life Parenting

5 on a Friday: General updates & links

January 17, 2020

1- Thank you for all of the pod topic suggestions yesterday! It does take some time to move episodes through our pipeline, so please don’t think I am ignoring them if you don’t see these requests pop up in the next month or two. I definitely think that over the course of the year, we can get to many (if not all!).

COMMON THEMES, just to recap: children with special needs, making things work on a lower income scale (I like the concrete suggestion of “2 5-figure incomes”), sandwich generation, dealing with dual-parent travel, and some content on older kids (tweens!).

2- WORK NOTE: it’s our last residency interview day (until fall 2020, of course). I am VERY excited about this. Even as an extrovert, the energy it takes to recruit is a very special kind and I have to say– mine is very much depleted after 13 (will be 14 after today!) sessions. I will also get (some) flexibility back in my schedule rather than having to rush in extra early on most Thursday and Friday mornings! HOORAY.

3- Kids/school. I am starting to run into a very typical blogging dilemma — I want to keep things honest & real, but I definitely don’t want to share private aspects of my kids’ struggles. So I will just put out there that we are dealing with some school STUFF with one (or more) of the kids. And it is hard. And it does make me doubt myself (is there something I am doing wrong, or not enough of? Is this one of those ‘ehh, it will pass’ situations or do I need to be extra proactive?). We have some teacher meetings on the horizon and hopefully can figure out a good plan.


Beth from Parent Lightly posted on Prioritization Skills that Every Parent Needs. I liked her time blocking and “overrides” approach.

Chaos & Quiet posted her favorite podcasts geared to working mothers. (Okay okay — I might have been especially motivated to post this since we were on the list! But still – it’s a lovely list. And I am intrigued to check out her #3!)

Winter Book Preview is in from MMD! My Q2 list is growing (Q1 was already full!).

5- Fave podcast episodes of the week:

Get Your Financial Life Organized, from Financial Residency. I definitely want to do many of the things they mentioned!

How to Declutter Your Schedule from 3 in 30

Another Mother Runner’s Winter Reading Recommendations

The Lazy Genius – Time to create your winter dinner queue


  • Reply Kristen January 17, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Hello! Another pod topic request. Interviews with single mothers by choice. Women who have adopted or delivered biological babies solo. This is a specific segment of women who absolutely figure out finances and time management and I’d love to hear their perspective. The pod is a favorite and always gets bumped to the top of the list. Thank for all you do.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 17, 2020 at 7:41 am

      Already planning on this topic – with my sister as guest 🙂 (small business owner and having a baby on her own … due in 4 days!!!)

      • Reply Kristen January 18, 2020 at 6:18 am

        Wonderful!! Congratulations to your sister! And the whole family.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 18, 2020 at 7:51 am

          Thank you!!! We are excited!!!!!

  • Reply KGC January 17, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Another podcast topic suggestion: how to decide whether or not to have more children. I know that you and LL wrote about it on your blogs and both decided to have a third, and I’d like more of that perspective (would love to hear more from Laura about deciding on #5!) – but maybe also balanced with someone who (after careful consideration) decided NOT to have more children and the ins and outs of that.

    • Reply Amy January 17, 2020 at 9:39 am

      I second this! Mostly because I find this topic fascinating.

      • Reply Omdg January 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

        I honestly don’t think either Laura or Sarah will be able to ever give a balanced podcast on whether to have more kids. Laura in particular always acts as though she thinks the question is silly and that she can’t understand why anyone would ever have this question (just have more! It didn’t mess up my life! It doesn’t matter that I have tons of help and $ and have a different career from you!).

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 18, 2020 at 7:37 am

          I think we need to have a guest or two on with fewer children. To be frank I absolutely can see the benefit of having 1 or 2! I just personally felt very pulled to have 3. From a practical standpoint it was a terrible decision. But I would have had regret if I hadn’t. And I did luck out (I think) with the person my #3 is turning out to be so far!

        • Reply KGC January 18, 2020 at 1:20 pm

          Yes, I think a guest who considered and decided not to have more is what I’m looking for. I’m an only child who wanted an only child but then my husband convinced me to have two…and now I think I want a third (and he definitely does NOT). I’m less interested in the “we just went for it and now we can’t imagine not having her/him!” But more the “we decided it wasn’t the right move and maybe that’s hard but here’s why.” Before I had my own kids, I naively thought these were easy decisions and continue to be surprised by how hard it has been (for me) to know what the right answer is.

          • Omdg January 18, 2020 at 6:37 pm

            (Raises hand!) we did this! I’m also an only child, and I wanted to have an only child as well. After she was born we thought about having more, but decided not to. Part of me feels like I will always wonder what it would have been like, maybe with some regret, but part of me also knows that one child was the right decision for us. What you gain in numbers of kids and sibling relationships you often give up in closeness, and being able to do special things for them. The people with lots of kids will deny they aren’t as close with their kids, and tell you special things don’t matter, but it matters to me, so. I’m sure someone will tell me I am wrong… but of course they have no idea! 😊

            I love my little family.

          • Dominique January 18, 2020 at 7:21 pm

            I am from a big family (6 in my family, mom is one of 17, dad is one of 9, over 100 first cousins) and we have just finalized our decision to have only 2. I agree, KGC, that it is such so hard to know what the right answer is – and I think that at the end of the day there is no “right” answer. There are a bunch of factors that pull the decision more one way or the other. That is how it is for us- we wanted to have a third 2 years ago, but we were both in new jobs and for various reasons it wasn’t a good time. Now the gap would be 5 years between a third and our second and that seems like too much. Plus, the idea of pumping, diapers, etc. just seems crazy to me. Plus, OMDG, to your point, I completely agree about exchange in closeness and siblings. I am not close to my siblings or my parents and I am certain it is because my parents never had the time to model or foster good relationships. I have seen some other large families make it work much better but they were/are extremely intentional about fostering good relationships and closeness – but honestly, I’m not sure I have that kind of intentionality.

            CupOfJo has some good posts on this – particularly deciding between having or not having a third
            And only having one

  • Reply Jennifer January 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

    When you note “dealing with some school STUFF with one (or more) of the kids” I think I realized one of the reasons I don’t blog about any of this; I just have one kid so there’s no way to talk about a parenting struggle without it obviously being about them. Hmmm.

  • Reply Ashley G. January 17, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I so appreciate the comment on recruiting. My job involves a lot of executive level corporate recruiting and as an introvert, it is a special kind of exhausting—even though I also kind of love it, it is just very…different.

  • Reply Chelsea January 17, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Sorry to hear about the kid/school troubles. Our oldest had two really tough years (pK and K) where he was in trouble all the time (not saying that’s what’s going on with yours… that was/is just our struggle) both at school AND at home because – I think – he continues to be very immature when it comes to reading social cues. No formal diagnosis (though we see a psychologist and will probably take the plunge and see a behavioral pediatrician sometime this year before 2nd grade). Anyway… as 1/2 of a couple who liked and excelled at school and was always very well behaved, it has been super frustrating to try to parent a kid who is *not* motivated in the same way I am *at all*. I will say, 1st grade has been *much* better for us – at least as far as school is concerned (home is still tough)- so hope springs eternal… If nothing else, I feel like I can comfort myself knowing that my two other kids act like they read all the parenting books 🙂

    And I know you know this intellectually, but you (and I – I say to myself) have not done anything “wrong”. This is a combination of the kid’s personality and maturity and the teacher’s personality and maturity and the other kids in the class.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

    It’s tough to have things going on in your life that you feel you can’t talk about. Maybe that is something that you could talk about in a newsletter so it’s not searchable like your blog is/not available for public consumption? I imagine that other readers will be able to say they’ve been in your shoes…

  • Reply Sarah K January 17, 2020 at 10:19 am

    My older son has school struggles too, and it’s such a hard thing. Especially since school was pretty easy for my husband and I, it’s just hard for us to relate to what he’s going through and know what our expectations should be.

  • Reply Irene January 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

    I have one child who has had consistent struggles at school and it’s just HARD. My other kid is apparently and absolute angel at daycare and but recently has been spending a super high percentage of time at home screaming his head off when he doesn’t get his way. Also SO HARD in a different way and I’ve been spending too much energy wondering what I’m doing wrong and feeling unhappy as a parent.

    Anyway, thanks for the moment of solidarity- I really appreciate it this morning. Good luck with your parent teacher conference. I really hope it’s productive. I guess it’s not really a BoBW topic but I find conversations with teachers (and to lesser extent caregivers) so hard to not have someone end up offended or frustrated.

  • Reply Krista January 17, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Another podcast topic, I would love to hear someones take from a one child family. I feel like the solo child is not very represented out there and would love to hear another mom’s perspective/the good and bad of just having one.

    • Reply KGC January 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      I second this – but selfishly it’s because I myself am an only child and would love to hear what other people say about it! (and also to know how my decision to have more than one compares to decisions made by other only children – do they have more than one? or stick with what they know?)

      • Reply Amy January 17, 2020 at 4:36 pm

        I’m an only child and I definitely hope to have more than one. Currently I have a 5 month old.

        I’m in the weird position of also being an only grandchild and I think this is a big part of it. At holidays I was always keenly aware that I was the only person at my generation level – everyone had someone else!

        Also, the amount of people I am responsible for as they age gives me a lot of anxiety because, again, its just me! Two elderly grandparents, my mom, and her two unmarried & childfree/less siblings. I really don’t know how I will be able to handle all of it!

    • Reply Kate January 17, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      I’d love to hear about this too. We are parents of an only child, by choice.

      • Reply Andrea January 18, 2020 at 9:52 pm

        Ditto! Parent of only child by choice. Another would destroy me or my marriage, or both…

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly January 17, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Oo thanks for the shout out!

  • Reply Kristin January 17, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    What is that app you are using? I have never been able to figure out how to make podcast playlists on my iPhone like that. It would be so much easier!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 17, 2020 at 6:51 pm


  • Reply Lee Becknell January 18, 2020 at 8:26 am

    If you ever need a guest for a working moms with children with special needs, I’m your girl! (And hi! I still read, just don’t comment a lot.)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 18, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Lee you would be great!! Will get in touch ❤️

  • Reply CBS January 20, 2020 at 5:33 am

    Yes on the parents of only children! I listen to you and Laura and intellectually I can understand that you can add more kids and figure it out, but I just don’t want to? It sounds hard and I love our life now. I think positive conversations around singleton’s are important. How do you create community for your kid?

    Also selfishly would love more parenting abroad content. I love seeing how other people do it.

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