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Episode 08 | January 19, 2021

Justin Saunders

In this episode, we're joined by Justin Sanders and talk about how he and Sarah approach parenting and life as a partnership.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no (in all its forms) so you can become the authentic and empowered person that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:


In this episode, we welcome Sarah’s husband, Justin Saunders, to the podcast! During our conversation, Sarah and Justin share openly about their struggles and growth as a couple, how they approach parenting and life as a partnership, and how it’s a continual process to ensure that they’re both helping each other stay happy, sane, and focused on their goals as they raise 3 young children while building their careers. 

Justin is a recruiter in the life sciences industry. He’s been with his current employer for about 10 years and has been a partner for about two and a half. He’s passionate about his family, his favorite sports teams (the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes), and loves to go boating in the summer. He and Sarah grew up in the same neighborhood, so they’ve known of each other their whole lives, but Justin, inspired by a certain little black dress (ahem), introduced himself when they both attended a mutual friend’s wedding in their early 20’s.

Key Takeaways
  • Communication is key, they have daily, nightly, weekly and monthly check-ins to make sure they’re on the same page and both working toward the same goals. Yes, they even schedule meeting date nights to discuss things like finances and planning for the future.
  • After their first child was born, Sarah realized that their relationship was out of balance, and her list of “to dos” and changes was much longer than Justin’s. Once she showed him everything that was on her plate, they worked together to figure out what things on that list suited his skill set and what suited hers.
  • Part of asking for help meant that Sarah had to give up control of some things and be okay with how Justin does things (like dressing the kids, when he’s color blind).
  • They each have very different personalities and body clocks. So part of their success is being mindful of what the other needs, setting boundaries, and making room to allow for each to get what they need.
  • Both Sarah and Justin focus on keeping a growth mindset. So they don’t believe in holding grudges. When there’s a conflict, they work through it, then reset and move forward together.
  • Having a growth mindset relates to Justin’s biggest piece of advice: “be coachable.” He feels the key to his success as a spouse, is being able to listen and learn and make adjustments.
Things we learned about Sarah (ha-ha)
  • She doesn’t have a competitive bone in her body.
  • She has no sense of direction (in terms of geography).
Resources & Recommendations
Credits and Thanks