My one and only goal this year was to make more mom friends. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Yes, it went great for a while with playdates, meetups, and baby classes until – say it with me – COVID.
Suddenly, we’re stuck back at home all alone with our children. All day. Every day.
I love my son, but all he ever wants to talk about is trucks and cat poop. We all know the struggle: I can’t have the TV on 24/7 but I also can’t have silence because then I would have to actually pay attention to the thoughts in my head, and in the time we’re living in, that is just a terrible idea.
Enter the podcast.
Podcasts are great for muffling those panicky thoughts in our heads as we plod along into our “new normal.” They are more conversational and shorter than audiobooks. Much like YouTube channels, anyone and everyone can and does have a podcast these days, so you’ll find no end of topics in varying ranges of production value. They can be entertaining, rambling, and even educational.
If you want to give it a go, I have rounded up my top parenting podcast picks and I’ve highlighted a favorite episode for each show in case you don’t know where to jump in. They can all be found on the usual podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts or Stitcher. Happy listening!
TOP PARENTING PODCASTS
Hosted by Diane Boden, this podcast features interviews by other moms and experts in various fields like finance, education, and nutrition. She and her guests discuss ways to minimize, not only possessions but time sucks, finances and even learning curriculums. They discuss a wide variety of topics all based around the idea of simplifying your life so that you can be more mindful, but without getting rid of all of your stuff.
Favorite Episode: Episode 98 “Learning with Less Ayelet Marinovich, Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist”
This hilarious show is hosted by Comedian Christina P. Though a little raunchy, and definitely NOT kid-friendly, the discussions are very real and down to earth. Christina interviews other moms, celebrities, and experts such as marriage and family therapists. There’s good advice and lots of gossip. She has a “mom fail” voicemail line where guests and fans can call in to confess their mom fail which she may feature on the show. The podcast also has a Facebook group for other moms and listeners to interact with each other.
Favorite Episode: Episode 52 “Husband Maintenance with Susan Sailer Pinsky” (Wife of Dr. Drew Pinsky)
Rebecca Decker is a Nurse with her Ph.D. who founded the Evidence-Based Birth community. Her goal is to empower families and educate them on the most up-to-date research on childbirth so that they can advocate for themselves during the process. She and her guests aim to dissect esoteric medical research and explain and present it in a way that non-medical folks like me can understand it and can make informed and empowered choices. In addition to the podcast, the website is a plethora of information and resources for expectant families. Rebecca’s guests vary from doulas and doctors to other mothers just sharing their birth stories.
Favorite Episode: Episode 113 “The Evidence on VBAC”
This show is fascinating. Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a renowned reproductive psychiatrist, discusses topics of sex, marriage, loneliness, mom guilt, trauma, and more with her patients on the air. She “lets us listen in on conversations that are hard to have outside of a therapist’s office.” If you’ve ever considered therapy but weren’t sure what to expect, definitely give this podcast a listen.
Favorite Episode: Season 1, Episode 3 “Can I Handle a Second Child”
Janet Lansbury hosts this show as a companion to her blog and books, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame.
When she isn’t interviewing child psychology or development experts, she is answering questions from readers and listeners on topics of respectful parenting, like setting boundaries and dealing with emotions. Most episodes are short at 30 minutes or under and have great actionable advice for gentle parenting. More in-depth information on these topics can be found on her website or in the extensive list of resources also found on the site.
Favorite Episode: “Raising Anti-Racist Children- A Holistic Approach”
Host Zibby Owens is a mother of four who interviews authors about specific books. The show airs daily and features short episodes about books that Zibby herself has enjoyed. This is a great behind the scenes look at the books on your to-be-read shelf, or maybe some of your favorites. In addition to the podcast, her website hosts a virtual book club for all of the books featured on the show.
Favorite Episode: Season 5, Episode 63 “Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars”
Created by NPR, “Life Kit: Parenting” has small segments of actionable parenting tips and hacks from scientists and experts. It’s great for listening to while you’re putting on makeup or in the shower (seriously, I can’t be the only one who does that.)
Favorite Episode: June 21 “Kids Know How To Occupy Themselves. We Need to Let Them Do It”
So this one isn’t a parenting podcast, but it is created by moms. “Moms and Murder” is a True Crime series created by two mom friends, Melissa and Mandy, who get together and discuss crime cases. Isn’t that the dream hobby? These are very lengthy episodes as the moms go beyond what is in the mainstream media and do a deep dive into both famous and lesser-known murder cases. Basically, it’s a more organized version of what we all did after learning about Carol Baskins on Tiger King.
Favorite Episode: Episode 1 – “Casey Anthony (Part 1)”
Dear Anxiety is hosted by Ed Crasnick, writer and comedian, and Renee Jain founder of GoZen which creates online social and emotional learning programs used by families, professionals, and schools. The two have a light-hearted discussion about research on topics of anxiety and emotion in a family setting. This is a companion piece to the website for GoZen which offers online programs for children, and a blog.
Favorite Episode: Season 2, Episode 2: “Mistakes We Make While Making Mistakes”
As the mid-pandemic school year is getting underway, many parents who never thought they would homeschool are finding themselves to be principals in their very own learning institution. How fun!
This show is a fantastic resource for cultivating learning experiences from home whether or not you are using a curriculum. Created and hosted by Robyn Robertson – unschooler – this show features lengthy, meaty episodes with experts, traditional educators, and other alternative school practitioners. They discuss education, child development, and societal and parental expectations regarding both. In addition, Robyn’s website has a lengthy list of alternative education resources for parents both experienced and new at homeschooling.
Favorite Episode: Season 4, Episode 70 “Education Demystified: Lessons from a principal, Teacher, Homeschooler”