Maternity Leave Hack: Plug into Podcasts

I’ve been on maternity leave for six months now and as with most things you’ve never done before, you can have a slightly rose-tinted view of how things are going to be. For me, it’s been magical except for one thing…reading!

I envisaged with all the sleeping my baby would be doing (ha…ha…ha) that I’d spend many hours drinking coffee and reading. Don’t get me wrong, coffee has been drunk in excess but the books, now dusty, have never been touched.

Instead, albeit late to the party, I have discovered audiobooks and podcasts. Podcasts especially, in my humble opinion, should be prescribed to new mothers.

Whether you’re stuck in bed with your sleeping baby still attached to you, sat on the drive with them snoozing in the car (you gotta do what you gotta do to get them to nap) or pounding the streets with your pram, podcasts are your new best friend. Literally.

For me, it’s like listening to two interesting, intelligent friends chat without any requirement for me to contribute (‘mum brain’ is real) but once I’m done clocking up my steps for the day, I feel inspired. It also feeds that part of you that wants to chat about non-baby related topics!

There are countless podcasters to discover so you’re bound to find someone who you don’t mind having a one-way conversation with, but here are seven of my favourite. Enjoy!

1. CTRL ALT DELETE – Emma Gannon 

I love her. She’s a trailblazer in advocating for the multi-hyphenate career and asks her guests (Lena Dunham to Elizabeth Gilbert) all the questions you’d want to ask them. From real money talk to failures and passions – I’m addicted.

2. Love Stories with Dolly Alderton 

After finishing her book ‘Everything I Know About Love’, I discovered her podcast Love Stories with Dolly Alderton where a series of guests discuss the loves of their lives and how they changed them.

3. How to Fail – Elizabeth Day 

Framing failure in a new way, Elizabeth asks her guests to reveal moments of failure, both big and small, and what they’ve learned from them.

4. The High Low – Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton

Pandora Sykes and Dolly (who also creates the podcast above) discuss pop-culture and news. As they are IRL pals, it really does feel like you’re sitting in on a chat amongst friends. I worked with Pandora briefly many years ago and she’s just as lovely, witty and smart as she was then.

5. RISE– Rachel Hollis 

Rachel is the author of ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’. Her podcast is motivating and although very…American, there’s enough self-deprecation and sarcasm to ease my British soul. Perfect for when you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself and need a peppy kick up the bum!

6. Taking Therapies – Psychologies with UKCP

My favourite magazine has partnered with UKCP to tackle big issues relating to wellness and mental health. It’s basically free therapy – the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday night bath!

7. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Who doesn’t want to listen to the wise words of Oprah? This is not the one for practical life tips, rather the deep musings of thought-leaders attempting to rumble with life’s big questions.

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