-week blog consultation with one of Nigeria’s leading blogging experts and I’m exceedingly happy with all that I have learned and the changes to come. I know the balancing act will take some time, but I’ll definitely get there.
How do you stay motivated to keep working even when you are demoralized?
I have an 8a.m. – 4p.m. job which I love,I run a fashion business, I blog and I’m raising a family. It’s like juggling four balls at the same time and trying to make sure none falls off. It can be mentally, physically and emotionally tasking, but I have a very good support system, from my family to friends, and mentors who encourage me to persevere when it gets tough. I am passionate about my family, and everything that I do, so the passion also keeps me going. I acknowledge and remember my wins and remind myself that it’s just a phase and everything is working together for my good. I repeat positive affirmations to myself, I read motivational books, I give myself a treat, and most importantly I seek God’s presence, stand on his word and trust his guidance. I draw strength and wisdom for all of life’s situations from him.
What do you have to say to women running businesses and raising families simultaneously?
It’s not easy, so first of all I’d say well done! Being a mum and a career/business woman may seem impracticable but it can be done because we are resilient and capable of so much more than we think.
Set clear priorities and goals and do your best to follow through. Have an open mind and give room for flexibility in accomplishing your goals to enable you deal with unforeseen circumstances that might surface. Learn to manage your time well. Procrastination is the enemy. Your attitude towards time is a major determinant of how much and how well you can achieve. Be passionate.
When you are at work, be diligent. Check on your kids and partner via phone calls. When you are done with work and you get home, make time for your family. Have dinner together, read to your kids. Don’t be glued to your phone or social media or thinking about work. If you are thinking about work while you are with your family, then you are still working. Create routines for your kids to help them stay organized and efficient. Nurture your relationship and have date nights with your significant other.
Do things that add value to your life. Try not to engage in unproductive ventures. Again, get your priorities right. Invest well. Don’t go around buying Brazilian hair and then end up begging for money to buy baby’s pampers.
I find that sometimes we get excessively concerned with being the perfect mum/woman. But guess what? you won’t get things right all the time because you are not perfect. The good news is, it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Just keep learning and adjusting.
Stay optimistic, be positive. If you can afford it, get help for your home. Meet and connect with other mums and reach out to those who are a bit more experienced and successful in the juggling act. Let them mentor you.
In the midst of it all, please don’t forget to take care of yourself. Learn to detox, take a break to recharge and renew your inspiration. Look good.Give yourself a treat, could be in form of retail therapy, going to your favourite restaurant, go dancing, or maybe have a spa day. When you are well rested and in good shape mentally, physically,emotionally, you’ll not only be able to carry out your roles well but I believe you’ll also have the strength to tackle challenges.
Above all, pray without ceasing. Always begin your day with God. If you make God your priority, everything else in your life will fall into place.
Motherhood can be exhausting, but I’m having the most humbling and phenomenal experience. It’s not been easy juggling it with my career and other ventures but I’m growing and loving it all. I’m learning daily and in the words of Maya Angelou “I have learned that I still have a lot to learn”.
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What do you think about running a family and also blogging? Let us know via the comment section below.