Free time.

When you become a parent, free time becomes a thing of the distant past, like long showers and hot meals. When you become a parent, you are forced to become a master at multi-tasking, and there's no better way to make the most of your time than to listen to a podcast while you do something else: load the washing machine, drive to the grocery store, or wait for your kid's latest practice, doctor appointment, lesson, study group, etc., (pre-COVID, of course).

If your podcast playlist could use a jolt of energy from some new voices, here are some great options you could check out.

Parent Trapped is produced by Common Sense Media, which I discovered (and fell in love with) while researching resources for raising anti-racist kids. Episode 10 about Embracing the Messiness of Life spoke to my overly tidy, type-A heart and had me nodding along with economist and author Tim Harford as he talked about how we should stop trying to impose order in a naturally disordered situation. As host Ann Marie Baldonado proclaimed: because what's messier than a pandemic? (Moving to a new state in the middle of a pandemic. That's messier. But that's another story.)

Spawned by Cool Mom Picks founders Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase is a podcast dedicated to all things parenting, but their website is a valuable resource for more than just an insightful podcast. Their episode featuring Katherine Goldstein about COVID and the working mom crisis is gold.

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Speaking of Katherine Goldstein, she is a journalist and working mom advocate who produces The Double Shift, a podcast focused specifically on the unique situation working mothers face every day regarding their job and child care responsibilities. I heard Katherine speak during the 2019 Online News Association event, and I felt immediately connected with her work and her attitude about what it's like to be a working mother. She's produced two seasons and is currently working on the third season, which has been delayed the fact that she welcomed twin boys one mother before the pandemic hit.

Other parenting podcasts you might want to check out:

Still want more? This article by the Big Life Journal breaks down parenting podcasts by age group so you can easily and quickly find ones geared toward the kids in your life.

By the way, Glaze and Grit is a local podcast produced by two Fargo women and focused on authentic stories and honest conversations. The podcast is not about parenting, but it covers a wide range of subjects and includes a wider range of guests and community members. It's refreshing and inspiring. The podcast launched in May and releases every few weeks.

And finally, parenting is a crazy rollercoaster of a ride, and no one talks about motherhood quite like the ladies of #imomsohard. What started as a funny video series has morphed into a comedy tour (which was supposed to come to Grand Forks in April, then October but has been rescheduled to 2012 thanks to the pandemic), an Amazon Prime comedy special, and a podcast! Yay for you. If you are in need of a little humor, check it out but be warned, these ladies are real and really honest about every topic they tackle.