If you’re a working mum, you’ll take any bit of downtime you can get. For me, the commute was once the boring period of time between work and home but has now become a glorious 40 minutes of reading/listening or staring out the window at whatever I damn-well-want. (Obviously I don’t drive to work, or else that would just be dangerous.)
At the moment I’m going through a podcast phase and have loved exploring what’s on offer both here and abroad. Here are my favourites at the moment.
My sister-in-law (mother of 3, almost 4 kids =expert on parenting!) put me onto this podcast and I’ve been addicted ever since. Hillary Frank started her radio life as a This American Life contributor and set up the Longest Shortest Time with the intention of it being a 3am bedside companion (the podcasts are launched at that time in the US). It started as more of a baby/toddler podcast but she has recently extended it to all stories of parenting and it’s all the better for it. Each fortnight she tells a new story, from the story of ‘accidental gay parents’ to what her five year old daughter eats to heartbreaking stories of loss. Nothing is off limits. This podcast is funny, sad and everything in between.
This has been a fascinating glimpse into how some of my favourite actors and journalists manage their lives with kids. Each episode, Sarah Macdonald interviews various women about the minutiae of their lives, including who drops the kids at school and who cooks the dinner. Although I only have one child (not five like Jane Kennedy), I’ve been addicted to listening to this podcast. Tidbits like hearing about Annabel Crabb catching a train to some of her Kitchen Cabinet interviews because her daughter cried so much in the car and Mia Freedman admitting she has to have a shower and get into her PJs when she gets home makes these successful women seem so much more relatable and real.
Not specifically about parenting but the theme comes up often. This is a Radio National program that airs every morning at 9am. Each podcast covers a few different topics and as it’s actually a radio program, includes realtime listener responses and comments. The great thing about this program is that it’s daily so there is plenty of relevant commentary to listen to. I don’t tend to have the time to listen every day, so tend to download the programs that most interest me.
This podcast has nothing to do with parenting which, to be honest, is sometimes exactly what you need. It’s about a true case of Hae Lee, a girl who was murdered in 1999 in Baltimare. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison. However there are doubts about his guilt and as the producer Sarah Koenig explores the case, you get tangled up in the various facets. Throughout the 12 episodes, you go through moments of thinking Adnan is as guilty as sin to moments where you want to rescue him yourself. It’s fascinating listening.