Current Goings On

February 27, 2024

Somehow, the end of February is upon us. HOW did this happen!? I feel like the past few weeks have been a slog, yet they have also flown. It has been A Month, from my perspective. I’ve had a mix of parenting stress / work stress / life stress that has been, quite honestly, defeating me a bit. My systems are great and I stand by them, but sometimes strong emotions are going to win out, making it hard to do . . . basically everything.

Much of the stressors are also not things I am comfortable posting publicly about, so I’m afraid I have to leave things a bit vague. But they are taking up a lot of brain space.

On a less complicated/melancholy note: I did make muffins, this recipe which some of you suggested!!
It was super easy and next time I will double it because 9 muffins are not enough muffins in this household.

Some things on my mind:

State of the podcast industry. As a podcaster myself, I am definitely concerned. Jenny Blake announced yesterday that she was taking a (possibly permanent) break and noted that non-celebrity podcasts are all struggling — and yes, it’s definitely harder out there than it ever was. (Note: one free thing you can do to help support your favorite independent podcasters out there is to leave reviews! If you listen to/enjoy BLP or BOBW, please drop a review in your podcast app!)

13.4 miles. I got an official email from the race director team for the A1A marathon (as did everyone who ran it) apologizing for the long course; it did not include the actual length so I wrote back asking for specifics. I didn’t expect to receive a response, but one came anyway!

So, my half was officially (well, officially per Matt who must work for the race) 13.4 miles and doing the math, the adjusted time would be ~1:43:51, which is basically what my watch said. It obviously doesn’t REALLY matter but I guess it mattered to me personally a little because I felt really good getting this validated.

(Given other aforementioned life issues, I had fully moved on from this race which seems ages ago now, but it was still nice to get the email.)

School stuff. Without going into too many specifics, I think I can share that we are looking into some different middle school options for next year. I am glad there are multiple choices AND stressed out about the prospect of having to make this choice. I am also mourning the fact that most likely I will not have all 3 kids in the same place next year, which is really silly since it was lucky that we even made it this far (this has been the 3rd consecutive year of all 3 kids in one school, not all that common with the age spread we have!). It has been logistically amazing and I LOVE efficient logistics, but . . . sometimes logistics are not going to win out as the deciding factor.

Sleep. I don’t think we are getting enough sleep in this house and it’s making everything else harder. I feel like we had bedtime DOWN for a while but I think a renewed focus on those post-activity/post-dinner hours is warranted. G in particular is A MESS when she is overtired and honestly, without a concerted effort to put her to bed well before A/C, overtired is her default state.

Strength. Influenced by Kae I am trying something new for strength – 30 minute workouts (provided via pdfs and in her app) from Sohee Fit. I have been completely ignoring strength training for essentially the past 3+ weeks but I know it’s time to get back to it for so many reasons. Will report back, my first workout attempt will be today . . .

ANYWAY. That is what is going on. Onward and upward, I hope.


  • Reply Elisabeth February 27, 2024 at 11:20 am

    Sorry things are feeling extra rough right now. I can’t take any of it away, but sending internet hugs. Parenting, work, life…IT’S A LOT.


  • Reply ccrinma February 27, 2024 at 11:27 am

    I am sorry for all your stress and hope things clear soon, but I have to thank you for those muffins, they look amazing and I clicked right over to the recipe!

  • Reply Raquel February 27, 2024 at 11:33 am

    Your blog posts always “inspire to aspire” to set goals and work on them consistently.

  • Reply Gillian February 27, 2024 at 11:35 am

    Middle school is such a struggle. It’s been a rough school year for our middle schooler, so I definitely sympathize. In our experience things really do get better in high school but I also understand why it is hard for a middle schooler to see that far ahead. Parenting these kiddos is complex.

    • Reply Kristen February 27, 2024 at 4:25 pm

      I supported many middle schoolers as a teacher and as a behavior analyst and you are so right it is just a tough age. There seems to be this unspoken transition from parents helping to manage school to kids having to manage it and with changing classes and mixed expectations, it’s a lot! Hang in there, middle school mamas!

  • Reply Chelsea February 27, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    I would be relieved knowing that the course was long, too! At least you feel like you aren’t crazy. It’s also amazing how much time just a little distance can add. It’s a good reminder to us all to run those tangents!

    And sorry about the school stress. We are actually considering moving my middle son next year, which hurts my brain. Our neighborhood school is wonderful, extremely close, and great socially for him, but he is BORED. So we put him in a lottery for a magnet program that would potentially be more challenging, but that I have heard some negative things about. And it would be a drive. And it would mean all 3 kids at 3 different schools. Honestly right now I hope he just doesn’t get in so we can say we tried but not have to deal with the logistics. Otherwise, if he does get in, we’ll probably try it for at least some amount of time knowing that he can always come back to the neighborhood school.

    • Reply ARC February 28, 2024 at 12:10 am

      oh gosh I know that feeling of hoping the universe will decide for you so it’s not harder. We’re waiting to hear from a school my younger kid applied to, and she/we have a choice to make for the fall and I know what I want for her, but I think she’s inclined to choose the other option. I kinda wish the choice was made for her by Fate 😛

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:27 pm

      3 in 3 = so hard. But I get it!! I want logistics to win and sometimes they just don’t.

  • Reply Kathy Johnson February 27, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    I sympathize. You have A LOT on your plate, far more than I had at your age and I felt like I had A LOT at that time, too. You’re doing your best, and even when things aren’t going the way you want, you’re loving and thoughtful with your life and your family.

  • Reply Elizabeth February 27, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    I think the uncertainty of parenting and the choices we must make as parents — especially with our first borns, when every choice is both new and feels so monumental — is SO HARD. Particularly for those of us who love to plan and feel we know what’s coming and we know what to expect.

    Maybe just acknowledging how hard it can be to live with the uncertainty of how things will turn out and if we have made “the right” choice will help? And then, dispel the notion that there IS a “right” choice; rather, there’s the best choice we can make with the information we have at any given time. And that’s enough.

    I’m sorry you and your kiddo are going through this.

    • Reply Elizabeth February 27, 2024 at 3:14 pm

      I realized I made an assumption on which child you are dealing with, and it may very well be incorrect. Regardless of whom you are deep in the weeds with on this issue, my solidarity and empathy remains, and I’m wishing you a relatively clear path forward. And also, sending internet hugs!!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:28 pm

        no problem whatsoever <3 and thank you!!!

    • Reply Rachel February 27, 2024 at 10:39 pm

      So well said. Thank you!

  • Reply ErinH February 27, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    It feels like a lot because it IS a lot. You are doing hard things! I had to laugh at the muffins: when my 2 were in high school I worked outside of the home 4/5weekdays. Mondays were “Muffin Mondays” – which everyone loved….but I was often making 4+ dozen for the kids (and friend visitors) and they would still invariably be gone in 2 days!
    Potential tip: I bought more muffin tins so I could make more at a time!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:27 pm

      yes 3-4 dozen is probably better, and then I could even freeze some!!
      I have 2 muffin tins but could def see expanding the fleet!

  • Reply Nicole MacPherson February 27, 2024 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Sarah, I don’t think I have ever commented before – but I see you around the blogosphere all the time. Wait, maybe I have commented? Who knows. Anyway, I wanted to comment about podcasts. I listen to podcasts all the time and with one exception (the Deep Dive) I only listen to independent podcasts. I am so saddened that so many indies are being essentially forced out/ drained due to the explosion of celebrity pods. It’s such a shame because all the best ones are independent. I have only listened to Kae’s episode of your pod but I will change all that tout de suite! Sorry that the industry has taken such a turn. I hope you can keep doing what you love.

    • Reply Joy February 28, 2024 at 8:08 am

      Same for me. Almost all indie podcasts. I like to hear from regular people doing interesting things. I think I’ve reviewed BLP before but will do it again.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:30 pm

        thank you Joy!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:28 pm

      aww thank you! If only I could gain instant celeb status – ha!!!

      • Reply Arden February 29, 2024 at 6:04 am

        Sarah – you’re a celebrity to us! <3

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 29, 2024 at 4:19 pm

          awwwwww that is lovely and I love that (but I am definitely not a celebrity!)

  • Reply Coree February 27, 2024 at 2:55 pm

    Oof, that’s a lot at once and I’m so sorry about assorted challenges. Everything hits at once, doesn’t it? Sleep is so crucial, and I wonder if a week long focus on that, plus a fresh start to the month might help. My husband and son have been super squirrelly at bedtime, I try not to intervene but our normally very calm bedtime has gotten a bit wild, and I am going to try to reset. I’m tired and can’t handle that much silliness at bedtime.

    Something to make you laugh as a fellow 6 year old parent… we’ve been gently hinting that cats don’t live forever as our cat is 15 and tonight my son asked “when he dies, can we keep his fur? And stuff it to look like him…?” Erm, didn’t realise I was going to have a taxidermy discussion tonight.

    • Reply Grateful Kae February 27, 2024 at 4:07 pm

      omg Coree…. 😅😅 That is hilarious. (I mean, I’m really sorry your cat is getting very old, but that’s so funny what your son said!)

  • Reply Noemi February 27, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    Just reaching out to give you a virtual hug. Life can be a lot. It’s okay to recognize that. Even when there is nothing specifically wrong, it can still be hard to manage it all.

    Choices are hard and school choices for our kids are especially hard. My kids were in school together for two years. Want to know which years those were? 2019-2021. So for 1.5 of those two years they didn’t even go to school. I am still mad about that.

    I hope you end up feeling good about the school choice, whatever it is. We’ve been lucky that our daughter is pretty easy going and has thrived at her elementary and now middle school. I’m not all that stressed about where she gets into high school next year because I assume she’ll be fine. My son is a different story. I’m dreading the middle school lottery for him next year. It will be fraught.


  • Reply Jessica February 27, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    Hugs. I’m sorry it has been a rough month. I would be interested in learning more about how you keep sticking with your systems when you have hard things taking up your brain space. It is something I really struggle with. When my people are all doing well, I am quite productive and live my life intentionally. When I have emotional stress, I fall into bad habits (nothing dangerous- I just tend to eat more ice cream, scroll more, procrastinate bedtime, etc). I have had a hard month too with lots of extended family drama and a big health issue with a very close friend. And I can tell by looking at my exercise and reading that I didn’t handle it well (although some of my time was spent supporting my loved ones, lots was spent ruminating).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:29 pm

      I am VERY good about some things (morning routine, reading, running) and NOT GOOD about others (my scroll quotient has been bad though still not insta, thank goodness. but reddit/email/whatsapp/text repeat.)

      so, I dont have all the answers other than once something is TOTALLY autopilot maybe that helps (my AM stuff!)

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns February 27, 2024 at 8:18 pm

    I am sorry to hear that you are going through a rough spell. It’s stressful to worry about our kids. I hope things improve for all of you!

    I have heard so much about the struggles the podcast industry is going through. I hope it doesn’t impact your shows too much! I don’t listen to any celebrity podcasts! Don’t they have enough of a platform without tapping into the podcast market!

  • Reply Jordan February 27, 2024 at 11:00 pm

    Sending good vibes – it’s so hard when it feels like things are hitting all at once, which is sounds like is happening for you right now. Hoping things improve soon, and know that you have a whole corner of the internet cheering you on!

  • Reply ARC February 28, 2024 at 12:12 am

    School stuff is always rough, especially at transition times or even knowing whether a transition is right. Been there many times, still there now 😉 If it makes you feel better, a lot of parents go through this – I was just at a conference this weekend that was education-related and had similar conversations with MULTIPLE parents.

  • Reply KatieG February 28, 2024 at 1:14 am

    Okay how and where to review your pods? I listen in Overcast. And any other way to support? I’m a partner in Biglaw just FYI if I can promote there somehow esp with colleagues or associates somehow? I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts. Honestly to yours and Happier and that’s about it 😂

  • Reply Lori C February 28, 2024 at 6:37 am

    A fresh look at school may make a world of difference. It’s so hard. You want to do what is best and there are so many factors- academics, extra curricular, size, social fit, cost and yes logistics. We moved our two this past fall after much back and forth. Socially it just wasn’t a good fit for one of my kids. It felt like a silly reason to move but it has made a world of difference. There were many more positives to the change that I just didn’t expect. So I think you may be pleasantly surprised. Good luck with the process and hope it ends up being a better fit!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:30 pm

      I don’t think it will solve everything, but I think it’s warranted at this point. Glad to hear it had been really positive for you!!! That is encouraging.

  • Reply VH February 28, 2024 at 8:13 am

    Sending solidarity re: parenting stress. We have some behavioral issues at school…ongoing but they spike up and down…and I had a breakdown last week in response. I’ll repeat what my friend said to me in response- YOU ARE A GOOD MOM!

    We are also a Montessori family and have had several friends leave in the elementary school years due to poor fit. Most are very happy, some wish they would have moved sooner. I dread having to move them eventually, but sometimes its for the better.

  • Reply Sue February 28, 2024 at 10:40 am

    Sending empathy on the parenting struggles. We have had our four kids in three different schools for 3 years and that will remain our situations for another 8 years or so. It isn’t easy but it’s very doable because they are all relatively close to us–within a 10 minute drive. I hope you find a similar option!

  • Reply Ashley February 28, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    School decisions are so hard. My now-8th grader’s first year in middle school was pretty awful, especially socially. It was a very emotionally trying time for all of us. The good news is that it did get better. But we just got done making the decision about where to go for high school, and that also felt fraught. I think we’re all happy where we ended up, but getting there was a rough ride. I hope you find a solution that works for everyone.

    Celebrity podcasters taking over the industry is really sad. I have never listened to a bona fide celebrity podcast; I like the authenticity of listening to real people talk about interesting things. I work in marketing and communications and most of the things I used to love about this field are just vanishing. I don’t know if I can spend the rest of my career doing this. It’s one thing to adapt; it’s another to adapt to doing things that you do not enjoy at all.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2024 at 12:30 pm

      so glad it got better! I too hated middle (7th grade was the nadir!) but HS much better. So there is hope .. . .

  • Reply San February 28, 2024 at 7:31 pm

    Uff, I am sorry you have so much going on… but I feel like these blueberry muffins made things a little better, yes?

    I also would have totally appreciated the confirmation that the race course was long. We’re training so hard to specific distances that it does MATTER (a little ;)).

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