Strange New Worlds


Captain’s Log, Stardate 10.19.2016

Our three-person crew entered Kinder Quadrant just six weeks ago, and we are still adjusting to this strange new world.  

This morning, I came to realize it’s time for “The Talk.”

“But Sarah,” I hear voices crying out. “She’s only 5 years old!”

What?  No…no, not THAT talk! Hopefully we can wait a few more years for that!

No, I’m talking about the talk that needs to happen with my Number 1.  

All right, let’s get real here… this isn’t Star Trek but it IS most definitely a strange new world.

A world in which Spouse B is so accustomed to Spouse A taking care of EVERYTHING (because Spouse A stayed home for years caring for a little one) that Spouse B doesn’t realize this might need to shift a bit once Spouse A returns to the world of work outside the home!

Allow me to explain…

It all started at 5:05 am when I woke up. Yes, 5:05 am. And, I must point out, it was without the alarm. I can’t remember the last time I woke up to an alarm. I think its because my husband is the kind of guy who really needs his sleep and I would feel terrible if I woke him up and shorted him an hour.  I, on the other hand, am a morning person. Lucky me.

I get up and stumble out of the bedroom. Once I get the door closed, I can relax. “I’ve got this,” I think to myself. “All I need to do is pack my daughter’s lunch and get dressed. Easily out the door by 6:15 to make it to that early morning meeting.”

Strange New Worlds | Duluth Moms BlogI go into the kitchen and my eyes land upon this neat little pile of lunch containers my husband so thoughtfully washed, dried and stacked next to the sink after he unpacked them from our daughters lunchbox yesterday. Or so I thought.

Once I realize the lunch containers are still dirty, my serene ‘I’ve got this” shifts into “OMG, I gotta get moving!” Follows is a list of all tasks I completed prior to walking out the door at 6:15:

  1. Wash and dry the containers.
  2. Make the fancy sandwich roll-up thing.
  3. Re-package the applesauce. Yeah, the great deal on individual applesauce containers turned out to be not so great once I found out she couldn’t get the lid off by herself. Gee, thanks.
  4. Whoops – there goes the applesauce all over my counter, pjs and feet.  The gift that keeps on giving.
  5. Clean up my mess.
  6. Run downstairs to get another roll of paper towels.
  7. Pack all the other lunch items.
  8. Switch purses.
  9. Oh – is that fundraising paperwork due today?  
  10. Sit down and fill out the fundraising paperwork.
  11. Write the check to cover my husband’s co-worker who forgot to pay for his order.
  12. Add up the grand total twice, just to be sure.
  13. Start curling my hair.
  14. Grab my clothes.
  15. Realize there is a spot on my jacket. In an unfortunate location on my chest.
  16. Clean the spot.
  17. Ask my husband to get our daughter up.
  18. Do her hair.
  19. What? You’re supposed to wear orange today?
  20. Dig out an orange top.
  21. Race down to the laundry to dig out the skirt that goes with the orange top. Yup, clean enough.
  22. Finish getting dressed and have family give me the once over and the thumbs up.

Whew! Good thing I don’t wear make-up.

And….voila! Out the door by 6:15!

In the car and off to my meeting! I am so psyched! Oh wait… the car won’t start. Left my smart key in the other purse.

Yeah… we really need to have that talk. Hmmmm…

Captains Log, Stardate 10.19.2017

After 9 months, our crew bid a fond farewell to Kinder Quadrant and took an extended leave to the beautiful Summer Galaxy. Our current mission finds us on First Alpha.

Though I never had “The Talk” with my Number 1 I had envisioned that fateful morning one year ago, I have had quite a few opportunities to express my thoughts about how life will look around our home as my business continues to grow. And my dear husband has responded. 

The fact of the matter is that he’s not particularly into “Honey, could you please do the dishes?” “I need the garbage taken out.”  “Looks like its time for the lawn to get mowed.” But then again, who is into someone telling them how to spend their time? What spouse wants to be a walking, talking “honey-do” list?

But thankfully he is into listening, observing, and just stepping up with things that need to be done. So I have been pleasantly surprised when he jumps up from the dinner table and starts taking care of the dishes or when he announces that its time for our daughter to get her PJs on.

At the same time, I have gained a new appreciation for the life we have designed together. My husband works full time for a local business; I have my own business which allows me the flexibility to schedule work responsibilities around family needs. I am becoming more grateful to have the opportunity to use my talents in this way while also become more aware if I use my time wisely, I can give my business AND my family the attention they deserve.

Strange New Worlds | Duluth Moms BlogAs my husband and I continue to move through life as parents, we have come to realize that each new day can bring us into a strange new world. What we’ve discovered is that as the years go by, and life continues to throw us curve ball after curve ball, we get better and better at picking up the pieces and finding our rhythm. Our years together have given us a Vulcan-like ability to sense what the other needs on any given day. We just know when our Number 1 needs us to dig deep and deal with the next big decision or mundane task, even when it seems like we ourselves are only one step away from complete exhaustion.

In this digging deep, we begin to see tackling life’s daily tasks as less of an obligation and more as an act of love. And that, my friends, gives us the strength to continue to boldly go where we have not gone before.

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Sarah VanderMeiden
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Sarah is a dyed-in-her-wool-socks Minnesotan whose life-long love of woods and water drew her to move to Duluth 23 years ago this November. An avid hiker, she loves to explore all locales on Lake Superior’s shore, snowshoe frozen North Shore rivers and go for walks in Duluth’s Lester Park. Working in Higher Education for over 20 years, Sarah’s greatest joy was to talk with students about how to navigate the challenges of college, what they wanted to do with their lives and how to make their dreams come true. After stepping out of this career to be a stay-at-home-mom, Sarah has returned to her passion of helping people achieve their personal and professional goals as a Board Certified Coach. To find out more about coaching and her background, visit or find her on Facebook at Sarah VanderMeiden Coaching . Sarah’s family lives in the country and share their five acres with a small flock of laying hens, deer, wild turkey, way too many mice and 10,000 honeybees. Sarah has given up gardening and keeping her house clean to pursue her many interests including enjoying the lake, singing, photography and spending time with her family camping in their vintage travel trailer or tickling each other on the couch.