5 on a Friday

June 11, 2021

1- Packed day follow up. I did, as many suggested, order takeout delivered to my desk. (Bringing lunch would also have worked, but I didn’t manage to do it!). Like some of you commented, I refuse to eat on camera. But I had a few minutes between the 11:30 meeting and the 12:30 meeting, so it worked out.

I made it through and ended even with some minimal incidental margin as meetings wrapped up slightly early. It has not been a white space kind of week, though. Next week does look somewhat better.

I honestly think part of it is that June is an incredibly busy time for the GME part of my job. I know from experience that July/Aug will be slower.

2- Speaking of GME . . . our first ever resident graduation ceremony is today. It is finally hitting me that our first class is truly almost out the door (though 2 are staying – one as chief + one in the hospital med division!). I am absolutely going to cry. It’s a big moment for them but also feels momentous for me. I have learned so much over the past 3+ years. I feel so lucky that I get to do this work. And I hope I will get better and better at it over time.

3- NIGHTMARE. On the flip side . . . I had a nightmare about losing one of my children so vividly last night that I felt traumatized upon awakening. (I also woke up midway through and then RE-DREAMED the same $#*&$@). It did serve the purpose of reminding me that the health and safety of my family is really above ANYTHING else in terms of importance and priority. Nothing else even comes close. And I’m so so glad they are are all (IRL) okay.

Recent shot of everyday life. But appreciating all the more that everyone is okay.

4- Annabel is done with school!!! Goodbye 3rd grade, hello 4th. She has a week of horseback riding camp next week while the other 2 finish. And it was a bittersweet end to a very weird year as she will be going to a new school (where C&G go) next year. I’m so thrilled to have one calendar + drop off. She very much wants to prioritize remaining close with her main BFF, which I think is doable since a) they live close and b) I am friends with her mother, so group activities have been fun. Next year will be really different though and she’s overall excited and looking forward to the change.

5- Podcast rec! Another fascinating ep of Pantsuit Politics. About midway through there is an interview Julia Edelstein, the editor of Parents magazine, and she shared her own pandemic experience as well as the trends she has been staying on top of in her professional role. (Spoiler: things have overall NOT been good for the female parents in particular). The guilt about having childcare during the earlier lockdown days resonated with me. AND the complicated feelings of guilt / shame about getting COVID as a family! It was a good ep.


Run 6 x 1K intervals.

School drop-off.

Clinical catchup blitz. (Notes. Calls. Etc. It’s bad. But it will be fixed today!)

Some GME work (Milestone submissions, look at ABP grad certification – it’s my first round, hopefully it’s not too onerous . . .)


Home w/ kids & probably early to bed because here comes another solo parenting weekend!

Update: And after I wrote all that, got a text mid-run that our nanny is sick. GAH. Well. At least my nightmare gives me perspective. Could be much worse.


  • Reply Elisabeth June 11, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Oh no, Sarah! I hope the childcare situation works out for the day and you can go in to a solo-parenting weekend with a bit of energy in reserve!!!

    On a related note, have you and Laura done a BOBW episode dedicated to solo-parenting? In my pre-COVID life I was solo-parenting about 50% of the time; even when my husband was home, I was often responsible for the morning/evening childcare duties because of jetlag + his evening work meetings. While he has been grounded since March 2020, I know travel is going to start picking up for him in late 2021 and I’m…rusty. While I still do 3-4 bedtimes solo each week, I always have another adult in the house with me (he works from home exclusively when he’s not travelling) which does make a big difference, at least mentally.

    I’d love to hear from a guest + you and Laura (who both do lots of solo-parenting) on coping strategies and other insights…

    • Reply Kim June 11, 2021 at 9:48 am

      I would like that subject too! But please not the route ‘get help’. No family nearby and no financial means for hired help (not a matter of priorities. Really not possible).

    • Reply Hannah N. June 11, 2021 at 10:20 am

      This is such a great request topic! I don’t have much to add other than to say I’d love to hear an episode on this as well! When we first had kids, my husband’s clinical schedule required a LOT of weekends and very long shifts so I was on my own with the kids a lot. However, as my own career has progressed and as my husband has moved into a different role at the hospital, he is having to do many more mornings and evenings on his own (plus every single weekend during tax season). I would love to hear others’ experiences and what helped them.

  • Reply Irene June 11, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Ahhhhh good luck today! You can do it!

    I have had a bunch of nightmares lately too. I don’t really know what is triggering it besides lots of change- I’m always thinking about how to best take care of my kids but whatever we have a schedule change or school change there is so much to think through(and worry about unfortunately for right or wrong) I think my brain goes into mama bear mode 24/7

    • Reply gwinne June 11, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Glad you survived the busy day–and good luck today! It’s always hard when you plan on having help and then….don’t.

      But I’ll be the voice of dissent. Please DON’T have a podcast ep on occasional ‘parenting solo’ times unless you talk to actual single parents. This has nothing to do with you personally…but I’ve become increasingly crabby about this issue over the pandemic.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 11, 2021 at 1:42 pm

        Do you want to come on as a guest? I bet you have a ton of experiences and tips to share! Would have to run by Laura, but I’d love to have you (seriously!)

        • Reply Kristen June 11, 2021 at 3:31 pm

          I’d love to hear Gwinne! I am also a true solo parent by choice. A vastly different experience and conversation than parents who do have a partner in the experience, even if absent sometimes or even most of the time.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger June 11, 2021 at 6:25 pm

            You probably know we had my sister on (also true solo by choice parent). Just in case I’ll link it here! https://lauravanderkam.com/2020/09/best-of-both-worlds-podcast-rebecca-hart-on-solo-parenting-and-running-a-small-business-during-a-pandemic/

            But totally open to having more, esp to get multiple kid/older kid perspectives. And of course we’ll eventually have my sister again 🙂

          • Sophie June 12, 2021 at 6:14 am

            Another BOBW episode I really enjoyed from the perspective of a single mother by choice was Episode 71, an academic who adopted 2 children I believe. She was great. She did talk about her routines although I don’t think she went into detail about how to cope on challenging days, which I think would be helpful to hear more about.

        • Reply Gwinne June 12, 2021 at 7:42 am

          Thanks , Sarah. No thank you! But I’d be happy to address specific questions on my blog if there’s a general request….would help to know age of kids and problem area. But honestly high on my list would be making use of childcare when appropriate. I’ll open a post on my blog to move traffic over there.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger June 12, 2021 at 8:18 am

            Totally understand. I’ll definitely link to any post you write on the subject though as long as that’s ok!

      • Reply Jenny June 11, 2021 at 3:32 pm

        I’m a half-time single parent but was thinking the same thing as Gwinne while reading the comments above. And I sincerely second the request to focus the conversation on suggestions and insights beyond hiring help; as I’m with my kids 50% of the time, I am truly loathe to hire out childcare during our time together unless it’s an absolute necessity (as well as incredibly impractical on a single income).

  • Reply Linda June 11, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Congratulations on your graduation! That’s quite an accomplishment for you as their leader. You should be proud to be sending new pediatricians out into the world.

    I would be interested in a blog post about your Organize 365 planning day. I’ve been following Lisa Woodruff ever since I heard her on BOBW.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 11, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Oh I totally will. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of planning day but i love the concept and her ideas.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 11, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Bummer about your nanny being sick! Especially when this is such a busy week for you.

    Crazy to think you’ve been in your GME role for 3 years. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you shared the news about how your role at work was shifting. The days are long but the years fly by/are short!

    We have those same plaid jammies!

    What a horrible dream. I will occasionally have very real dreams that really shake me when I wake up. It’s hard to get rid of the sad/tragic feelings after a bad dream like that!

  • Reply Lori C June 12, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I’m so glad you are enjoying pantsuit politics! I just got turned on to them myself and the discussions seem fairly well rounded and kind while looking at some big heavy topics. I can’t imagine the hate mail they get…. Lol.

  • Reply Jessica June 13, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    As someone who has solo parented a lot (ranging from a weekend to 18mos at a time) I would be interested in an episode on it. It is certainly different from single parenting and I try not to compare the two. But, it still has challenges and I’m always up for new suggestions. Mostly I just lower expectations, lol, and so far my kids are doing ok.

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