Let’s face it, in the midst of parenthood, enrolling in classes, attending conferences, and even reading books—life can sometimes feel daunting. With the ever-growing to-do list that ties into raising children, there has to be an easier way to get some tangible parenting advice. When it comes to raising children from backgrounds of trauma, it is especially important to have a lot of resources in your tool belt. The aforementioned tools  are great and if you have the allotted time, go for it. But, in between diaper changes, folding laundry, doctors, and therapy appointments I have become a podcast junkie.

Yes, I love a good podcast. I remember being a young child listening to talk radio and begging my dad to turn the station to music. How could anyone listen to people talk for hours? It was mind-numbing. Yet, here I am many years later happily listening to podcasts as I clean the house, wash dishes, or do any other task that allows me to pop some earbuds in and listen while I work. 

As a foster momma and a momma through adoption, I have gained so much understanding about brain development, being trauma-informed, the effects of FASD (fetal alcohol syndrome disorder) the importance of connection, infertility, biblical teaching, and so much more. 

Some podcasts I listen to bring in professionals and therapists while others bring in moms from different walks of life. The hour or so I spend listening, I walk away feeling empowered and understood. 

One of my favorite podcasts is Real Mom Podcast hosted by Jamie Finn, she is a well-known foster care and adoption advocate who has fostered many children and has also adopted. She brings in moms and professionals from all backgrounds, but she is rooted in foster care and adoption. She is lighthearted and fun, yet she tackles serious topics that arise in the adoption community.

I love that she starts her show by asking her guests “what are you eating, what are you reading, what are you watching, and what are you listening to?” It’s a cute little icebreaker that helps the listener get to know the guest in a quick way and connect. Her interview-style podcast has a great flow and back and forth; and it is easy to listen to.

Another podcast I really recommend is The Forgotten Podcast This podcast unpacks some heavy stuff, so be prepared with tissues in hand. The podcast host is also named Jamie and she brings in professionals that bring light to some parts of adoption and foster care that are talked about less. She also has a call to action, ways the listener can get involved, and educates on what is being done about these issues. I never walk away feeling hopeless—but encouraged. 

Then there is Empowered to Parent Podcast. This podcast is a group of parents that have adopted children and are facing heavy behaviors that have resulted from trauma. They have specific episodes from toddlers to teenagers and even address second-chance adoptions. The parents in this podcast are so helpful and I have gone back to it when facing behaviors multiple times. You will walk away feeling empowered to parent. 

A podcast that I have tuned into during some of my darkest days as I have struggled through infertility is Sarah’s Laughter Infertility Podcast. This podcast doesn’t focus on adoption, but I have met many many parents who were led to adoption because of infertility. The podcast host, Beth is so kind and compassionate with a thick southern drawl that is easy to listen to. She brings on women affected by infertility and the brave journey they have walked through. Whenever I find myself feeling alone in my own infertility journey I press play and listen to the encouraging words that come from Beth. 

Podcasts aren’t just for grown-ups either. I have a child who has a number of sensory issues and she has always had a hard time in the car: from the car seat being restrictive, the sound of other cars on the road, to being too hot or too cold and having trouble finding the right temperature balance. Thankfully, I have discovered she is a podcast junkie as well. She loves listening to adventure and stories that don’t play loud music but have soft voices that take her along for the adventure. 

Podcasts have been a great distraction for her car rides and now she will excitedly get buckled up if it means she gets to listen to another episode of Paws and Tails. This podcast is about a group of forest creatures that are all buddies and have a clubhouse. The podcast covers everyday issues children come across: for example, bullying, having a sick parent, gossip, being kind, and respecting teachers. The people who voice the podcast are very talented and have been a Godsend for our car rides.

The last podcast I want to recommend is the Instamommas. It’s a shameful plug since I am a co-host on the show. My sister and I started our podcast because our daughters were born in the same year and adopted the same year. Our adoptions are very different, she adopted internationally and I adopted through foster care. Our two perspectives bring a lot to the podcast. We have tackled many topics about adoption and have interviewed many people as well on our platform. One of my favorite episodes was when we interviewed an occupational therapist. She explains the different therapies and their benefits. We are just two moms who rent out the podcast studio at our local library. We do all the editing and topic research ourselves, so it’s nothing fancy. We believe in honest and open conversations about adoption and all things motherhood.

Podcasts are easily accessible and free. They can be listened to anywhere and anytime. As great of a tool as they are, I still would recommend building your adoption community. That doesn’t mean others who’ve adopted, (although if you can find others that have adopted that’s awesome) but people who support and want to understand being trauma-informed. Technology is amazing. It brings the world right to us in a tiny little device we have become so reliant on, but nothing beats human connection. Sometimes raising children can feel so isolating and a community is a must. Through a community, we do better as parents. We glean wisdom from those who have walked this road before us. We gain grace knowing there is no perfect parent out there. We gain tools to help our children thrive. We gain deep rivers of relationships that enrich our lives. We were never meant to do this alone.