Interview with Podcaster and YouTuber Clair Buckley

Stay-at-home mum Clair Buckley, 35, is the co-host of the hit YouTube channel At Home with the Buckleys, as well as the chart-topping podcast, In Sickness and In Health, alongside her husband James.

Describe a typical day for you?

A typical day for me is waking up at 6am. The first thing I do is what we all know we shouldn’t do – I scroll on my phone for five to ten minutes. When my eyes are open enough, I get up, throw on my house coat (dressing gown for the non Scots) and I wash my face (when I say wash my face, I just splash it with cold water – it’s the best way to wake up).

I then head downstairs and let our dog out in the garden for her morning wee. Following that, I start on the packed lunches for the kids. My oldest, Harrison, is a little bit of a foodie and likes to try different things so he’ll be having a spicy chicken wrap or a barbeque chicken baguette. For my younger son, Jude, he is the total opposite – he’ll have a plain ham sandwich every single day. I wrap their sandwiches, slice their fruit, chuck in their crisps and a couple of custard creams. I get my eldest up, he has breakfast, and we pack his school bag with everything he needs for the day, making sure his hair is ‘looking good’ and my husband sets off with him to school. Once I’ve waved goodbye to them at the door, I wake my younger son up and do it all again for him. I load him into the car and set off on the school run.

Once back from the school run, I try to take our dog for a walk. Most days we manage it but on the days where I am editing the YouTube videos (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), I tend to just get straight to work on those. On the days we record our podcast, it’s a real rush getting back from the school run. I end up throwing some make-up at my face and hoping for the best!

The remainder of the day is spent trying my best to keep on top of the endless washing in the house, giving the bedrooms a quick tidy and prepping the dinner for the evening.

Before I know it, it’s school run time again. Once we are all back home, we sit at the kitchen table and get the kids’ homework done. On Fridays however, we leave it until Sunday night – no one wants to do homework on a Friday evening, including me and James! Then it’s sticking The Chase on the telly and having dinner, catching up on everyone’s day. After that, its family time, whether that’s watching a movie or just hanging out with the boys as they play songs on their guitars and drums. I’m usually in bed by 9pm!

What do you feel are your greatest achievements?

This is probably really boring and cliche but it is definitely my kids. I am just so proud of the little boys they are. At 10 and 12, we are entering a different stage with them, where we can really talk to them and really see the people they are becoming or want to become and it is just so exciting.

What’s in your handbag/ satchel?

For a long time, I remember my handbag just being full of bibs, dummies, quavers, and baby wipes but now, it’s Monster Munch, a Nintendo DS and hair gel. On the days when I don’t have the boys with me, my handbag has my phone, purse, keys, chewing gum (always!) my earphones if I’m going on the train, and quite often a book that I’m reading. Right now, it’s Into Thin Air which is so good, I’m reading it for the second time!

What are your ambitions in life?

Having been a stay-at-home mum for such a long time, my ambition was always to do that to the best of my ability. Now, with the kids being older, and YouTube and the podcast being a focus, I love having my own little thing to work on. I edit the YouTube videos, which was a learning curve as I had no prior experience. I’ve enjoyed getting to grips with that side of it, although sometimes it can be a tedious job. I applaud editors who actually edit TV shows or films! I’d love for the podcast to be something my husband and I do long-term as it’s a fun job and I love getting to work alongside James.

What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?

Not to take anything too seriously. People will always have their opinion of you if you’re going to put yourself out there. Whether that’s on social media, on a podcast, whatever it may be. And that’s OK.  I feel really lucky that the people who follow our channel or podcast seem to follow us because they like our content.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In five years time, my kids are going to be into their teenage years and my biggest hope is that we all stay as close as we are now. Our little family of four is very close knit and I know sometimes the teenage years can bring some angst so I’m hoping we can still spend lots of time together. I’d love for the podcast to still be a thing, being one of the top, big boys would be fun! Having some super cool guests on is always a goal! I’d love to get Gerard Butler on there!

What advice would you give a first-time mother? 

My advice for a first-time mum would be that everyone has their own ways of doing things when it comes to parenting. I think it’s different for everyone, it’s uch a personal thing as all babies and kids are different. What works for someone may not work at all for someone else. The way I was when Harrison was first born, I think I’d describe it as quite old fashioned (this was 12 years ago though). I had an elderly midwife and health visitor who always gave me ‘the old school’ advice. My mum and my gran were there for all my questions I needed answering. Their thing was, ‘never panic, try not to worry’.

Babies are so much more robust than we think as first time mums and I think we tend to, or I did anyway, panic over little things because you just love that little person so much. In the end, though, as mum, you really do know what’s best for your baby. It’s just natural. The one piece of advice I would give, being at the stage of parenthood I’m at now, is to savour it. It goes so fast! I can’t even begin to explain how it feels like yesterday I had babies and toddlers then you blink, and they’re at school. They just grow up so fast, so even on those days where you are tired and overwhelmed, do your best to soak it up because you’ll miss it one day, I swear!

Finally, happiness is…

My happiness always lies in the little things. The evenings when I sit and watch the kids playing on their instruments or when they’re sharing their dreams (usually of becoming the next Beatles). Happiness is in the family dinners, even when it is just last night’s reheated lasagne and playing along with the questions on The Chase. Those are the times when I feel at peace – when it’s as if the world outside has stopped and it’s just us in that room, laughing and chatting. Happiness can most definitely be big holidays or special occasions but for our family, we find it in the mundane – like the lazy Saturday mornings watching cartoons and making pop tarts!

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