What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Episode 2: Helping or Helicoptering


You just brought your kid’s forgotten lunch to school. Again. Is that helping or helicoptering?

You know overparenting when you see it— in other people. Sometimes it’s harder to gauge in yourself.

As moms go, Margaret tends toward the laissez-faire, and Amy towards the shall-we-say particularly attentive. In this episode we tease out

  • our own worst bad calls on this topic
  • the best question to ask yourself when you’re not sure if you’re hovering or just helping
  • why you need to start letting your kids fail now
Perhaps it’s best to just keep in mind Margaret’s solemn words of advice:

When in doubt, let your children be more miserable.

Here’s a few of the books and articles we mention in this episode:

Little Failure– hilarious and mega-prizewinning memoir by Gary Shteyngart- what happens to a guy whose parents never, EVER told him he was special. In this case, he becomes a genius and prize-winning author. So there you go.

How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

When Parents Are Too Connected (Toronto Star)


photo courtesy of Principal Steve Straessle of the Catholic High School for Boys, Little Rock, AR:  Principal’s Problem-Solving Rule for Parents Goes Viral


Episode 1: Your Picky Eater


Episode 3: Screen Time

1 Comment

  1. Lynda Ables

    What a great discussion! Besides parents, I recommend grandparents listen to this podcast. We all adore our grandchildren, but especially when we are keeping them without their parents, it is truly important to follow the style of parenting established in their home. Our duty is to keep them safe, fed, shower them with love and play with them. We are NOT raising them! Keeping grandchildren is not an opportunity for a “Do over” and a chance to correct any perceived mistakes we think we made when raising our own children. This podcast would be a terrific conversation starter and an excellent way for mother in laws and daughter in laws to come to a common understanding.

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