I love podcasts. I can explore the world and learn so much, all while puttering around my home. I can pick any topic and find a podcast that covers it. I can always find one to suit whatever mood I’m in.
I love that they’re always on-demad, on my schedule. I listen — when I’m cleaning, cooking, walking — to a diverse variety of podcasts, from comedy to true crime and I’m always on the lookout for new ones to listen to.
Yet, despite my love for podcasts and also being a parent, I avoided parenting podcasts for a very long time. I had this idea that listening to a parenting podcast would achieve the opposite of what I seek from my podcast experience, which is distraction from my everyday life, a window into a world different from mine. But then I discovered these podcasts:
This is the first parenting podcast I dared listen to because I’d heard it followed classic NPR podcast style: bold, candid, stories in an informative, non-judmental, and casual tone. Stories about people and parenting in our changing world.
It’s very much in the classic NPR style – and features stories that aren’t just about regular parenting issues, but also reaches a bit outside the box to cover the stories of people who have slightly or very different experiences than the ‘norm.’ Open-minded but frank, each episode has a way of making listeners feel as though they’re friends with the subject while also.
What I like about it: Every episode is an interesting story whether or not it relates to my personal experience or not (it usually doesn’t) so I can pick any episode at random.
I avoided this one for the longest time for two reasons: the heteronormative name made me think it was coming from a narrow perspective of what families look like; and because I thought it was about separation and divorce and, frankly, I’ve had more than my personal share of that topic in the last few years.
So, when I did give it a shot, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it takes a really open-minded, fun, and honest look at modern parenting challenges. A nice mix of male and female voices, conversation, and interviews with experts who offer perspective and advice. Each episode is dedicated to a particular topic. Because of this, I don’t listen to all of them – and you won’t either — but it’s easy enough to pick the ones that do speak to .
What I like: Each episode, the hosts talk about one of their parenting fails or triumphs and I love the self-critical and humble tone.
3. The Mom Hour
Many of the episodes focus on being a woman who is a mother, and not just on motherhood and parenting as an all-encompassing thing. Episodes do cover typical parenting topics, but I especially love the ones that cover things like sleep deprivation, self-care, family financial planning, and even feelings of being unfulfilled. This podcast isn’t overly produced, so it isn’t all catchy clips and scripted segues.
It’s mainly conversations between a host and an interview subject. It’s very engaging and casual and real.
What I Like: This podcast speaks to me as a woman who has many facets, all of which inform the whole. I am not ‘just’ a mother: I am a woman with other interests, concerns, passions, and challenges, which are all influenced by parenthood but not defined by it.
4. Atomic Moms
Conversations with authors, acclaimed parenting experts, celebrities, and moms. Topics cover parenting challenges, post- children relationships, books, traveling, and so so much else. Each episode features one interviewee. It’s not typical interview format, though, but more of a conversation that’s very loosely linear with frequent sidebars and related anecdotes, much in the way any conversation would be with a friend. The tone is relaxed, self-aware, and candid.
What I Like: The guests are very diverse and cover such a huge range of topics so it’s always interesting, useful, and a bit of a treat.
This is very loosely a ‘parenting’ podcast. The two women hosts are each mothers of twins. Each episode feels like an hour of conversation between mothers: stories about family vacations, experiences their kids are having at school, the latest controversy in the news. It’s all done very casually, almost like it’s actually happening over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
One of the hosts has a very distinct voice and, for some reason, I spent a good chunk of time figuring out which host was which just so I could imagine her talking. It’s great for making mindless chores seem fun because it feels like having friends over.
What I Like: There’s no advice and no experts, it’s just fun between moms.
There are so so many more podcasts I plan on trying out and a few I’ve already sampled and won’t be returning to. There is a parenting podcast that suits whatever it is you’re looking for: advice, laughter, hot tips, commiseration, validation, knowledge, or just companionship and solidarity.
Tell us what your favorite parenting podcasts are!