Dr. Sarah (00:02):

Ever wonder what psychologists moms talk about when we get together, whether we’re consulting one another about a challenging case or one of our own kids, or just leaning on each other when parenting feels hard, because trust me, even when we do this for a living, it’s still hard. Joining me each week in these special Thursday shows are two of my closest friends, both moms, both psychologists, they’re the people I call when I need a sounding board. These are our unfiltered answers to your parenting questions. We’re letting you in on the conversations the three of us usually have behind closed doors. This is Securely Attached: Beyond the Sessions.


Welcome back Dr. Emily Upshur, Dr. Rebecca Hershberg, my two favorite people to talk to every single time we get together about all the things having to do with motherhood and parenting. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Rebecca (00:57):

Always so much fun.

Dr. Sarah (01:00):

So I’m excited to have this conversation because we had a whole other episode planned and we’ll probably still record that, so don’t worry. But we literally were sitting here before we recorded and we’re like, we really actually need to have an episode about how hard it is to be a parent in June because we are losing our minds. Our kids are losing their minds, and everybody we talk to in our practices seem to be also losing their minds collectively because June is really hard time for parents and families. And so we just thought we would just vent and also get a little, not just vent, but give you some clarity and some strategies too. Don’t worry about that, but okay. Why is June so annoying?

Dr. Emily (01:49):

I mean, I’m going to go with, there’s so many things, right? There’s just so many things. I happen to have two kids graduating this year, and it’s like fifth grade graduation, eighth grade graduation. There’s just so many things and that’s just layered on top of all your usual end of year activities. So I just think there’s just so many things. It’s all the things. That’s what really gets me for June.

Dr. Sarah (02:18):


Dr. Rebecca (02:19):

It’s all the things. And if you’re a parent who works in addition to parenting at some other job, which I phrase very carefully, they’re all during business hours. It’s like, how about you come to this other event at 10 30 on Wednesday and oh, in case that wasn’t enough, we’re having a little special celebration at one o’clock on a Thursday. And I get it and I think it’s important and I just, parents are ready it to be. Yeah, exactly. Get it.

Dr. Emily (02:52):

The other pieces, and I love what we were saying before we started, Rebecca, was the other piece is like, I’m done with school. I can’t imagine how done my kids are, right? I’m one foot out the door. So my kids must also feel sort of wind down end of the year. In fact, you might get more calls from the school, your kids had a tough day or those are the types of things that happen towards this end of the year. It’s a little bit like burnout.

Dr. Rebecca (03:23):

And it’s so hard to, my kid forgot his homework at school the other day. I’m like, of course you did. Who the hell cares? It’s June. Do you know what I mean? It was so hard to have any other response. I was like, wait, should I be dealing with, so I said something about how I was going to text his buddies to get a screenshot that we could print out whatever it is, and he gave me this look and I was like, maybe we just let it go for today, but next fall we’re going to get some routines down. It was just like he recognized, it was like, this is absurd. It’s a beautiful day. No one has energy for spelling words. And then it’s also light so late. So our kids biological clocks.

Dr. Sarah (04:09):

Oh my God.

Dr. Rebecca (04:09):

Even if you try to stick to the same bedtime, they’re all getting much more, what’s it called? Not melanin, that’s the skin stuff.

Dr. Sarah (04:16):

Melatonin. But they’re not getting melatonin. They’re like, melatonin is not getting activated.

Dr. Rebecca (04:25):


Dr. Sarah (04:26):

The light inhibits the melatonin production.

Dr. Rebecca (04:28):

Exactly. So even if you give them melatonin, which we do by the way.

Dr. Emily (04:32):

I was like, what are we doing?

Dr. Sarah (04:34):

Seriously? I’m like, okay, my kids are going to to bed at 9:00pm every night.

Dr. Rebecca (04:36):

It doesn’t counter. Yeah, well, they’re just not tired because…

Dr. Sarah (04:41):

I’m so tired.

Dr. Rebecca (04:42):

Biologically, we’re supposed to stay up later during the season so we can do more farming.

Dr. Emily (04:50):

Well, I mean, I’ll tell you from a value standpoint though, I would so much rather my kid be outside playing at this time of year and physically outside and playing with his friends and not on a screen than even doing homework, frankly. So if I’m going to say, but that’s really tough. To your point, then my kid’s going to bed really late. My kids are going to bed really late, then they’re having a crappy day at school. So it’s a little bit tough. You’re trying to balance these values of I want my kid outside. I want my kids off screens, nature, nice weather. And also, oh, right, school’s still happening.

Dr. Rebecca (05:24):

And also I have a job.

Dr. Sarah (05:26):

It’s very disjointed, right? Because I think we’re all ready for summer and we all have that sort of summer energy, but we’re still kind of confined to the school year schedule. But then there’s like 10 extra schedules piled on top of that. All of the things that we have to now go to for the end of year celebration and the make sure you send in this stuff and don’t forget to sign this form and make sure you get the card for the teacher.

Dr. Rebecca (05:49):

And spirit week. Everybody’s having spirit week. You got to wear things that are and parties, they’ve all earned their marble parties. My son gets to wear his pajamas and bring two stuffed animals on Monday.

Dr. Sarah (06:01):

And can I just say another thing talked about just, okay, it’s the weather and the light and all the school stuff, and if you’re a working parent, but I am a parent who has a DHD, and as a parent who struggles the executive functioning skills on a good day during the school year, the amount of things I have to hold in mind and have organized and remember to have on the calendar, to your point, the spear week stuff or the special pickup time or the school’s ending early this day, but they need you to pick up at this spot because everybody moved down to the park for the end of the thing. I am shocked that my kids are even making it home because I’m like, I can’t believe I’m remembering to pick you up in these weird places every single time.

Dr. Emily (06:48):

Well, I also think something that’s come up for me, which I think is really fair, is that you just also can’t go to them all. And then your kid is disappointed. That’s a tough thing too. Some kids, right? That’s a tough thing too. Like, well listen honey, I went to the three things last week as a working parent. You’re like, I really did it. I showed up. I’m feeling great. And then they’re like, but you’re not coming to the walking tour today from eight 40 to 10. And you’re like, no, I am not. Right?

Dr. Rebecca (07:18):

I’m not.

Dr. Emily (07:18):

I’m so sorry. It just feels like you also have to manage, make boundaries, and then manage what you can and can’t do as well for yourself.

Dr. Sarah (07:29):

And so, okay, I feel like we got our collective events out a little bit. Probably could go on for a while more, but I feel like one, I’m curious if other parents are nodding along to this. I can’t imagine there aren’t a good amount of parents who are like, oh my god, yeah, what is up with June? What are things that we could validate for people but also maybe give them some ways that we’re coping with it or that we’re structuring things? At least for the executive functioning challenged mothers out there. I can say one thing I’ve been doing that has been really helpful is, I know it sounds so simple, but for someone who doesn’t think to do this, it’s really, really quite a challenge, is to look at my calendar every night before I go to bed and double check that I know what’s coming for the next couple days. Because the amount of things that I realize at the very last minute right before I go to bed that I’ve forgotten is staggering. And also having a check-in with my husband too, who does a lot of the pickups and, and just coordinating all that stuff, having a little bit more effortful, time consuming check-ins with each other and being like, okay, we need these five things this week that aren’t usually on the schedule. Who’s doing what?


We both bought tickets to the thing that we have to go to tonight. So we doubled up on that accidentally. We didn’t know the other person put the money in for the tickets, for the fundraiser thing. Coordinating with your partners in care, providing, I don’t know if you guys just do that without thinking, but it’s so not something that I am good at. I have to really make a point to.

Dr. Emily (09:19):

I think it’s also one of the things that I found as much as I am sure there’s effort and the schools try to do this is the communication from the schools can be really tough for me. So they’ll say there’s an event, but they won’t say the time. They’ll say it’s in the morning on a Thursday. So I encourage parents to just reach out. To your point, Sarah, at the beginning, I usually do a week. I do what you do every Sunday and I go through it all. But I would say I’ve just been like, I’m emailing the teacher. I know you sent this email and it was really helpful about the important dates, but can you be slightly more specific with me around the time? So can I squeeze my schedule around it and just sort of prophylactically being assertive and it’s okay if you reach out and you ask a question, but just saying, just clarifying some of those right to your point, like five extra things a week that are happening right now and get to try to get ahead of it. I do feel always behind it a little.

Dr. Sarah (10:21):

And another little hack that I do whenever I do things like that, and my husband does it too now, is if I email the teacher or the school or anybody…

Dr. Rebecca (10:29):

CC him.

Dr. Sarah (10:30):

I CC my husband and he does the same. So we are trying to reduce the redundancies and also somebody missing the message. So cc your partners because, especially if you’re, I feel like…

Dr. Emily (10:44):

Or add to the family calendar.

Dr. Sarah (10:44):


Dr. Emily (10:44):

Whatever your system is.

Dr. Rebecca (10:49):

Right and we should actually have maybe an episode about maybe you’ve done an episode, Sarah with an executive functioning coach or something. We could definitely do an episode about family systems, not the therapy.

Dr. Sarah (11:03):

I would love to do that. We should talk about that actually.

Dr. Rebecca (11:05):

Because we all do. Yeah, the calendars. And it’s funny you guys were talking about the family business calendars. I’m checking the calendar all the time. If I have five minutes between patients or whatever, I’m checking the calendar, I’m sending a text to my husband like, oh, by the way, remember a week and a half from now? Not that he’ll remember per se, but just keeping it all in the front view. The other thing I was going to say is really relying on help right now if you’re lucky enough to have it. By which I mean the community, we’ve been doing a lot of extra texting about carpooling because there’s 15 extra baseball games. And so I don’t have to be the one to pick up and drive to practice every day. And what if you drive there and I’ll drive back and, oh, I’m home alone with my son. My husband has a meeting, so maybe can you do this extra thing? And then I’ll remember to walk your dog to pee your dog. I work from home just if you…

Dr. Sarah (12:08):

Lean on the community.

Dr. Rebecca (12:09):

Have social support and community to just offload or coordinate I should say, because three different families driving to and from baseball practice that all live within a two block radius is not a great use of energy.

Dr. Sarah (12:27):

And I think another thing that I’m thinking of that might be helpful is going back to the sleep and the energy stuff. Our kids are buzzing. I think I’ve, I don’t know, I’m of two minds of this, so I’m going to give two very contradictory pieces of advice. So take the one you like and leave the one you don’t. No, I’m vacillating between the two anyway. One is I’m like, okay, I’ve really let sleep kind of go in terms of consistency, bedtime, it’s kind of been a free for all because we are all buzzing from the heat and the sun and being outside and it feels good. And so on the one hand I am trying to be a little bit more mindful of, okay, if I want to get the kids to bed at a more predictable, consistent time, I can’t just start with bedtime.


I have to rewind all the way back to dinner. If I can get dinner on the table by this time, that sets us up to get upstairs and shower. And now of course in winter, I’d never bathed my children or made them take showers, but now there is no not taking a shower. They come home so stinky. So you have to do bath time or shower time. But I just feel like if I can get more consistent with starting it earlier, I can usually get us to bed at a time that feels like they’re not going to be zombies the next day. So that’s one strategy. And then I’m going to completely contradict myself and say that I’m also really working on being forget it, let it go. Stop being obsessive about making them be in bed by eight when I know it’s going to be nine every night. And I just have to, if I feel like they need to be in bed by eight and plug in whatever times, work with your family. But in my family, if I could get my kids to eight, I’m feeling really solid and it’s always nine. And so sometimes I have to just give myself a break and be like, it’s going to be nine tonight. And just stop fighting it. Just stop fighting it. It’s going to be okay. Yeah.

Dr. Rebecca (14:30):

Radical acceptance. Yeah. I want to just circle back. We were talking about natural melatonin and we got a little confused with the process, but I just want to say this is a time of year where actually taking melatonin can be really helpful for kids that have a hard time settling because of it being light so late and potentially running around outside till late. And obviously none of us are medical doctors, so I certainly would encourage people to talk to their own pediatricians or perhaps child psychiatrists about it. But I definitely know families including my own, who benefit from having that tool in their toolbox. So I want to, to the extent there’s any stigma around it or whatever, and I’m not going to go into the research and whatever now, but just that is something that particularly at this time of year can be really helpful.

Dr. Sarah (15:26):

Yeah, I’ve read too, and again, I’ll stay in my lane. I’m not a medical doctor, but because I want to give my kids something, I’ll read up on the research and the things that I’ve read from reputable places, although again, just disclaimer are that using melatonin in shorter fixed periods of time when there’s a big change in the daylight savings time or if there’s jet lag or if when there’s sort of this kind of rapid change to their sleep cycle or having their sleep cycle not match where you’re at rapidly, what happens in daylight savings times or travel sometimes. And then these summer times where it’s like everyone’s just up later and their body’s kind of having a hard time getting comfortable going to bed earlier than their body wants to. Short periods of melatonin use can actually reset that, which is helpful. But there’s also other stuff. There’s this company called Hiya that does, they have a vitamin, I dunno, I’ve been using it with my kids because I didn’t want to do so much melatonin and I found myself using it more than I wanted to. No shame in the melatonin game.

Dr. Rebecca (16:50):

I was about to say, I’m not going to disclose, it’s not mine to disclose how much melatonin we use, but it works very well.

Dr. Sarah (16:56):

I think I use it more for me than I do for my kids.

Dr. Rebecca (16:58):

For our family and has been approved by those in the know.

Dr. Sarah (17:02):

But yeah, this company has this vitamin, it’s called Hiya Health. I’ve been using this vitamin, it’s not melatonin, but it’s like what the body needs to develop its own melatonin. So it’s like precursors to melatonin. I think it’s like L-theanine and something else. But I dunno, I’ve been experimenting with that in terms of it doesn’t give them that immediate sleepiness like melatonin might. But I think over time in taking it, it helps their body have the nutrients that their body needs to make their own melatonin better or be more sensitive. I don’t know exactly how it works, but my kids actually like it. And it’s not like a gummy, it’s like a sweet tart kind of, it’s like a hard chew whatever. I’m fingers crossed, I’ll report back. I’m hoping that it will be a better option than the melatonin because I realize I have been using the melatonin for me not taking it myself.


I’m giving it to my kids because I am having stress about their bedtimes, not my kids actually need it necessarily. When I am choosing to give it to them. I’m like, I’ve had a hard night. I need bedtime to happen. I’m going to give my kids some melatonin so that I know that bedtime will happen a little bit more predictably. And that’s not really how I want to be using it personally. If my kids need it and it would be helpful for them if they’re getting over jet lag or if they were working on their sleep cycles or whatever, then I feel like that works for me. But whenever I’m doing something for my kids or with my kids or to my kids and I can really zoom out and say, am I doing this for them or for me? And the answers for me, then it warrants me kind of reflecting on, is this the only way to get what I’m trying to get or why? Or is this pointing to a bigger need that I need to deal with, which is my stress around my kids’ bedtime, which we already talked about. So it’s all those things.


I dunno. I am curious if you feel like that…

Dr. Rebecca (18:56):

Yeah, and I think reflect is the right word with each of these decisions you’re making, just to kind of pause and think a little bit about what’s going on for my kids, what’s going on for me? What’s my intention? What feels comfortable, what feels less comfortable, and how can I decide my next action based on what I gather from that moment of reflection?

Dr. Sarah (19:19):

Reflect absolutely. And talk to your doctor. Double check that you’re getting your information in alignment with your doctor and not a podcast. Our big time goal is to be here to give you really good information, but also know when we need to stay in Har Lane and direct you to another source of information too that knows your family.

Dr. Emily (19:48):

And also be open to revising, right? Yes. When my kid, I was like, this is fine. They can stay up. Everything’s been going fine. And then when he had a really bad day at school the next day after a cumulative or potentially whatever it was saying like, Hey, you know what? We’re going to pull back a little, this free rain bedtime situation, go with the flow neighborhood feel and for the next couple days, we’re just going to really have you in bed in a better time and wind that back a little and we’re revising that. My mom lacks this in that moment. And so I think it, it’s also okay to sort of reevaluate and do something a little bit different depending on how it’s feeling.

Dr. Sarah (20:41):

Yes, a hundred percent.

Dr. Rebecca (20:42):

Always. For sure.

Dr. Emily (20:44):

I will tell you though, one of our bigger problems is a little bit of a social problem, which is like, I’m like, all right, everybody’s in the house, everybody’s showered and reading 8:00 PM and other kids are screaming and yelling and playing in my neighborhood or other kids are literally in my backyard like, Hey, is your kid around to play some basketball? And I’m like, it’s 8:30 PM What is going on? So we’ve had to do a lot of prophylactic. That can happen once in a while, but that’s not our family. Our family’s different, blah, blah, blah. A lot of just in your face though, sort of saying, we have this doesn’t, or this doesn’t work for you, right? I’ve had that conversation, this is really hard. It might be okay for your friends to stay up really late and then have a great day tomorrow and it doesn’t work as well for you. And you’ve got to learn that about yourself and your body. And again, it’s like you can’t hide that. Everybody’s still playing in their backyards when I’m trying to get my kids reading in their beds.

Dr. Rebecca (21:57):

And you may have two kids who are different, let alone like…

Dr. Emily (22:00):

Totally. A hundred percent.

Dr. Rebecca (22:00):

Like I have a kid that if he stays up an hour, hour and a half later, it’s really not that big a deal, and it’s only a big deal if it’s cumulative. And then I have a kid that that’s a total disaster for, it’s like me and my husband. I mean, I need a certain amount of sleep and he doesn’t. It’s people, it’s not just kids.

Dr. Emily (22:20):

But in just talking to them about those differences, and I think that that’s so fortunate. I feel so fortunate to be in a community where that exists, honestly. Although the other side of that is just managing different family systems and how you interface with them within your own family.

Dr. Sarah (22:43):

I love this talk. I hope that people are feeling held and seen and can join us in the venting of like, oh God, June is really, the transition to June is bumpy.

Dr. Rebecca (22:57):

June and September, I, June, September, man.

Dr. Emily (23:01):

And those of us that have many more weeks, I mean, private schools are done, but public schools go till the 26th.

Dr. Rebecca (23:10):

Well, in New York, right. There’s other schools around the country ended months ago.

Dr. Sarah (23:18):

What’s crazy is it’s not just the school schedule changing is a big part of why June is hard. I mean, that’s a huge part of why June is hard. But I also think the sun and the weather and the general, we’re halfway in, halfway out of a world. We’re halfway in school, but halfway out we got a foot out of school. And that’s I think when it’s really, really hard. But nonetheless, we’re here for you. We love all of your struggles. We struggle right along with you on all of them. So thank you Emily and Rebecca. I’m glad that we had this little venting slash I hope it was helpful.

Dr. Rebecca (24:00):

Bye everyone.

Dr. Emily (24:02):

Sounds good.

Dr. Sarah (24:05):Thank you so much for listening. As you can hear, parenting is not one size fits all. It’s nuanced and it’s complicated. So I really hope that this series where we’re answering your questions really helps you to cut through some of the noise and find out what works best for you and your unique child. If you have a burning parenting question, something you’re struggling to navigate or a topic you really want us to shed light on or share research about, we want to know, go to drsarahbren.com/question to send in anything that you want, Rebecca, Emily, and me to answer in Securely Attached: Beyond the Sessions. That’s drsarahbren.com/question. And check back for a brand new securely attached next Tuesday. And until then, don’t be a stranger.

✨We want to hear from you! Go to https://drsarahbren.com/question to send us a question or a topic you want to hear us answer on Securely Attached – Beyond the Sessions! ✨

211. BTS: Why June sucks! (for parents and kids)