Parenting is political: whether you do decide to have children or don’t decide to have them, whether you breastfeed or use a bottle, whether you choose public school or state school.
All of these choices, and their repercussions, can feel overwhelming, whether you’re a new parent, an experienced one, or don’t have children at all.
Parenting and motherhood is now a growing trend in the podcast world. From the series you need to download to the poignant episodes to listen in to, here’s how to explore some of the best parenting stories over the airwaves.
Death, Sex and Money
Not strictly a parenting podcast, but Death Sex & Money with Anna Sale from WYNC Studios explores the big conversations around topics people don’t like to talk about and often that includes families and parenting.
A recent episode featuring the chef José Andrés, who is credited for bringing tapas to the US, centres around his experience of parenting three daughters. Andrés and Sale also talked about the impact his mother’s parenting had on him and the way he connected with his brothers.
Mom and Dad are Fighting
US publication Slate makes some great podcasts, with the crown jewel being Slow Burn.
But it also does really well in the advice section, with shows like Mom and Dad are Fighting and Dear Prudence, which answers listener questions.
Recent episodes on the parenting show include when is the right time to talk to your children about death, and how to deal with estranged parents.
There’s also a Facebook group where you can submit queries and read all of Slate’s parenting advice columns.
A brand new podcast from the hit team at Gimlet Media, Motherhood Sessions is hosted by renowned reproductive psychiatrist Alexandra Sacks M.D, (@alexandra_sacks) who has written for the New York Times, presented a TED Talk, and has a new book on the way, What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood.
Each episode covers different women and their experience of motherhood and promises to be a candid look at all sides of the parenting spectrum.
The Long Road to Baby
A Radio 4 documentary series from last year, The Long Road to Baby covers a couple and their process of trying to start a family, exploring processes such as IVF, adoption, and all the myriad of ways that people have children.
One episode sees the couple consider the impact their mission to have a child has had on their friends and family around them.
This Glorious Mess
An Australian podcast, hosted by Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo, looks all the confusing and surprising things that happen when you’re a parent.
Recently, the show has been looking at families and travelling, such as what its like taking flights with twin toddlers, how to deal with misplacing a child when you’re away, and the best places to visit as a family.
Listen on Apple Podcasts
Scummy Mummies’ hit podcast has been running for nearly six years, and is all about less-than-perfect parenting. The show covers everything from pregnancy to feminism, gardening and grandparents, and it always has a myriad of wonderful guests offering their disaster parenting stories and how to deal with them.
The psychotherapist Philippa Perry recently appeared on the show, talking about her new book, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did).
Michelle Kennedy on Women Tech Charge
A former lawyer for companies like Badoo, motherhood was the ultimate inspiration for Michelle Kennedy when she set up the social networking app aimed at mums, Peanut.
Appearing on the Evening Standard’s Women Tech Charge podcast recently, Kennedy talked about how the inspiration behind Peanut was focused on combatting loneliness in new mums by connecting them together, as well as giving them space to discuss the difficult challenges being a parent brings.
Shelia Heti on Longform
Longform is not a parenting podcast, but features writers and journalists discussing a particular piece of their work which always vaguely feels like you’re intruding on a therapy session.
One episode from last year featured the author Shelia Heti discussing her new novel, Motherhood. It’s not a personal memoir, though it does loosely feel like one, looking at what is gained and lost by becoming a mother and the questions women face when choosing to either have children or not.
Listen on Longform.org
Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner on Goop
Whatever your personal feelings on Goop, this podcast episode featuring Gwyenth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Danner is a cracker.
It’s an interesting look at the mother/daughter relationship, covering the best and worst parts of the bond, and some hilarious jokes along the way.
Listen on Stitcher
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