Credit: Ingrid Bostrom
Author Sarah Powers | Credit: Courtesy

When my podcast, The Mom Hour, debuted in March 2015, there were only a handful of parenting shows in publication. Most of my fellow moms at preschool pickup were only vaguely aware of what a podcast was. Popular parenting media centered around online articles and a few big-time bloggers, with a side of YouTube for funny parodies and a sprinkle of Facebook groups for middle-of-the-night commiseration.

I noticed a shift around 2018, when audio started becoming a go-to for busy parents looking for expert advice, friendly connection, informative entertainment, or a combination of all three. And it makes so much sense: Whether you’re rocking a newborn in the wee hours, driving in circles to extend a toddler’s nap, or pushing the stroller or folding the laundry, podcasts can keep your brain company while your hands are occupied in a way that other forms of media can’t.

Today, there are so many options to choose from. There’s no one right way to be a great parent, and the perfect podcast for you is one that reminds you of that. Here are 15 shows that don’t preach or judge, and that just might make your next sleepless night a little less lonely.

When You’re Looking for Friendship

Parenthood can be isolating ― especially in the early years. And while a friendly voice coming through your car speakers or AirPods is not a direct substitute for meaningful connection, it’ll do in a pinch. Listen to these podcasts for their helpful parenting content, sure; but after an episode or two, you might just find yourself going back for the camaraderie. 

What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood
Amy Wilson and Margaret Ables are comedians, friends, and moms of tweens and teens. Their style is full of laughs, but their conversations will also make you think.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Let’s Stop Caring What People Think”

Didn’t I Just Feed You?
Meghan Splawn and Stacie Billis GET US when it comes to the challenges of feeding a family. They’re moms and career food professionals who are better in the kitchen than most of us regular folks ― but they don’t lord it over us.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Date Nights and Sitter Dinners”

The Girl Next Door Podcast
Erica Ladd and Kelsey Wharton are good friends with kids ranging in age from preschool to tween, and their podcast covers everything from motherhood and marriage to home organization and creativity.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Games We Love, Hate, and Made Up

Best of Both Worlds Podcast
Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger are full-time working moms with kids of all ages, and their show gives voice to the joys and challenges of loving both your career AND your family.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Do You Still Need Childcare? Evolving Household Support as Kids Grow

Motherhood in Black & White
Kaanji Irby and Tara Campbell are good friends and fellow Gen X moms from different backgrounds with lots in common, too. Their podcast hasn’t published new episodes in 2023, but the archives are worth exploring!
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Mom Shaming

When You Need a Parenting Manual

If you’ve ever tried Googling a specific parenting challenge, such as picky eating or sibling bickering, you know there’s no shortage of expert advice on the Internet. But reading parenting advice requires a certain quiet focus that kids have a way of rendering impossible; a podcast can deliver the same concepts on the go and often with an engaging, compassionate tone that’s harder to get from a book or article. Look to these podcasts for thoughtful advice about raising happy, healthy kids. (Pro tip: Use the search feature in your favorite podcast app to find a specific topic within these shows’ archives.)

Good Inside with Dr. Becky
Dr. Becky Kennedy’s short, practical podcast episodes are a great audio companion to her wildly popular social media videos. She’s at the top of the charts for a reason!
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting
Dr. Lisa Damour and co-host Reena Ninan combine their lived experiences as parents with professional expertise as a psychologist/author and journalist, respectively, to answer questions from their audience. 
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: Scroll the archives for a topic that fits your situation (each episode is helpfully titled as a common parenting question or challenge).

The Puberty Podcast
Dr. Cara Natterson and Vanessa Kroll Bennett are here to talk about the stuff that makes us ― and our kids ― squirm. With humor and evidence in equal measure, they deliver an updated education in all things growing up.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “The Right Time to Talk About…

TiLT Parenting: Raising Differently Wired Kids
Debbie Reber is a lifeline for parents of differently wired kids (in her words: giftedness, autism, 2e, learning differences, sensory processing issues, anxiety, and more). Through conversations with experts, parents, and her own kid, Reber helps parents find more peace while navigating this complex world.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Phyllis Fagell on Raising Resilient Teens in Turbulent Times

When You Want to Remember There’s More to Life Than Raising Kids

So much of being a parent isn’t about, well, parenting ― at least not the literal, hands-on tasks of caring for children. It’s about navigating adulthood with a decent attitude and a good sense of humor, finding your way as a human and citizen, and figuring out the routines and systems that work for your unique family. Check out these podcasts for smart takes on topics that run adjacent to parenting, such as organization, personal growth, home management, and current events.

Edit Your Life
Dr. Christine Koh is a scientist turned creative professional who’s big on small tweaks that make a big difference ― whether it’s work, home management, or relationships. 
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Finding Adult Friendships + Community

Savvy Working Mom
Whitnee Hawthorne’s experience as a full-time working mom at a Fortune 500 company helped her develop systems and tools to help busy working parents thrive. 
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: How to Find Joy at Work (Even When You Don’t Love Your Job)

The Lazy Genius
Kendra Adachi helps her listeners figure out what matters and let the rest (mostly) go ― in almost every area of life. Episodes are friendly and packed with actionable tips that won’t overwhelm you.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “Five Essential Mindsets for Time Management

10 Things To Tell You
Laura Tremaine loves to explore meaty topics such as friendship, goal-setting and personal growth (leaving plenty of space for the fun and frivolous, too). Her podcast will leave you reflecting on your own life and goals beyond raising kids.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “10 Ways to Handle Overwhelm

Pantsuit Politics
Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers cover politics and the news with nuance and kindness, and their smart conversations are perfect for busy parents who want to stay informed. 
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: Start with the latest episode, or scroll through recent archives and pick a topic you’d like to learn more about.

Routine and Things
Ashley Brown believes that routines are key to helping all of us enjoy our lives. She breaks down simple strategies for using routines to boost your mood, find more time, and reduce burnout.
LISTEN: Spotify | Apple Podcasts
START HERE: “How to Establish Routines for Your Family and Get Them on Board

Sarah Powers is a writer, podcaster, and communications professional. As co-creator of the chart-topping parenting podcast The Mom Hour, Sarah has produced more than 1,000 hours of audio content for parents. She was raised in Santa Barbara but lived elsewhere for more than two decades before finding her way back home in 2020. She’s a fan of public libraries, attending live theater, quirky old houses, photography, and travel planning at home in her pajamas. Sarah and her husband have three kids, two cats, one dog, and a very spoiled guinea pig.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.