Making the ‘Term-Time Juggle’ Less of a Struggle

Published by Matt Mason,

Making the ‘Term-Time Juggle’ Less of a Struggle

Claire Buckley, one of the expert coaches listed on the AoM Coaching Directory, is all too familiar with the term-time juggle.  Here are Claire’s five top tips to help you make the constant juggling between business life and family life less of a struggle.

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, both my husband and I, and the kids, are frazzled.  School trips, assembly costumes, party gifts and a hundred and one ‘bottle tombola’ donations… the list goes on.

From a parents’ point of view, it means a gazillion ‘Class’ WhatsApp messages, streams of school emails, and a million more ‘To Do’s’ to add to the already hefty task list.  

Add into that the fact people are ‘all trying to get work things wrapped up before the holidays,’ and you have the perfect work/life balance storm!

Here are five light-hearted tips to help you power through the term in one piece:

1: Have two ‘To Do’ lists and blend them into a planner

One personal (for the ‘Kidmin’/ family stuff) and one for your work.  Prioritise these and add them to your Weekly Planner.  And then add your ‘Kidmin’/life ones into your work one at workable times, i.e. lunchtime, at the start or end of the day, on the train etc.

I like to call this blended planner ‘The Lifework’ planner.  It makes it sound grander!

2: Set reminders for the critical ‘can’t be missed ‘Kidmin’ stuff

I remember missing a key Assembly when my daughter received an ‘Achievement Certificate’.   The guilt I felt!  Not from her, all my own doing!

I vowed after that to set reminders on my phone for those key moments and prioritise them equally.  And I also now set deadlines for the ‘To Do’s for the important – can’t be missed again – school things.  

I appreciate not everyone reading this may be self-employed, but working ‘flexibly’ is gaining ground for many employers now, so I hope that gives you more wiggle room

3: Enlist help from your top friendly ‘Jugglers‘

The term-time juggle is much more manageable if you’re prepared to ask for help!  Whether this is your husband, parents, school mum/dad friends, or the local neighbour.

I’m a fan of the phrase, ‘the more, the merrier,’ when it comes to sharing the lift rota, costume outfit sourcing, or school helper’s rota.

I think, provided it feels as equal as you can be, and it’s clear who does what, everyone can benefit.  And remember to actively look for those moments when you can help so everyone is kept happy.

4: Turn off ‘Auto-notification’ on WhatsApp

Term-time Juggle tip - turn off WhatsApp notifications

This was a game-changer for me!  

Once I realised I had control over when I reviewed messages, it meant I could concentrate on my work 100% without the ‘ping’ or ‘new message’ flashing up in the background.  

Someone said to me recently, “Social media is like Catnip; you can’t stay away.”

I now check my messages 1 hour before the school run (to double-check I’ve not forgotten anything), and then about 8.30pm, after the kids are in bed.  

Granted, I’m often checking a bit in between (as I use WhatsApp in my work also). But I’m working towards clearer ‘social media’ boundaries

5: Don’t panic if a ball drops

Maybe this should be Tip number 1?

We’ve all done it.  When this happens, keep calm and work out what you need to do.  And, if it’s not retrievable, go easy on yourself.  

No one will be harder on you, than you, I’m sure.  

This is particularly common for women to have this critical inner voice saying, ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘smart enough,’ ‘strong enough.’. So in these moments, tell that voice to ‘Do one’.

The juggle is always a struggle – but it can be made a little easier

Parenting is challenging, but it’s the most important and best job I’ve got.  And I’m still ‘working’ on getting my own ‘A Plus’ from my kids and their school!  

And finally, remember to enjoy what sometimes may feel a bit ‘chaotic’ – especially across the term-times.

Here’s to ‘surviving’ and ‘thriving’.

Please get in touch

Claire Buckley Coaching and Consulting - helping mums with the term-time juggle and more

If any of these term-time juggle tips resonate with you, or you would like to know more about how I’m helping female founders to ‘Pause & Plan’ through my 1:1 and group coaching programmes, then I’d love to hear from you.  

Please contact me via my website,

And here’s to the power of women, boosting each other to be our best selves and ‘flexing’ better. 

Claire Buckley Listing on the army of Mums Coaching Directory

You can also find Claire’s coaching profile on the Army of Mums Coaching Directory.

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