Introducing the Meet the Parents Podcast

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The Slouching towards Thatcham parenting podcast is dead. Long live the Meet the Parents podcast!

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu

The Slouching towards Thatcham podcast was born a little over six months ago in a flurry of enthusiasm, optimism and, with the benefit of hindsight, a huge dollop of naivety.

The idea was simple enough. Give parenting bloggers a platform on which to read their posts the way they were intended: in the author’s own voice.

25 episodes and 23 blogging guests later, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I wanted to feature both mums and dads, and to both showcase the big names and introduce some smaller but no less talented bloggers to a wider audience.

That number includes 2015 BritMums Brilliance in Blogging award winners Jess (Wry Mummy), Julian (Northern Dad) and Hayley (Downs Side Up) as well The Unmumsy Mum herself, Sarah. But my guests have also covered the whole gamut of topics, from the funny side of parenting to living with depression and muscular dystrophy, gender and racial stereotypes, abusive relationships, the lesser told father’s side of miscarriage and the often ignored challenges facing mums trying to return to the workplace.

I’m grateful for my peers’ willingness to share their work and the raw emotion involved in reading often deeply personal posts out loud for an audience. And I’m genuinely humbled.

As for me, on the one hand I’ve contributed some off-key singing with my parenting parodies of Bohemian Rhapsody and Fairytale of New York. On the other hand, I’ve shared some of my innermost thoughts, such as my post about the brother who never was, which took me three long years to write.

I’ve laughed. I’ve cried.

It’s been much harder work than I ever anticipated.

And yet it’s also been more fun than I ever imagined.

And now for something a bit different

So why the change of tack now?

In the run-up to Christmas, I started to wonder if there was a space for a podcast that embraced both a mum’s and a dad’s view of the world. There are quite a few parenting podcasts out there already but generally these feature either mums or dads, not both.

And so the idea for the Meet the Parents podcast was born.

The idea is simple enough. (You may have noticed by now that I’m all about simple ideas!) Instead of having weekly guests, build a team of fellow parents – mums and dads, younger and older, stay-at-home and working – and chat about parenting-related topics from a broad range of perspectives. Real parents, real stories.

If the Slouching towards Thatcham podcast was like a series of one-night stands, Meet the Parents is more akin to a steady relationship, albeit one involving more than two people!

Hopefully it will be like eavesdropping on a group of friends chatting down the pub. Or around a dinner table. Or at one of those mysterious ‘book club’ meetings that Heather rolls in from at 2am with a suspicious whiff of stale wine on her breath. Some serious chat, a lot of laughs and (in my case at least) a glass or four of Pinot Noir.

I sounded out a few of my previous podcast guests as potential co-panelists and was overwhelmed by the positive response. And so here we are. Last week’s episode of the Slouching towards Thatcham podcast was the last. Tomorrow’s episode of the Meet the Parents podcast will be its first.

We’re starting with half the new crew tomorrow, where we’ll be introducing ourselves and chatting about Valentine’s Day from a parent’s perspective. Why not give us a listen?

You’ll be able to find us on iTunes and other podcasting services, as well as via our new website at meettheparentspodcast.com. And do please follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @ParentsPodcast.

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