When you're up late and looking for something to listen to, it can't hurt to tap into the understanding voices of these great (and free!) podcasts. / Thinkstock
Most of the opinions you hear about your parenting techniques you didn’t want to hear in the first place. But here are three (free!) podcasts that offer advice, insight and — most importantly — the knowledge that you’re not the only one bribing and Hail Mary-ing your way through it all. Be sure to click on the links below and subscribe to these podcasts in the iTunes store, because the hours of judgment-free listening can sure come in handy when you're getting the side eye for a public tantrum.
Slate magazine is a power player in the podcast game, tapping the quintessential intellectuals that roam its halls (and its website) with shows like the Culture Gabfest, the feminist XX Gabfest and the sports podcast that’s not just for jocks, Hang Up and Listen. Their new parenting podcast has XX editor Allison Benedikt and Slate senior editor Dan Kois discussing the latest in parenting news, along with a cadre of supersmart guests. The show starts off with especially endearing moments described in their their parenting fails and triumphs and gets better from there, like the episode below that breaks down gap years, Jennifer Senior's latest piece on teenagers and more. Press 'subscribe' on this one before you have a lot to catch up on. Listen when: You’ve had plenty of coffee.
Billing itself as a “3 a.m. bedside companion for new parents,” this show is smart, funny and held together by heartrending, beautifully told stories. Writer, mom and radio producer Hillary Frank generates segments that bring out the best in both parents and audio production. It’s good for your brain and your heart. Listen when: Everyone else is asleep and you don’t want to feel alone.
Laughing at the trials of parenting is a huge part of making the unpleasant moments bearable — which is why working moms Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt have segments like “What’s on My Clothes This Week.” With banter that rounds out solid advice on everything from planning a financial future to dealing with angsty teens, they fearlessly go forth into “having it all,” supported by their active community and fans. Listen when: You’re bunching the 6 millionth sock from the laundry pile or you’re tuning out an Xbox-related spat.