This is the fourth in the series of blogs Bethanie at Northumberland Family Diaries and I are writing this summer.  We’ve called it the Sunday Sanctuary Series.  This week, I’m talking a little about the reality of being a working mum.

The intent behind the blogs is to ensure we get some time to spend with our second love (writing) over the summer… (our first being our family of course!)  You can join in by following us on instagram if you fancy…?  We are welcoming more bloggers if you’d like to join in and write on one of our topics this summer.

So, this week it’s all about being and staying organised… do the summer holidays have you in a tiz or are you breezing through?  Everything working like clockwork or are you longing for structure term time brings and a hot cuppa in peace?  Mum life, work life, family life – how’s it all feeling?


Being Organised – Space, time and smooth runnings…

Full disclosure – I have loved being “off grid”, “off schedule” this summer.  It’s definitely my favourite way to be but as I’ve got older I have started to recognise the beauty of routine.

This summer social schedule has meant we’ve run out of a food a few times…eek!  I’ve also eaten birthday cake for dinner twice this week!   L ran out of pants yesterday too.  But we are deliriously happy pottering about and not having to squash everything into a school day!  It means I can concentrate less on schedules and more on being mum and adventures!

In the flow of of our regular term time weeks when L is at school it all seems to flow quite well.  Summer has meant impromptu nights away, friends calling in, sleep overs, 5pm naps and 10.30pm bedtimes for L and things getting thrown right out of whack!  We’ve loved it ALL of course, but rather than talk through all the chaos, I’ll let you into how our regular weeks run during term time and what’s in store for my working week ahead.

A regular kinda Monday

Usually Mondays are spent with both Dave and I working at home so we can connect on what’s happening in the week ahead.

I usually do the school run as Dave has clients in the afternoon.  L’s school starts at 8.45 so we are usually there a little earlier than that – he likes to be in first!

Then I’m free to start my day.   The first secret to packing in a full work day into school time hours is to work FAST!   The second secret is to not get distracted by jobs and to work through lunch.

Before we leave the house each morning, I put a wash on and get it hung out, tidy the kitchen and all of the toys away I can so when I return there’s more of a blank canvas to start work.   Dave has started teaching a beach yoga class on Mondays and I’ve been along to it over summer so I’d love to continue that in September – it’s been lush!  I’m not sure how it will effect my whippy Monday pace however!


Tuesday is usually a meetings day for me – whether it’s coaching clients or project management stuff.  If I’m driving I listen to self development podcasts in the car – you can read about that here.   I’m usually pretty tired after Tuesdays and I try to vary the week this way – a day of meetings then a day at home – it works pretty well.  This week we are off to Edinburgh to see one of my best friend’s Jemma launch her book – I just had to give it a mention, I’m so excited for her!  L is staying here with my pal and his gorgeous dog so it’s a bit of a date afternoon for Dave and I and a change up for L.  I’m sure he’ll have a blast.

Yoga on the beach

Beach yoga – a brilliant way to start the week!


Dave goes to jujutzu in Berwick in the evenings and he has to leave around 5.30 so we all tend to have an early dinner together and then I work on wedding organising, craft projects or writing stuff in the evening.

This Wednesday, I am off to London on the 6.55am train with 5 young people for a project called The Lost Dances – we are visiting the English Folk, Dance and Song society on a research trip – it should be great fun and I’ll try and remember my phone charger to share some insta stories!  It will be a long one for me but the boys will have the car so probably go off adventuring.  On days like these there is usually left-overs from the night before for dinner or something in the slow cooker!


Usually another meetings day for me.  This Thursday I’m working on a summer school helping young people achieve their Arts Award and working with a fantastic filmmaker right here on my doorstep.

It’s always brilliant to take part in projects close to home.  I usually use Thursday evenings to catch up if I’m feeling behind on my work to-do list once L is in bed.


I start the day with a cuppa and reflect on how the week’s gone in my Get to Work Book – it really helps me to see how things are looking against goals I set at the start of the week.  This Friday I am supporting one of my projects ‘Voice of the Creative’ at their summer fair in the morning and it’s L’s birthday party in the afternoon – yay!

I also try and do a bit of cleaning on a Friday so we are free to enjoy the weekend,  I loved following The Oraganised Mum Method – she’s great but I can NEVER achieve 30 mins a day per room – I seem to spend most of my time cleaning the kitchen (yes it was my idea to get white tiles) haha.  So yes… usually Friday after the school run I do a big clean and L organises his toys which helps set him up for play over the weekend.

drawing everywhere

Take your son to work day – A sneak peak at the Elmer trail – #greatnorthelmer launches 21st Aug

Saturday & Sunday

We are off schedule for playdates, beach walks, cleaning and probably another food shop!  Each weekend is different for us but this weekend will be chilled as I know I’ll be exhausted and need to sort everything for a BIG suprise birthday for our soon to be 5 year old!

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking in on our family life here in Northumberland.  If you know any good blogs for general family organisation do let me know.

So next week we are writing about the change in seasons and back to school…feel free to join us.  You can check out the rest of my blogs in this series if you’d like and Bethanie’s are here. 

Claire x


PS – I just wanted to add that am very lucky that I’ve designed my working summer to be at work only 14 days out of the whole 43 day holiday.  I can’t always do this but the way things have fallen this year has meant I been able to prioritise family time.