I say this with no hint of exaggeration – podcasts have changed my life. Well, more specifically, they’ve opened up a whole world of new perspectives, fascinating voices, popular culture and challenging arguments to me. Combined with my borderline obsessive Instagram love and raging Netflix habit, it’s a wonder I ever get anything done. But, that is in fact one of the joys of listening to podcasts; you can multitask. Driving to work belly laughing to ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’, cooking dinner to the delightful tunes on the latest episode of ‘Desert Island Discs’ or simply just listening in bed to an amazing panel of women discussing gender issues on ‘ The Guilty Feminist’; there is always time for a podcast.
As a mum of 2 boys I’m keen to inform myself as much as I can on gender and broader social issues, so that I can help them to grow up with a strong sense of equality and a lack of judgement. But I also like to listen to escape and relax. My subscriptions are wide ranging to say the least. A lot of them are motherhood and feminist shows, but I also love comedy, news and interview format shows. I’m basically massively nosey and love to hear about what makes others tick. It’s a solid cliché, but there really is something out there for everyone and every interest.
My first foray into the podcast life was when my sister in law asked if I’d listened to ‘This American Life – Serial’. I didn’t really have an idea of what a podcast even was, let alone regularly listen to one. I found the app on my phone, got downloading and was hooked. Listening to a gripping crime series while feeding my youngest during those long nights of newborness was a revelation. I could keep my brain and my child alive at the same time! Who knew?! Fast forward 2 years and I now subscribe to probably 20 shows, some of which I tune into with the regularity of some people’s Eastenders viewing and some which I dip into now and again.
I’ve become one of those annoying types who tries to force the podcast love onto others (hence this post), but I really believe that once you get into a few you’ll wonder where they have been all your life. I’ve learnt about so many inspiring women, businesses and brands which have encouraged me to consider my own career path now that I’m juggling parenting and working. There are a wealth of resources to be uncovered, as well as pure entertainment.
Some of my top recommendations are below, but if they aren’t your cup of tea, I’d love to hear other suggestions or just encourage you to go search out topics you really engage with. Happy podcasting – I take no responsibility for your subsequent addictive behaviours!
In no particular order:
CTRL, ALT, Delete -Emma Gannon interviews a variety of interesting people, some celebs and lots of tech/internet savvy/entrepreneur types. Good for: Career inspiration
The Guilty Feminist – Deborah Frances White hosts this comedy panel show which tackles feminist and equality issues in a light-hearted yet incredibly enlightening way. Good for: Wanting to take down the Patriarchy!
My Dad Wrote a Porno – 3 presenters read out and ‘critique’ one of their Dad’s attempt at erotic literature. Good for: Laughing until you cry and jaw droppingly terrible writing
Desert Island Discs – An oldie but a goldie. Kirsty Young interviews people of note and challenges them to select the 8 discs that they’d want if marooned on a desert island. Good for: Widening your musical horizons and learning about fascinating folk
The High Low – journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton discuss the week’s current affairs, including news stories and popular culture. Good for: News in bite size chunks and great book/ TV recommendations
Scummy Mummies – comedians Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson talk about all things parenting, focussing mainly on our parenting fails with other well-known parents. There’s usually wine and gold catsuits involved. You can see them in action in real life at Rendcomb College on 14th December; tickets via the Cheltenham Maman website. Good for: Reassuring you that its ok to let your kids eat ‘beige freezer tapas’ for dinner 5 nights out of 7.
Also on my list:
Women’s Hour, Letters to My Fanny, Dirty Mother Pukka, Happy Mum Happy Baby, Guys We F*cked, Here’s The Thing, Fresh Air, This American Life and The Butterfly Effect.
A Guest Blog from Laura Bentley
Laura is mum to four year old Noah, and two year old Zac and lives in Cheltenham with husband Alex. When not listening to podcasts or watching Netflix, she works for a tour operator in Witney training new starters. She’s recently joined the Naunton Park Pre-school committee to help with fundraising and communications (and for the wine at the meetings!) She loves a bit of exercise and completed the Cheltenham Half Marathon and Blenheim Triathlon this year, raising money for Marie Curie.
Enjoyed this read? Make sure you check out all of the CheltenhamMaman recommendations over at Maman Pages.