What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

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Episode 10: What To Say When You Don’t Have a Clue

  We average about one conversation a week, with one or other of our children, during which we are suddenly at a total loss as to what to say. Perhaps you too have had a few Tough Questions like these: Is Santa real? What is racism? If I go to heaven, will my toys come too?…
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Episode 9: Dividing the Workload

In any home, there’s the workload everyone can see: the dirty dishes, the broken crayons under the dining room table, the laundry to be folded. And in most of our homes, that workload is divided more equitably than it was in the homes where we grew up. But then there’s the workload that lives in…
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Episode 8: Are Our Kids Overscheduled?

Are our kids overscheduled? Compared to our own childhoods, definitely. But is that necessarily a problem? And how are we, as parents, supposed to tell? According to Dr. Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child: There is a line between a highly enriched, interesting, growth-promoting childhood and an overscheduled childhood…. and nobody knows where that line is….
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how to review a podcast on iTunes (now Apple Podcasts)

One of the best ways to support our podcast (or any podcast you’re enjoying) is to rate and review it on Apple Podcasts. But it’s not always easy or intuitive to do so. Here’s step-by-step instructions on how to do so, either from your computer or from your phone or tablet: How to leave an Apple…
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Episode 7: Mom Goals

New year, new leaf! In this episode we’re talking “mom goals” for the coming year. Productivity guru (and mom of four) Laura Vanderkam says that “goals should be our tools, not our masters.” But since we need to set goals in the first place in order to make them achievable, we’ll take her advice, skip…
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Episode 6: Chores

This week we’re talking about chores: do you make your kids do them? If so– how much, how frequently, and do they get paid for their troubles? Experts say that kids’ chores are worthy in and of themselves, teaching kids things like teamwork and self-esteem. In other words, it may be worth the extra effort…
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Episode 5: Handling the Holiday Craziness

Each December 25th, most moms look at a living room full of scattered wrapping paper and vow to do less next year. Then Black Friday rolls around. But can you really downshift on how much Santa brings once a baseline has been established? This week Amy and Margaret talk about managing the holiday craziness. (Disclaimer: for both of us, that…
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Episode 4: Homework

Some experts say we’re drowning today’s kids under nightly tsunamis of homework. Others disagree— but one thing’s for sure: our kids have more homework than we did at their age. And more stress. And more “projects,” a word sure to strike terror in any mother’s heart. In this episode, we take on homework, and discuss…
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Episode 3: Screen Time

This week’s episode is all about screen time. Given: Unlimited screen time is bad. But how much is okay? How much is too much? How do you handle the nightly battles of “But PLEASE, Mom! Just one more level!” when it’s time to unplug? Most importantly: is it ever okay to let our kids’ brains melt…
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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…
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Episode 1: Your Picky Eater

Welcome to the podcast! Whether you call it “picky eating,” “restricted eating,” or as some pediatricians like to call it, “avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder” (ARFID)— if you’ve got more than one kid, chances are you’ve got a kid whose acceptable foodstuffs can be counted on one hand. We’ve each dealt with a picky eater at…
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