What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

Hosted by funny moms Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson, “What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood” is a comedy podcast about the never-ending "fresh hells" of parenting. Amy and Margaret are each moms of three, dealing with the same hassles as any parent, but with completely different parenting styles. Margaret is laid-back to the max; Amy never met a spreadsheet she didn't like. We offer three episodes each week: "Question of the Week" mini-episodes on Mondays regular weekly episodes on Wednesdays "Fresh Take" interview with experts and authors on Fridays Join us as we laugh in the face of motherhood! What Fresh Hell is a Webby Honoree for Best Podcast: Kids and Family, the winner of Mom 2.0 Iris Awards for "Best Podcast" and "Most Entertaining Content," and a Podcast Awards People’s Choice for "Best Family and Parenting Podcast. whatfreshhellpodcast.com

Episodes

June 24, 2022 38 min
Amber Briggle and her family live in Texas. Amber is the mom of two kids, Max and Lulu, and on her website "Love To The Max," Amber shares the family's real stories and experiences as a trans-inclusive family. Amber describes herself as "just a mom," but the events of the last few years have made her a powerful advocate for the rights of kids and families like her own. She was a founding member (and former natio...
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We asked the moms in our Facebook group about times they caught their spouses being awesome. Maybe it's supporting us in our difficult career choices. Maybe it's reading books on certain issues to do with our kids. Maybe it's brushing hair. (But don't get Amy started on that last one!) In this episode, Amy and Margaret discuss: Being good vs. being awesome Subverting gender roles in the home Qualities you wish fo...
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Do you need a reset around the yelling in your house– namely, your own? Are certain times (bathtime, homework time, putting screens away time) a consistent battle? Amy's best tip to tame the yelling comes from something she heard from a dog trainer! "Never repeat a cue twice" is one of the basic tenets of dog training. If you tell a dog to "sit" but eventually that becomes "Sit. Sit.... Sit!... SIT!!" y...
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This week's guest, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, is the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Dr. Kendi was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Genius Grant. His new book, released just ...
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June 15, 2022 43 min
From how to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup, to *not* saving the pandas, to the forever-ban of helium balloons, our listeners are willing to die on some pretty tiny hills. Here's what mountains you all are making out of mole hills– plus a few of our own tiny battles. Special thanks to our sponsors for this month: Betterhelp online therapy is affordable, confidential, and effective! Give it a try and see if online therapy c...
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June 13, 2022 8 min
We've talked a lot about picky eating on the podcast but if you're looking less for advice and more for 'how does it all turn out?' then this is the episode for you! This week Kristina asks, "I was listening to an episode where Margaret described her extremly picky son and the anxiety she felt. She was basically describing my daughter. That episode is from 2016 so I'm curious does anyone know if he's exp...
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Kate Swenson is a mom to four kids, a wife, and a proud Minnesotan. She regularly writes and creates videos about her life as a mother and an autism advocate for her website "Finding Cooper's Voice," a living, thriving community of people who not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Kate's book Forever Boy: A Mother's Memoir of Aut...
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June 8, 2022 41 min
Gloria DeGaetano, parenting expert and founder of the Parent Coaching Institute, recently wrote: "There's almost not a word to express the stress parents are under right now. 'Overwhelmed' doesn't cut it. It's beyond anything we've ever experienced." War in Ukraine. Shootings in grade schools. Inflation rates way up. Covid rates way up. This really is a strange and scary moment for all of us, and par...
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A listener wrote: I am in a mom funk. I always wanted to be a mom, but I underestimated the amount of work and sacrifice it takes to be a mom. I’m exhausted. I feel like I never get a chance to catch my breath and be ready to be a mom the next morning when my kids wake up, and I spend most of the day with my kids just trying to make it to bedtime. My kids are seven and four, and I really thought that parenting would have gotten ea...
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Dr. Lynyetta Willis is a psychologist and family empowerment coach who helps smart, successful women (and their families) stop the unhelpful patterns that keep them stuck, so they can create more joy in their parenting or partnerships. In this "Best Of" re-release, Dr. Willis tells us what it means to live in "stable misery." We discuss her framework for changing those patterns and finding more joy and harmony in ou...
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June 1, 2022 47 min
"Mom rage" is a thing, and it feels shameful because it feels so far from where we are supposed to be as mothers and as women. Writer Anne Lamott called it "a closely guarded secret, as if the myth of maternal bliss is so sacrosanct that we can't even admit these feelings to ourselves." But it's more universal than we admit, and its triggers more predictable. There are also practical ways we can all recogniz...
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A listener wrote in with this question: When does the refusing to eat dinner phase pass? My 2.5 year old rarely eats dinner. I try to hold firm about not making special meals, but she refuses everything. She gets a pretty healthy lunch daily, but I still worry. She gets too much sugar and carbs overall, and not enough veggies and protein. She used to like all sorts of food and now she's fully on kid food like mac and cheese, ch...
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This episode was first recorded in July 2021, before the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, not to mention the ongoing horrors of war in Ukraine. We hope it might be useful for a relisten right now, as many of us struggle with what to tell our kids, how much, and when. If we don't give the kids any context, some older kid in the cafeteria might become their primary source of (mis)information. We discuss what age is ol...
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What makes us introverts or extroverts– and why do so many of us choose our total opposites for our parenting partners? In this episode we talk about the myths of introverts and extroverts, why opposites attract, and how to parent kids who are also your total opposites. In this episode, Amy and Margaret discuss: The ways that introverts and extroverts solve problems How they navigate being the opposite of their partners How to a...
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A listener posted this on our Facebook page: What is up with my 5-year-old? All of a sudden she is talking back, yelling at the top of her lungs, not listening, kicking and screaming, throwing tantrums, throwing things at me, and giving me teenager vibes. (I do not allow any of this behavior in my house.) I’m at a loss for what to do. Is this boundary-seeking behavior? Is something happening at school? Is it because I’m working mo...
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Matthew Fray is a relationship coach who leans on the lessons of his failed marriage to help others avoid making the same mistakes that he did. He's a 43-year-old single father who is best known for his viral blog post "She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink." Fray is the author of the new book "This is How Your Marriage Ends: A Hopeful Approach to Saving Relationships." Matthew gives us wonderful, po...
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May 18, 2022 48 min
We asked you, our listeners, what unwelcome surprises you've experienced in your parenting journey, and boy, did you deliver! From bodily functions to keeping kids' clothes on to teaching them how to sit in a chair for the hundredth time, we collectively wonder how the human race has survived so long--and whether or not ants have lungs. Here are links to the WFH episodes we mentioned: Why Are Our Kids Such Total Opposites? ...
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One of our listeners asked: How do you navigate responding to family members who demand hugs and kisses from kids? My husband’s family is full of huggy-kissy people. When leaving after a visit, my in-laws lay it on hard with their requests (which feel more like demands) for my 3-year-old to give them a goodbye hug and kiss. Sometimes she doesn't want to, and if she doesn't want to, I don’t force her. But she gets a lot of p...
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Anxiety expert Lynn Lyons and co-host Robin Hutson created the podcast FLUSTERCLUX to help anxious kids and anxious families, which are usually one and the same. Lynn Lyons has trained hundreds of teachers, school nurses, counselors and parents about managing anxiety. In this episode, Lynn, Robin, and Amy discuss: Why reassurance doesn't always placate kids' anxieties Why anxiety craves certainty– and how we can unwitting...
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May 11, 2022 45 min
As Margaret and Amy both deal with Covid in their households, they wonder how they ever thought it was over and when the "new normal" will feel truly normal, if ever. They give both optimistic and realistic assessments of the future as they try to imagine one that's forever changed, but also better than before. And they both agree that you should cheer on everyone who is running the New York City Marathon, whether they...
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