As the mother of a spirited 2-year-old, I don’t have barrels of leisure time. And honestly, that’s a big reason why I love podcasts: I can listen while I clean the bathroom or do something fairly productive.
This week I’m sharing some of my favorite parenting podcasts, all of which take a smart, modern-day approach. For more recommendations in a variety of categories, visit the archive, and please send your own ideas via Twitter and the comments.
FOR MOMS AND DADS
The Longest Shortest Time
This podcast from WNYC features bold, fresh stories about what it’s really like to raise kids in the 21st century. How should parents talk with their kids about sex? How should families discuss race and ethnicity? It goes beyond your traditional parenting program or mag, and that’s an admirable thing.
Mom & Dad Are Fighting
In Slate’s well-produced podcast, you get a little of everything: interviews, news, chatter from parents who’ve been there. Eps have dealt with everything from single motherhood to marijuana-smoking parents. Honestly, it’s one of the few parenting podcasts my husband and I can listen to together.
Todd Adams and Cathy Cassani Adams are married parents trying to raise three daughters while also trying to nurture their relationship. Episodes can feel a little like therapy sessions, but hearing the couple discuss what they’ve learned has probably helped spark some deeper discussions among listeners.
Your Mom’s House
Comedians (and spouses) Christina Pazsitzky and Tom Segura helm this popular show, which may fall a little more into the comedy category than a parenting one (though there is lots of poop-related talk). The pair snags great guests (like recent guest Gloria Estefan), and they can also be seen on truTV’s How to Be a Grown Up.
The Mom Hour
Bloggers Sarah Powers and Meagan Francis have eight kids between them, so they’ve certainly picked up a few tips along the way. Their podcast is cheerful and relatable, with practical advice on things like teaching manners and how to camp with kids.
TEDTalks: Kids and Family
TEDheads with kids may be interested in this collection, which rounds up the best family-related stories. New episodes don’t appear regularly, but when they do, they’re worth watching. (I dug one about a beautifully designed kindergarten in Tokyo.)
Pratfalls of Parenting
A Pod City reader told me about this podcast about creativity. Each episode features a conversation with a writer, filmmaker, visual artist or other artistic person about what it’s like to make stuff and be a parent.
FOR THE MOMS
Bianca Kajlich and Ellie Knaus host this popular show about modern motherhood that welcomes guests ranging from actresses to a lactation consultant. Recent installments have focused on C-sections and sleep training.
Hosted by well-known podcaster Elizabeth Laime (Totally Laime), Totally Mommy spotlights new parents and features smart, funny guests like actress Rosemarie Dewitt and June Diane Raphael.
One Bad Mother
This comedy podcast features Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn talking about how to have a life outside of potty training and temper tantrums. Sometimes they address serious topics (like dealing with anxiety), but the appeal is that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
For Crying Out Loud
No topic is off-limits for hosts Lynette Carolla (yep, wife of podcaster Adam Carolla) and author Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. Twice a week the women interview guests and chat about their lives at home, which involve a blend of raising their kids and watching Bravo shows after bedtime.
The Boob Group
My breastfeeding days are behind me, but if you’re nursing or plan to nurse in the near future, this podcast offers heaps of support and advice.
Gaming with the Moms
There’s no shortage of video game podcasts, but this one offers a unique perspective from Linda Breneman, Nicole Tanner, and Simone de Rochefort, who share news and recommendations for fun family gaming.
On this new show, hosts Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase offer an easygoing blend of humor, tips, and real-life confessions. It’s easy to tell these women are truly friends, and that chemistry makes Spawned all the more listenable.
FOR THE DADS
Turning This Car Around
In this comedy podcast hosted by dads Jon Armstrong, John Moltz, and Lex Friedman, the men share what’s happening with their kids (how do you prevent carsickness?) as well as what isn’t. As is the case with many shows on this list, don’t listen with your children in the same room; it can get a little raunchy.
Brent Basham and Andrew Currie love technology and geek culture almost as much as they love their kids. This show has a lot of heart (particularly when we hear the kids on the mic), and they put a lot of research into their fun topics, like whether redheads may indeed possess superpowers.
This Earwolf podcast from ended back in 2012, but the episodes hold up, and pop culture-loving dads may dig guests like Ethan Embry and Grant-Lee Phillips. Hosted by actor-comedian David Koechner and Jeff Ullrich, the men delve into the pleasures and pitfalls of fatherhood.
The Modern Dads Podcast
This thoughtful podcast examines important issues like balancing work and family and understanding men’s mental health. Episodes mix friendly conversation with useful information, often provided by guest experts.
Making Dad with Chip & Zach
This new podcast comes from Chip Dolce and Zach Anderson, two self-deprecating dads who hope listeners will learn from their mistakes. The dads devote a lot of time to pop culture (like discussing terrible children’s books) and aren’t afraid to taste lactation cookies so we don’t have to.