life Parenting

5 on a Friday: Highs / Lows

January 19, 2024


1- Hearing from a friend that BLP/Quintiles were mentioned on the Happier Ladies podcast (this episode!), and then hearing from the ladies themselves via email! This is a new podcast (they are on something like ep #17) dedicated to discussion of all things Happier Podcast. I’m into the concept and the ladies are lovely (plus they are sisters). So fun.

2- Catching up with an old friend (from the med school / residency / NC days) yesterday via phone. I need to do this more often. It was simple and easy and also lovely to chat and catch up. Side note, she and her family have moved from the west coast back to NC and I am excited to now have a reason to visit that state again since my sister has moved on to PA! (I recognize that I absolutely romanticize North Carolina because of the time in my life that I lived there. But it’s also objectively a great place to go! Mountains / climate / food / the overall vibe is great.)

3- We have a fun weekend up ahead! I am going to take the plunge and go to this Parent Dance Class thing tonight, with very low expectations and the promise to myself that if I hate it I never have to do it again (it’s a one-off thing anyway). Tomorrow I’m going to race a 5K (more of a time trial as I did not taper and will be doing it as part of a longer run, but still exciting) and I plan on taking the kids to Mean Girls.

their site is here


4- My dad (who comments here and will definitely see this post) missed a step while picking my niece up from day care and fell, smashing his knee. He has a displaced transverse patellar fracture 🙁 This sucks on many levels. On the bright side I am so glad my sister is there to help out — along with my mom, obviously, but nice to have multiple layers of support.

(Laura is also really injured + laid up right now. This has not be a good month from a musculoskeletal standpoint!) Please send both of them thoughts, good wishes, prayers, and/or healing energy!!!!

5- Our morning today was a total cluster. Complete with me throwing an all-out fit. (Which I regret, but in the moment I just wasn’t able to hold back.) However, it made it very obvious which routine I (we) need to work on next. I truly think my older kids are capable of getting ready in a mostly independent fashion and perhaps we need to work on a) incentives and b) better time cues (music? alarms?) to help them manage the morning tasks.

(Side note, is 6 too young to be expected to put on one’s own socks? Because I feel like this is a skill that could be mastered but maybe I need to . . . buy easier to put on socks? Have a game where we time her in putting on her socks? It is SO much more of a thing than it should be every single morning.)


  • Reply Belle January 19, 2024 at 10:39 am

    What? Six is perfectly capable of putting on socks. Very reasonable. Perhaps have her practice in a non-urgent moment. But yea, barring some sort of issue, this is a normal thing for a six year old to do.

  • Reply Kat January 19, 2024 at 11:05 am

    Lol aw sorry for the rough morning. Yes a 6 yo should definitely be able to put on socks no problem. Mine does every day. She screams about plenty of other things, but never socks. It’s always something!

  • Reply KGC January 19, 2024 at 11:14 am

    No advice, just solidarity. My almost-5-year old is PERFECTLY capable of putting on his socks but yet…he frequently refuses to do it for me in the morning (not his dad! just me!). Shoes, too. It is beyond frustrating and some mornings I don’t have the time to die on this hill so I end up doing it (thus perpetuating the issue). I’m to the point of threatening loss of privileges if he doesn’t do things himself – screen time, the upcoming birthday party, whatever I can think of that he doesn’t want to lose. And then other mornings, no issue at all and he gets himself ready without being asked. Kids are weird.

  • Reply Laura F January 19, 2024 at 11:14 am

    We had sock issues for a long time with my now 7-year-old daughter (mostly a sensory thing). Once we found the socks she likes and can tolerate she can put them on by herself. Before that, not so much. My 10-year-old dresses himself completely and has his own time/getting ready check points, though I do ask for him to let me spot check him before he goes out to the bus stop, just to be sure he’s not wearing the same sweatshirt as the day before or has food all over his face… baby steps! Hang in there! Mornings are not for the faint of heart or under caffeinated!

  • Reply Grateful Kae January 19, 2024 at 11:17 am

    Sorry about your dad!! 🙁 That sounds rough! My mom tripped and fell this fall while at my house (stepping over a puppy gate while holding the dog in her arms…) and fractured her shoulder. She’s mostly on the mend now but I felt terrible that it happened while doing anything related to me/ trying to help out with the puppy. I hope your dad has a very speedy recovery and isn’t in too much pain!

    And good luck with the 5k! We have been having absolutely terrible frigid temps this whole week and I am just SO OVER IT. It feels torturous to even step outside right now, and on top of it we got piles of snow last week, so everything everywhere is just slippery, icy, and frozen. I’m really itching to get back outside to run/walk again but literally can’t right now. I think by Tuesday or Wednesday the temps should rise to a balmy 38 degrees or so, lol, and some potential rain? So I hope everything melts and I can get back outside!

  • Reply Jessica January 19, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    We invested in Bombas socks for the kids (a 6 year old probably wears the Youth size), and even my 3 year old can put on his own socks! They really are easier to put on! My 5 year old still occasionally asks me to do it for her, but that’s more about getting my attention in the morning rush, than needing actual help.
    Along these same lines, we got the kids Kizik shoes, that you just step into, hands-free. Game changer for rushing out the door, especially for my older boys;)

  • Reply Gillian January 19, 2024 at 12:15 pm

    My 10 and 8 yo still seem to need an awful lot of prompting to stay on task in the morning. Phone alarms do seem to help. Interestingly, one day this week they had to get out the door on their own (with their 16 yo brother) and this seemed to go fine. Maybe my husband, au pair and I just need to leave every morning before school starts..😉

  • Reply Courtney January 19, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    When Crazy Train plays on our kitchen device, our five-and-a half-year-old knows that it’s time to get ready. This Washington Post article helped me be more calm and present about socks and shoes.

  • Reply Amy January 19, 2024 at 1:14 pm

    I use phone alarms in the mornings to keep us roughly on task. My older kids (9 and 11) are self sufficient (I prep their breakfast and we often take it on the road; they handle everything else), but they need to be since my attention is on getting myself and my toddler ready as well — I just don’t have time to monitor them too, and in fact I often need my 11yo’s help to corral his brother. We also keep things very simple and as streamlined as possible in the morning. For a while we gave ourselves an incentive to get out the door a little faster until it felt more like habit (i.e. if we made it out the door on time for a week, we would go to Dairy Queen). But I think you have the right perspective on things; you got valuable data today based on how difficult the morning went, and you can see what you need to do differently. Good luck!

    And I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s knee! I hope he has a quick recovery.

    • Reply Helena Murphy January 21, 2024 at 10:13 am

      Hi Amy,
      I love it that the incentive was if you as a group made it out the door on time for a week, not if the children did. It makes it clear that either all of you make it together or all of you scramble and are late together. I think it is quite genius!

  • Reply Sarah Jedd January 19, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    We do music to cue but also I have just accepted that i need to be more involved than I want to be, that I have to be unfailingly positive even when I want to run away and never come back and that if I want a particular kid to put her socks on, I should just do it myself and also tie her shoes extra tight because I really just need to her walk to school already.

    • Reply Claire January 19, 2024 at 3:00 pm

      Dude, I co-sign this entire thing. Your child WILL start putting their socks on independently no matter what you do. Is it annoying? Yes. But prioritizing modeling how to handle situations without losing your cool is so important.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2024 at 4:00 pm

        Oh 100% agree. That is certainly something I aspire to. And succeed at most days. Just not this morning.

  • Reply Sidra Shapiro Boshes January 19, 2024 at 1:47 pm

    Oh no! Refuah sheleimah to your dad. Wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.

    A 6yo is definitely capable of putting on their own socks

  • Reply Erin January 19, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    My 6yo (who is not the most agreeable child on Earth and has some strong ADHD tendencies) can handle these socks no sweat, in the off chance you haven’t yet tried them:

  • Reply Dana January 19, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    Agree that socks (and shoes) can be a sensory issue. If her problem is that her socks don’t feel right when she puts them on, that’s a real issue and you might be able to solve it by buying different socks. I’m also a big fan of chaining tasks together with a single reminder. For example bathroom, brush teeth, brush hair only gets one cue and reminder. Shoes, socks, and backpack is a single reminder. Once they learn the system it means less work from you and less yelling. (We also try to allow plenty of time so there’s no rushing. Shoes and socks is announced 5 minutes before we really need to be out the door.)

  • Reply Kate W. January 19, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    Are 6 year olds in theory old enough to put on socks? Sure. But between all the other stuff of getting ready in the morning, there are times it’s not going to happen, because they are kids. 😉 We struggled a lot to find socks that felt okay my daughter and after finally finding the perfect pair off amazon, we bought them in bulk.

    At 10, we now where the calf high Nike white tube socks, but even yesterday, the new pairs she got for Xmas have an extra seam…which “feel wierd” in her sneakers and had to a call an audible on the way to the bus stop to switch into Crocs.

    Also – there are times when getting dressed for work and the day that I change my shirt 5 times, or “can’t find anything to wear” in a closet full of clothes. I think that is a normal thing that happens to most people occasionally…so it doesn’t surprise that it happens to my daughter too, as frustrating as it is, especially since she doesn’t have the concept of timing down like I do 😉

    In short – TOTALLY RELATE and you are not alone.

  • Reply Julie January 19, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    I pretty much am still 100% focused on the kids (9&11) from the time they are up until they go out the door in the morning (a lot of that time I’m making my lunch and theirs, so we’re together while they’re eating breakfast then I’m reminding them to brush teeth, hair, get dressed, pack bags, etc. I wish I could be getting myself ready but we’re not there yet so I’ve just embraced it. I use Alexa alarms in their rooms to wake up and in the kitchen to get out the door, they each have their own sound. The best thing I ever did was set an alarm for 5 minutes before they need to be out the door called “get your sh!t together”. This alarm is a big deal (because usually I yell “GET YOUR SH!T TOGETHER) over and over in a loud fun voice. It really gets them moving instantly and they are almost never late getting out the door.

  • Reply Linda W. January 19, 2024 at 10:37 pm

    Sarah – I would give yourself some grace regarding throwing “an all out fit”. My children are adults now but I definitely had plenty of all out fits – this is part of motherhood- not a great part but it happens. We are not perfect and that’s ok ! Motherhood is hard and you are clearly a loving and attentive mother! Hoping for smoother mornings ahead 🤞

  • Reply Megan M. January 20, 2024 at 6:33 am

    When my daughter was six she would lose it over the sock seams not falling properly on her toes. Not sure if that is the issue but Bombas solved our woes.

  • Reply jennystancampiano January 20, 2024 at 8:26 am

    Oh, that sucks so much for your dad. I don’t know anything about that type of injury, but I imagine it’s not fun. This is not as major, but my husband sprained his ankle six weeks ago (while innocently stepping down into the garage) and he still can’t run. It’s making me very aware that one wrong step can really mess things up for a long time (gulp.)
    I’ve listened to the Happier Ladies. Very exciting to get a shout out from them!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 20, 2024 at 1:29 pm

      Yes – or one totally bizarre mishap with your car (in my case!). It is crazy how a few seconds can reverberate for months. The good news is he may not need surgery!!! HOPING it heals fully and that this is the case.

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns January 20, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    My almost 6yo puts on socks – even very tall Bombas ones that he wears when it’s extra cold out. But – at bedtime he often refuses to put his pajamas on so I end up putting them on even though he is perfectly capable of doing this but doesn’t want to in the moment. I have tried having him put them on earlier and he will still refuse most nights unless it’s a requirement to do something he likes to do, like play chess. Kids can be so stubborn.

    I am sorry to hear about your rough morning but it does kind of help to hear others struggle at times, too. I still have a lot of ‘teeth gritting’ parenting moments and especially in the morning when both kids only want me to do things for them. Like brush their teeth, etc and my blood kind of boils at times…

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns January 20, 2024 at 5:26 pm

    Oh and I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s fall! I hope his recovery isn’t too arduous of a process! It’s so easy to miss a step, especially if you are managing a small child!

  • Reply Jami H January 21, 2024 at 6:47 pm

    I’m sorry mornings have been so stressful. I feel like it may be one of those things that improved when they are ready. My 10 year old is completely independent in the mornings. But I can’t pinpoint any on thing that has led to this except that she wants to be. So I guess hang in there!

  • Reply Nikki January 22, 2024 at 5:35 pm

    We do the opposite and wake everyone up (girls age 3, 6, & 7)with just enough time to eat and walk out the door. We give about 25 minutes from bed (7:50 wake up) to door (8:15 walk to school), ha. Somehow in our household, extra time in the morning never goes as smoothly as just enough time. Not sure if we are an anomaly or if this is a strategy that translates. Everyone does their own socks! Mostly a combo of various Target brands depending on each of their very specific preferences (tall! short! soft! etc). While our morning routine is working well, bedtime is always difficult – so, solidarity and good luck with efforts to revamp your mornings! We’re really focused on improving our evenings, fingers crossed we are all successful 🙂

  • Reply Nicole C Vinson January 22, 2024 at 6:49 pm

    Just coming here to say that I hope your dad has a speedy recovery… and Laura too! But also to say that I wondered about my VPK daughter socks & shoes issue. She just holds out her feet and happily and with a look in her eye “needs me to do it” or it takes 378 years for her to do it. This makes me feel so much better just to known G’s morning has a sock issue too. 🙂 Since we tackled Breakfast and Hair issues, I am just going to let his slide for a few more months and help.

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