Parenting can leave one feeling lonely, full of questions, and without much free time to seek out answers. (Seriously, what overstretched parent has time to read an actual parenting book?) Thankfully, podcasts are here to help. They can be sources for stories from fellow parents who are in the same boat, and often offer valuable information from experts in their fields. Even better, you can listen to them in the car, working out, or around the house. If you could use some help in a hurry, here are some of our favorite parenting podcasts to add to your listening lineup.
If you’re interested in the intersection of parenting and technology, try Parenting Bytes.
“My goal was to have an honest podcast where parents could talk about all of the tech and issues that we’re facing as the first generation of parents raising kids with screens at their fingertips,” says Rebecca Levey, co-host of Parenting Bytes Podcast and co-founder of KidzVuz Media. “There are so many questions, and so much conflicting information, we wanted a show where parents could hear us working through the same issues they were confronting every day with their kids as we navigate this new always connected world.”
Levey joins Amy Oztan and Andrea Smith on the podcast and they explore an array of tech issues, including how much screen time is best for kids, what are the best Alexa skills for kids, and the best smart home products from the Consumer Electronics Show. They also cover other parenting topics and recently started a series on getting kids into college.
If you’re seeking some balance in all areas of life, listen to Zen Parenting Radio.
Husband and wife duo Cathy and Todd Adams discuss the pursuit of balance and being a force for good as well as new parenting books, trends, and current events. They combine a spiritual approach with practical advice. It’s not overly new age and doesn’t cover crystals and the like but does promote mindfulness and awareness. Their dynamic as a married couple is helpful and unique.
If you love to laugh and don’t mind swearing, One Bad Mother is for you.
Happy parenting often means embracing the funny parts of life and not taking yourself too seriously. This comedy podcast tries to do just that as it “strives for less judging, and more laughing.” Hosts Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn are straight shooters who examine “life after giving life” in this podcast that is NSFW or K (for kids) — there is a lot of swearing. We love their irreverent approach, as well as the helpful information and good guests. They also have a book out called “You’re Doing a Great Job!: 100 Ways You’re Winning at Parenting” and will be hosting a live show in Chicago in May.
If you’re feeling intellectual or are interested in parenthood but don’t have your own children, check out The Longest Shortest Time.
This is one of the most popular podcasts in the Family section on iTunes. It focuses on good storytelling and dives deep on a wide variety of parenting topics, from c-sections, to discrimination against working moms, to infidelity after having kids. Creator Hillary Frank, a contributor to This American Life on NPR, recently turned the hosting duties over to Andrea Silenzi, but remains as editor. That’s a particularly interesting switch given that Silenzi doesn’t have children herself but hopes to in the future. The podcast calls itself “the parenting show for everyone,” making this a good option for parents and non-parents alike.
If you feel like you’re doing it all, check out Lose the Cape for Busy Moms.
This podcast offers tips and tools to parents who are stretched thin or feeling overwhelmed, so pretty much everyone. From helping kids develop coping skills to how to actually make time for self-care, episodes are intended to offer helpful information that makes family life easier. Episodes also serve as reminders to listeners that SuperMom is a myth and you don’t have to do it all to be a great parent.
If you want to feel less alone, subscribe to The Mom Hour with Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers.
The two moms hosting this podcast have pretty much seen it all, in large part because between them they have eight kids. Those kids range from toddlers to teens, so they cover all the bases. They don’t claim to be experts, just fellow parents also in the trenches who both commiserate with and encourage listeners. These ladies are good cheerleaders who want to build your confidence as they offer recommendations for their latest parenting go-tos, from podcasts for kids to the latest and greatest products.
If you’re craving coffee talk with the girls about kids and more, check out Spawned.
Hosted by Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com, this award-winning podcast just celebrated its 100th episode. It vacillates between silly — how to survives a zombie apocalypse with kids — to the serious — student activism in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. There are also plenty of pop culture discussions and tips offered on subjects like saving money on family travel. So, it’s a lot like the conversation you have with girlfriends over coffee.
If you’re a dad, The Modern Dads Podcast is for you.
Three dads tackle issues specifically facing dads, such as parental leave for fathers, as well as hot topics applicable to all parents, like managing screen time and how to help kids with ADHD. They share some great ways for dads to be really involved with their kids and even tackle some stereotypes. Not just for dads, moms will likely appreciate the information and different perspective, too.
If you’re looking for timely topics, check out Mom & Dad Are Fighting.
Mom & Dad Are Fighting is Slate’s parenting podcast, and it isn’t afraid to take on the tough questions. In fact, each episode focuses on one question. In recent episodes, hosts Allison Benedikt, Gabriel Roth, and Carvell Wallace have covered how to handle a child who doesn’t like to do anything, coping with divorce, and navigating the tricky waters of grandparental unfairness.
If you love books, try the Read-Aloud Revival.
Sarah Mackenzie hosts this podcast that is based on the premise that “reading aloud is more than just a literary education — it’s a framework for family culture.” She offers book and audiobook suggestions, reading guides, ideas for book-related gifts, and inspiration for getting the family to read more. As an example, a recent episode focused on “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, to tie in with the Disney movie release, and offered simple ways for parents to enjoy the book with kids of varying ages — no reports or essays required.
If you are raising an introvert, listen to Quiet: The Power of Introverts with Susan Cain.
This podcast is shorter than the others because it was a limited series of 10 episodes recorded in 2016. Susan Cain wrote “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World that Can’t Stop Talking,” and she takes the wisdom in that book and applies it to parenting and teaching introverted kids. It covers the neuroscience of introversion, how introverts can thrive in sports, what social media means for them, and how to help an introverted child find the right college.
If you’re always looking for your next great podcast to listen to, here are 17 podcasts and audiobooks that will make family road trips fly by, and some of our favorite podcasts for listeners who love “Serial.”
Shannan Younger is a writer living in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband and teen daughter. Originally from Ohio, she received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Her essays have been published in several anthologies and her work has been featured on a wide range of websites, from the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers Workshopto the BBC. She also blogs about parenting at Between Us Parents.
Shannan is the Illinois Champion Leader for Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that supports vaccination efforts in developing countries to ensure life-saving vaccines reach the hardest to reach children. “Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries and I’d love nothing more than to see diseases eradicated,” Shannan says. “We are so close to getting rid of polio for good!”