Talking through a day in her life, Claire says she sets her alarm at 5.45am – the same time as when she was travelling into London – starts her day with pilates, before putting together all the home schooling exercises for the day.
After getting the boys up early for breakfast and settled for ‘school’ by 8.30am, she prepares to start her day in the old tool shed which she made into a home office just before lockdown came into action.
‘Around 1pm is when I usually break for lunch with the boys,’ she continued. ‘They do some lessons online with their grandparents in the afternoons or with school groups.
Claire Blakemore, 46, who lives in Sussex, is partner in the family law team at WithersWorldwide, and has been working in a converted tool shed amid the coronavirus lockdown
The mother-of-two has revealed what is like to make sure a family isn’t torn to shreds throughout divorce proceedings whilst juggling the homeschooling of her own kids, Freddie, 9 and Albert, 7 (pictured, together)
‘We have dinner together as a family early evening and I’ll pick up on emails or calls whilst the boys are on wind down or after they have gone to bed – depending on what arises.’
And like many other parents who have been juggling work with homeschooling their children, Claire, who has a helping hand from husband Mark, has found it ‘challenging.’
‘It’s challenging and some days are better than others,’ she said. ‘But my husband is very hands on.
‘My top tip is always focus on what has been achieved rather than what hasn’t and then make a plan on how to crack what wasn’t done.’
Claire went on to offer advice to those couples who are struggling to get along amid lockdown.
‘First and foremost, you need to remember that we are human, and that means conflict is a part of our everyday lives, and therefore so is negotiation,’ she said.
Claire has praised husband Mark (pictured, with Freddie and Albert) for being ‘very hands on’ when it comes to the day-to-day homeschooling of their children amid lockdown
‘Think about what you want to achieve before engaging in an argument. Do you want to change your partner’s behaviour, or just make them realise that their actions have consequences?
‘Even when you don’t agree with your other half, you should still acknowledge their feelings. The goal is a mutual understanding, and more often than not this is achieved through showing you hear what they are saying, whilst remembering it is ok to agree to disagree.’
She continued: ‘Remember that your partner isn’t psychic. Simply wishing that your other half would change their behaviour without voicing that want is only going to end in tears. Speak up and have an honest conversation about things that frustrate you.’
And for those going through a difficult family breakup, Claire added: ‘Surround yourself with the right people – friends and family who will support you but will help you keep perspective balanced, and advisors who want to know what’s important for you and will help you get there, not drive you into a course of action that isn’t right for you.’