Making breakfasts, cooking dinner, driving to horse lessons, flying across the country, working at my desk. Thanks to podcasts streaming on my phone or desktop, these are just a few of the places I can stay current on politics and pop culture, hear discussions on current events, learn about new titles to add to my reading list, feel validated in my mediocre parenting, and feel connected to a community of awesome women through the airwaves.
If you’re new to this medium, finding good podcasters can be overwhelming. There are hundreds! I listen to a wide range of programs, and some of the very best are those produced by moms. If you are looking for a good place to start or would like a few new ones to add to your mix, I’m sharing some of my favorites here. These are all produced by moms and generally appropriate to stream even while little ones may be listening.
For moms who want to talk politics from the left and the right:
I can’t think of a better time to listen to a balanced political dialogue! Hosts Sarah Stewart Holland (from the left) and Beth Silvers (from the right) tackle the week in politics with “No shouting. No insults. Plenty of Nuance.” They model respectful, lively, and deep-dive conversations on even the most thorny of issues (think North Korea, health care, and Confederate monuments, to name a few). I love listening to and learning from two moms who model raising kids and consciousness. I got choked up listening to their conversation with Jason Silverstein on empathy in healthcare.
For the bookworm mom:
Host Anne Bogel helps us to answer this question each week as she interviews a different person to find out three books they loved, one they hated, and what they’re reading now. She also pores over dozens of new titles for her popular Summer Reading Guide and has a monthly book club. I subscribe to her companion blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, which includes a daily round-up of digital book downloads. It’s pretty much a bookworm’s dream podcast!
Long-time mom/journalist interviewing popular and current figures:
I’ve been fan-girling on Katie since the 90s and her newest venture into the world of podcasting does not disappoint! Couric co-hosts with political journalist Brian Goldsmith and the format is more conversational than formal interview. Her episodes run about an hour and feature figures from politics to pop-culture. I just listened to her interview with Martha Stewart, and she managed to ask her about the secret to her slow-cooker apple crisp and her stint in prison in the same hour.
When you need to feel connected to your virtual mom squad:
I love Jen Hatmaker’s podcast! If you already follow her blog or have read her books, then listening to her podcast will feel like spending an hour with a trusted girlfriend. If you aren’t familiar, then you’re in for a treat! She interviews interesting, courageous, funny, and inspiring women from all walks of life. I listen to this one while working at my desk, cooking dinner, on airplanes…you get the idea!
Ashley Gadd and Lesley Miller invite you to “grab your lukewarm coffee” and join a community of moms tackling topics including co-parenting after divorce, going back to work, and one of my favorites, “How to be a B+ Mom.” Coffee + Crumbs has been around as a blog and online community for a few years, and the podcast is in its second season. It’s warm and fuzzy, humorous, practical, and perfect for listening to while you’re nursing in the wee hours or cleaning up those crumbs off the lunch table (see how I did that).
For all things working mom:
The popular magazine with the same title has a podcast hosted by Bettina Bush. Bettina interviews a variety of experts on topics ranging from wage equity, mentoring, and the timeless struggle of balancing work and family. I appreciate the attention that this podcast pays to important policy issues affecting working moms, but I also had more than one LOL moment when I listened to a 2016 interview with Elanie Rose Glickman, author of Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s All Your Fault who reminds us that it’s not our job to make our kids happy all the time. Preach.
And when you have time to really listen to some great storytelling:
Host Lea Thau is a Peabody Award winning producer and single mom with a smooth voice that was made for broadcasting. Strangers is a poignant collection of stories about human connection, heartbreak, and self-discovery. The second in a four-episode series about her own life tells the story about how she became a single mother and will have you hooked (and reaching for a hankie). My most recent story is 12 Years On about a Somali refugee family’s arrival in Vermont and their connection with the American family who greets them.
What are your favorite mom-produced podcasts? Share them in the comments!