Modern families: Tuning into the top Irish parenting podcasts

Modern families: Tuning into the top Irish parenting podcasts

There are many podcasts on the web inspiring listeners with advice from real mums and dads. Geraldine Walsh turns up the volume and reports on her favourite Irish sites

Parenting podcasts have taken over my recently played on Spotify. I’ve found listening to these parenting gurus, with their frank conversations about the reality of life with kids, almost always relatable. Tuning in to real parents has made me more comfortable in this sometimes crazy and desperate parenting journey. There are tonnes of podcasts out there. Trying to figure out which ones to listen to in our time-poor day with kids is the tricky part.

Some of my favourites are high on the family podcast charts and others are making inroads as a new voice to listen to.

Parenting Pobal is a combination of real parenting and real relationships with couple Karen and Derek Power, who live in Dublin with their two kids. Talking all things parenting with a combination of zero sleep, lots of coffee and a good dash of humour, they bring a reality to the rawness of parenting as they survive parenthood together.

Episodes vary from chatting about everyday life to including guests from all walks of life including single parents, parents of children with special needs, same sex parents, newborn parents and parents with grown-up children.

We want to represent everyone and are open to talking about everything,” say the couple. “There are lots of parenting podcasts out there, so in trying to set ourselves apart, we wanted to be a podcast run by a mam and dad.

Thanks to Derek’s contribution, Parenting Pobal, is one of the best podcasts for Dad’s bringing the important male voice to the conversation of parenthood.

Everymum the Podcast, sponsored by Mothercare, launched this year, reaching out to the 200,000 members in the community of the Everymum website. Host Sinead O’Moore, mum to one, brilliantly teases out the sometime fragile conversation with her guests.

Sinead O’Moore
Sinead O’Moore

Frequently topping the charts, Everymum’s popularity is down to the vast conversations had and is one for every parent, from the early days to the school days and beyond.

“We talk about loneliness,” Sinead tells us, “same sex parental equality, mums in politics, separation, infertility and IVF, raising a child with severe physical disabilities to believing in a life without limits.

We honestly chat about how vulnerable motherhood can turn to anxiety and fear of failure while we strive to do our best. Every mum is giving all that she has while trying to not lose all that she is. No matter what the situation, challenge, route or methods of motherhood, she is doing her best and deserves a community of support from other women who see her, who get her and who want to give her a voice.

Under the Motherhood is a podcast created earlier this year by friends Jen Ryan and Joanne O’Sullivan.

As two mothers with six kids between them, they have helped each other navigate the challenges of raising young children.

Their conversations will leave you nodding along with what they say.

Our audience is anyone raising mini-humans who can identify with the challenges, chaos, and the fun that all brings. We discuss a range of topics from difficulties in pregnancy, or even in getting pregnant, to toddlerhood, age developments and everything in between.

The friends record the podcast at home with the kids often around them. The delicate chat of real motherhood can be naturally interrupted by one or more of the kids, which will only make you smile. It’s as though we are sitting at the kitchen table, eavesdropping.

Motherboard is the podcast from parenting website Family Friendly HQ. Sponsored by Lidl, it is now on season two and does not shy away from the big topics we worry about but are often afraid to discuss such as pre-eclampsia, post-natal depression and difficult pregnancies. Hosted by midwife Avril Flynn, mum of one, the conversation centres around the ups and downs of daily parenting.

“We live in an age of the perfect Instagram image of life, motherhood and parenthood,” says Avril. “That has not been my experience. I found my motherhood journey incredibly tough. I want to be honest about that and not put a perfect filter on it.

On Motherboard, our audience of new mums and mums in the middle of the school years, will hear something different. The intention is that we reach someone who we might help; that it might make them feel less alone, or more supported in their journey as a parent.

Mum Tribe was created by Erica O’Connor-Buckley as an online space where mums could feel like themselves at any age, or any stage of motherhood. “It began when I felt there was a gap for an inclusive support group for mothers, regardless of their parenting choices,” says host Erica, mum of one, who openly shares her journey with postnatal depression.

The podcast popped up after the success of the Instagram page, with over 14,000 followers, where mums chatted about their lives as parents and tackled tough topics like relationships after kids, mental health struggles and mum shaming. All of which comes through on the podcast.

“We are more than just mothers,” says Erica.

We are still the same women we were pre-kids with the same ambitions and personalities, but we have so much to juggle, it can be easy to lose your sense of identity.

For all Mum Kind is a podcast born out of the love of chatting to other mums, sharing experiences, guiding each other on this journey and finding solace in the collective knowing we are all on our own path in motherhood. Hosted by Pamela Prendiville Farr, a mum of one from Kerry, the podcast is on series two.

“On each episode of the podcast I invite a mum to chat about motherhood, share their stories from the ups and downs and everything in between,” says Pamela.

Reaching into a household and supporting a mum will in turn rickshaw through the family. Creating happy parents, creates happy babies and therefore a happy family. If the podcast helps only one person then that’s good enough for me.

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