Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Co-host of the Episode Party podcast, author of Storm Static Sleep: A Pathway Through Post-rock, editor at ATTN:Magazine.
Most parenting podcasts are made by parents. Not only that, but these parents sound like they've got everything sussed. They're overflowing with advice, speaking about their anxiety and uncertainty only in retrospective terms. For an expectant first-time dad, it's difficult to relate to hosts who speak about parenting in terms of accomplishment. Instead of leaving listeners equipped with useful know-how, these shows often generate the impression parents should feel competent right out of the gate.
In contrast, British comedians Jonny Donahoe and Josie Long feel thoroughly unprepared. The couple found out they were having a baby only a year into their relationship, and this podcast is their frantic attempt to gather advice from experts and entertainers as they hurtle toward parenthood.
Their episode with psychotherapist Philippa Perry is particularly interesting for two reasons. For one, it was released the day after Long and Donahoe's baby was born. It'll be fascinating to see whether the podcast continues to document their experiences as new parents (given that there have been no new episodes since April 5th, it seems that the show might have dropped down their priority list somewhat).
The other point of interest is that Perry resembles the precise brand of confident, instructional advice that dominates the parenting branch of self-help. The presence of Long and Donahoe provides an essential counterbalance to this dogmatic, science-supported sense of parenthood rights and wrongs; they're never afraid to ask questions that might be classed as dumb, and the podcast buzzes with an air of excitement and apprehension that characterises a couple peering into the parental unknown. Humour is an essential express valve here, and allows the duo to take ownership of their status as bumbling beginners. As a dad-to-be myself, it's fantastic to hear a couple celebrate every aspect of expecting – the joy, the naïvety – without losing the ability to laugh at themselves.