For Your Ears

Confession: I haven’t been a podcast listener for long. I’m not much of a multi-tasker, so the idea of following along with a conversation while trying desperately not to burn dinner sounded like too much for me.

But then.

Ken and I have fallen into this odd little child-rearing rhythm as of late where I’ll wake up at 2am just as he’s going to bed. He shakes me from sleep twice, three times, (OK four) and I shuffle my feet out to the dining room to sneak in some writing between Scout’s feedings and before Bee wakes up for the day. Once Bee’s awake, it’s breakfast-making, tower-building, Wild Kratts-watching, baby-rocking, reading, coloring, bottle-warming, general mayhem before Chinese lessons or a playdate.

Until noon, of course.

Noon is Magic Sauna Hour. Have we talked about this, the sauna? Years ago, during our HGTV.com show, Ken turned a spare closet into a cedar sauna. Truth be told, I fought the whole idea when Ken brought it up. Who needs a sauna in their house? It’s unnecessary! Frivolous! You’ll never use it!

I was right: he almost never uses it.

(I do.)

It works like this: noon is the great reset of the day. Ken takes over with the littles while I heat the sauna, have a shower, turn on a a podcast and talk to no one for the duration of the hour. It is the single greatest boost in my day, and after Magic Sauna Hour, I’m fully restored and good for another 100,000 miles.

So, here’s what I’m getting at: if you don’t have a spare closet you can transform into a cedar sauna, a podcast break in a quiet room with a cheap face mask is potentially the next best thing.

Here are six I’m loving:

  1. The Liturgists
    Faith meets science meets art, in all its complexities. What I love about this one in particular is that it’s an invitation to freely wrestle with questions, doubts and contradictions that have long shaped our very perception of what it means to live in this world.
    Perfect for: A day when you’re in a particularly deep or inquisitive mood.
    Start with: The Bible, Advocacy
  2. At Home
    A group of 6 Christian homeschooling mothers talk through issues like comparison, learning difficulties, marriage and feminism. Each woman offers a different point of view within a similar perspective, all offering practical strategies for a home full of joy, faith and love.
    Perfect for: A day when you need a lighthearted, encouraging boost from fellow mothers.
    Start with: Discussion Without Offense
  3. Invisibilia
    Invisibilia blends everyday stories with exploratory research in the fields of psychology, habits and the deeply-entrenched roots of our most human behaviors.
    Perfect for: A day when you’re curious why it is we do the thing we do – and how we can potentially do them better.
    Start With: Flip the Script, The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes
  4. Good Life Project
    Jonathan Fields examines what it means to live a good life through a series of guests, thoughts and perspective shifts.
    Perfect for: A day you need to be reminded of your own power.
    Start With: Annoyed or Blessed
  5. Edit Your Life Show
    Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh offer that rare blend of practical inspiration for families seeking to simplify their lives in a manageable way. Ever-encouraging (and never preachy), they’re the real deal both online and off.
    Perfect for: A day when you’re feeling stuck in a rut and in need of a new and realistic action plan.
    Start With: At-Home Date Night Ideas, Parenting Do-Overs
  6. Coffee + Crumbs
    Cheerful and warm, the Coffee+Crumbs team highlights ordinary moms with extraordinary stories.
    Perfect for: A day when you could use some motherhood camaraderie.
    Start With: The Lucky Few

Tell me, what are your go-to podcasts for a mid-day pick-me-up? I’d love to hear!

p.s. I didn’t include The Simple Show because I’m a co-host, but Tsh’s podcast is definitely worth a listen!

  • I’ll be checking a few of these out! My current favorite is Risen Motherhood. They discuss parenting challenges through the lens of the Good News of Christ. Always enlightening and so encouraging.

  • I love podcasts! Sadly I have no sauna though. I love “dear sugar,” “pop fashion,” “nancy,” “death sex and money” “the longest shortest time” “mater mea” “fat mascara” and “new York magazine’s sex lives” right now. There’s never enough time in the day to listen to all of them. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • The Slow Your Home Podcast is my favorite right now. I love what Brooke has to say and her voice is so lovely to listen to.

  • Awesome! I love podcasts! And listening to them in a sauna sounds amazing! I love listening to boldnewmom.com she has some really good ones on how to manage our emotions and show up for the people we love in the best possible way!

  • My absolute favorite podcast is “Shailey and Katie: the Podcast.” They are laugh out loud hilarious work from home creative entrepreneur moms. I don’t even have kids and I listen to all the episodes (even the ones about sleep training and packing for your kids for a trip) because they’re just that good. Listening to them is like listening to your best friends talk. I might be a bit of a fangirl lol

  • Friend! You’re so sweet to include us in this, thank you! <3 I listen to At Home regularly but haven't listened to any of the others – bookmarking these in Stitcher now!

  • I adore podcasts—they are like the spoonful of sugar that help the laundry pile go down! You have a great list going…I also like “the happy hour with Jamie Ivey”-excellent interview, by the way- and they Daily audio proverb with Brian Hardin. My kids snicker every time he says “I love you” in his sign-off, but I find these proverbs really apply to daily life around our place!

  • The Robcast, One Part Podcast, and Clever. The topics are spiritual, food, and design respectively.

    P.S. I recently finished reading your book and it was absolutely lovely! Thank you for being you :)

  • Yes! The chance to reset is so important! And I too find the wee hours are best for writing in this season of having a 1 and 4yr old!

    Fav podcasts: Robcast (LOVE!), The Road Back To You, and Richard Rohr’s homilies. :) I’ve also been told the Liturgists is amazing – thanks for the new podcast ideas!

  • Oohhhhh – have you listened to The Longest Shortest Time? Such an interesting look at parenting (even from this wife-non-mom!) XOXO

  • Sounds like I need to add a few more to my subscriptions – thanks for the recommendations!
    The “How I Built This” podcast has been in heavy rotation for me lately – I am always so inspired by those that had the gumption to go out and make whatever idea they had happen. I am much more of a laid-back, observer of the world than a jump in head first kind of lady, so I really enjoy living vicariously through their stories.
    And, if you haven’t listened to “The Mystery Show” podcast yet, you are missing out! It’s a funny, heartstrings-pulling, quirky show that always lifts my spirits.

  • I’m a huge fan of 99 Percent Invisible and the beautiful nerds that make it. Also I’ve really loved Millennial – could be because I am one, but it’s a good peek inside our brains :) On the business/marketing side of things, Building a Story Brand with Donald Miller is excellent as well!

    Looking forward to seeing you at Design Week Fort Wayne, Erin! I just recently discovered your blog and it’s been a huge encouragement to me as a young designer/human.

  • I recently found out about The Simple Families Blog and her podcast is fantastic! I actually heard about your book (and you!) from her. She recently mentioned reading your book on an Instagram post. I am actually listening to the audio book now…it’s fantastic!

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