I used to think that podcasts were just an alternative to music. Instead of listening to the songs of Metallica or Kanye West, people are tuning in now more than ever to the ranting and ravings of Joe Rogan and so many others like him. Whether it’s to catch up on the daily news or to get our true-crime fix, I can’t think of anyone who has less time to laugh, listen and learn throughout the day than busy parents.
With podcast popularity expanding as quickly as the platform itself, my job here at The Digest is to make that world a bit more manageable. That way, when it comes time to carpool or clean the kitchen, you’re plugged into premium parenting-related content that fills time in between tasks. Regardless of whether you have a newborn or a 19-year-old, we’ve compiled a list of the nine best podcasts about parenting. (Guaranteed to bring you peace, guidance or at the very least, a good laugh.)
If you’re feeling intellectual…
Mom and Dad Are Fighting
Brought to you by the editors and authors at Slate Magazine, Mom and Dad Are Fighting addresses the realities of raising children by digging deep into parenthood’s most plaguing questions. Each episode hones in on specific scenarios families might encounter such as the effects of having a parent with mental illness, exploring the lack of diversity in children’s books or coping with a toxic mother-in-law. With the help of intellectual guest co-hosts, expect to hear the best and worst parenting triumphs and fails as well as recommendations on how to take care of your kids from toddlers to teenagers.
Parenting Beyond Discipline
Considered Los Angeles’ go-to parenting and child development expert, psychologist Erin Royer-Asrilant does things differently when it comes to overcoming common obstacles. Through her podcast platform and professional philosophy, Royer-Asrilant examines peaceful parenting strategies that go “beyond discipline.” Her weekly episodes, voiced in a warm and soothing tone, explore the facets of children’s self-esteem, development and health, as well as education. Royer-Asrilant also takes it upon herself to answer pressing parenting questions submitted by listeners in which no topic is off-limits.
The Longest Shortest Time
On-air for over seven years now, the award-winning podcast The Longest Shortest Time has developed a cult-like following by billing itself as a “3 a.m. bedside companion for new parents.” Today, the show stands as an outlet for everyone, all parents old or new, mom or dad, age 18 or age 60. Delivered in a narrative, NPR-style format, The Longest Shortest Time offers offbeat and thought-provoking conversation on topics such as postpartum depression, the toll having a baby will take on your friendships and a parents’ guide to eating over the sink. By confronting parenthood’s biggest fears and pressures, The Longest Shortest Time acknowledges aspects of family life not often talked about.
If you like to laugh…
You can sometimes find Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com on NBC’s “Today Show,” but typically you can tune in once a week to their co-hosted podcast, Spawned. Covering everything from pop culture fads to parenting flops, the two will have you laughing and pondering over topics like how to manage your child’s screen time and what to do with your family in the event of a zombie apocalypse. If you’re just looking for some good, old-fashioned entertainment, the fast-paced podcast is full of comedic chatter, occasional celebrity guests and a vibe that’s always approachable and almost never judgemental.
One Bad Mother
Pitched as “a show about life after giving life,” those tuning in to One Bad Mother are encouraged to do so minus the kids because, as co-hosts Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn tell us at the start of every episode, “there will be swears.” Created as a means to poke fun at modern-day motherhood and how “unnatural” it can sometimes be, a single listen to One Bad Mother will make you feel less shitty about your parenting missteps. Covering topics such as the effectiveness of yelling, who homework is really for and if you actually have to like kids that aren’t your own — Ellis and Thorn offer up a laughable alternative to the usual feel-good mommy mumbo jumbo.
If you like to cry…
Coffee + Crumbs
A spinoff of the popular essay site created for moms by moms — Coffee + Crumbs presents parenting issues in an approachable way that you can enjoy during the daily carpool or kitchen cleanup. Every week, the trio (Indiana Adams, Ashlee Gadd and April Hoss) provides a quick dose of laughter and insight into motherhood via guest interviews and sentimental storytelling. Just be sure to keep the tissues nearby as they’ve been “known to make people cry semi-regularly.” Joined sometimes by fellow Coffee + Crumbs writers and contributors, you can expect to find, at its core, a space where mothers feel “safe, known, encouraged and loved.”
The Modern Dads Podcast
As an effort to build a community of dads across the United States, The Modern Dads Podcast chronicles each man’s journey through fatherhood. You’ll hear real-life stories from dads of all colors, abilities, and faiths, single dads, married and partnered dads, work-at-home dads — the common thread being that they’re active and engaged in “the decisions, the drudgery, the pain and the joys of parenthood.” During each episode, experiences are shared that relate to the issues faced by dads of this day and age, including how to balance work, parenthood, relationships and play. Weighing in are psychologists, authors and journalists to answer and discuss current events and social issues surrounding fatherhood.
If you want to feel less alone…
The Life of Dad Show
Hosted by Tommy Tiles and Art Eddy, The Life of Dad Show is a star-studded destination for the dads of today. While the podcast doesn’t hold a microscope to the ins and outs of parenthood, The Life of Dad Show features a plethora of interviews with famous folks such as Shaquille O’Neal and Sterling K. Brown who talk about their kids, parenting techniques and what it’s like being a father. See? They’re just like regular people. Each episode feels more like catching up with a bro where you compare stories, crack open a couple of brews and enjoy the ups and downs of life as a 21st-century dad.
The Mom Hour
Co-hosts of The Mom Hour, Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers promise that this podcast will be “the most fun you’ve ever had with two moms you’ve never met.” In other words, now would be the perfect time to grab some wine. Together, the duo is undeniably funny but the show itself delivers on everything from practical parenting advice to what’s happening in food, travel, tech and fashion. With eight kids of their own in total, ranging from toddlers to teens, who better to listen to in order to stay inspired and motivated throughout the day?
Know of any podcasts about parenting you’d like to see on this list? Let us know in the comments below.