Best of Both Worlds podcast: An all good things episode

Best of Both World podcast with Laura Vanderkam

Life is challenging in many ways right now. But there’s always space for enjoying what’s going right. In this short LV + SHU episode, we discuss a few small wins, from an efficient virtual meeting to October leaves to Zoom calls with old friends to Uniqlo drape T-shirts. Please give it a listen. And we’re always looking for new topics or suggestions for Q&A segments, so please feel free to send those along!

13 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: An all good things episode

  1. Haven’t listened to today’s episode yet, but here’s an idea for a Q&A (or potentially an entire episode…?). You and Sarah are pretty transparent about the fact that you spend a significant amount on childcare, but no one talks real numbers (for obvious reasons – money is tricky). I would LOVE to hear the results of an anonymous poll of your readers/listeners about how much they spend and what they get in return for childcare – it would help me to know what kind of investment a full-time nanny is vs. daycare vs. aftercare, etc. It’s really hard to ask these questions. I envision some sort of anonymous form that could capture: 1) location (general region or specific city, urban vs. rural); 2) type of care provided (full-time nanny, in-home daycare, daycare center, au pair, aftercare only, babysitter, etc.); 3) what people pay for said care; and 4) number/age of children.

    It is entirely possible that I’m the only one who would be interested in something like this so feel free to ignore/disregard…but I have wondered about it for a long time. A Practical Wedding ( does something similar in which people can submit the price breakdown of their weddings anonymously, since seeing actual numbers is the only way that you can really get a sense of how much something costs.

    Not sure if this is something you might consider, but I figured no harm putting the idea out there!

  2. I am curious about the watch Laura mentioned. What is the watch and how old were your kids when they got one? My oldest is 6 and asking for more freedom like going for a solo bike ride around the neighborhood.

    1. @Alee- it’s a gizmo watch. Can only text/call a small number of people, but the upside is that the kid has a way to reach you and you can reach him/her.

  3. I have a potential Q&A type question…. Not exactly sure how to word it succinctly, but since you have 8 children between you, I would be curious to know how you handle/ feel about personality differences between yourselves and any of your children.

    For example, as my oldest has begun navigating middle school this year, I find myself frustrated sometimes when he doesn’t respond/ react/ handle things in the way “I” would have back then (or now…). I was always pretty Type A in school, liked doing homework overall, worried about extra studying for tests, etc. I feel like so far he is generally a lot more laid back, “I already finished my homework in class” type of kid. He sees no use for an assignment notebook (the horror!!!) and seems to find no deep down enjoyment in organizing his school stuff. Haha. Anyway, this is just one example. In general, I just feel like as a young girl I was a lot more self-driven/motivated than my kids seem to be…not sure why, and hopefully it’s not my fault?! lol.

    I would be curious if you see any stark differences of any kind between either of you and any of your kids. I don’t want to make my kids feel like they have to be just like me, but I sometimes struggle with how to handle things that seem like they might boil down to an innate personality difference. Sometimes it drives me nuts. Hope that makes sense.

    1. I should maybe clarify that my son does well in school, so his system (or lack thereof) seems to be working for him I guess, and he IS concerned enough to care about his grades. But he just seems to be completely uninterested in any of “my” suggestions and methods of organizing his time/ supplies/ study skills/ going above and beyond etc. and I worry that in the long run this will come around to bite him!

      1. Hi – I can’t help but chime in…

        I was that kid 🙂 I was a good student but not super-organized, I sometimes forgot to bring my homework, lost stuff a lot, and hated writing things down into agenda-like organizers (felt like a waste of time). I still cringe at the memories of my mother trying to convince me to pack my school stuff the night before (instead of the morning of…) to avoid forgetting textbooks/projects/pencils.
        My parents were wise enough to let me be (especially at the middle school level).
        I learned that a missed assignment was not the end of the world (and I learned how to deal with consequences). I learned that letting my classmates down by forgetting to bring stuff was much worse than missing an assignment or forgetting about homework.
        This is what school is about. Learning. Not just capitals of the world, not just algebra – learning how to learn, learning how to work with people, learning how to push for things when necessary, learning to ask questions (and when not to ask questions). And learning when to shut up.

        I’ll be curious to hear how Laura and Sarah feel about parenting kids with very distinct personalities. I have 1 kid who is very similar to me, and 2 kids with completely different personality types. The most difficult child to parent is the one with the strongest personality 🙂 And yes, that child is very different from me, which makes the situation even more challenging because I don’t understand how that particular child thinks.

    2. @Kae- this is a fascinating topic. Kids are their own little people, so of course they are going to be different than we were. (And, of course, sometimes they’re exactly like we were…but not our best traits!) My general thought in life is that people need to figure stuff out for themselves. Otherwise, they won’t really buy in. Also it would be exhausting to manage five people’s lives!

  4. Would love an episode on your philosophies about paying for college. Are you putting away full 4-year cost for all kids? Do they need to have skin in the game? Savings strategies, if something other than 529s? Talking to kids about college? Your kids won’t have need-based aid, so the scholarship route is tougher.

  5. I found it interesting that meal kits are now one of you ‘good things’ – I remember you questioning the value of them/making a sort of snarky comment about them back in the early days of your podcast! We used them for awhile and I really liked them. I liked them more than my husband, though, so we stopped using them. I’d like to use them again when we have a more open-minded eater… our son is horrifically picky. :/

  6. I loved this episode! A perfect antidote for doom scrolling. I would love to hear how you guys are planning for the winter and holidays (I think I left a similar comment on Theshubox). I appreciate how you and SHU seem to have different levels of risk tolerance but are very non-judgmental about discussing it and how you weigh factors. I’m a probably more on the conservative side about risk, but it’s been great to hear how you guys are approaching COVID related decisions.

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