310 episodes

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" 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!
Winner of the 2018 Mom 2.0 Iris Award for Best Podcast and the 2017 Podcast Awards People’s Choice for Best Family and Parenting Podcast, and finalist for the 2019 Romper's Parent's Choice Award.
whatfreshhellpodcast.com

What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 587 Ratings

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" 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!
Winner of the 2018 Mom 2.0 Iris Award for Best Podcast and the 2017 Podcast Awards People’s Choice for Best Family and Parenting Podcast, and finalist for the 2019 Romper's Parent's Choice Award.
whatfreshhellpodcast.com

    Fresh Take: Ilyse DiMarco on "Mom Brain"

    Fresh Take: Ilyse DiMarco on "Mom Brain"

    Dr. Ilyse Dobrow DiMarco is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Summit, New Jersey. She specializes in helping women use cognitive- behavioral therapy and related evidence-based strategies to navigate the myriad challenges of motherhood. Her writing has been featured in places like Psychology Today and Scary Mommy, as well as on her own blog, www.drcbtmom.com. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
    Her new book is Mom Brain: Proven Strategies to Fight the Anxiety, Guilt, and Overwhelming Emotions of Motherhood. Ilyse's definition of Mom Brain is "the profound cognitive and emotional changes that occur when you have a child and the many aspects of your life (identity, relationships, work life, self-care) that are strongly impacted by these changes."
    In this episode we discuss the seismic shifts in our priorities that occur when we become mothers, the anxiety that can often result, and the evidence-based strategies that work best to keep us present-moment-focused.
    Mom Brain is composed of easily digestible sections, so even if you only have 10 minutes to read, you’ll be able to pick up at least one or two solid coping skills. Find it in our Bookshop store: https://bookshop.org/a/12099/9781462540266
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Let It Go? Or No?

    Let It Go? Or No?

    This week we're reviewing listener grudges, large and small, and deciding once and for all if those listeners should let it go, or no.
    Letting it go doesn't mean you're wrong to be annoyed. Sometimes you are totally right and you STILL have to let it go.
    And sometimes nursing a tiny bonsai grievance for a decade is sort of fun... but that works better when you aren't related to that person.
    Sometimes shifting our perspective is the best choice we have.
    As Margaret's Aunt Terry likes to say: you can't get pizza from a Chinese restaurant.
    Special thanks to this month's sponsors:  
    Magic Spoon is breakfast cereal that's keto-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, low carb, and GMO-free. Go to magicspoon.com/fresh to grab the new limited edition Birthday Cake flavor today! And use code FRESH at checkout to save $5 off.
    Public Goods is the one-stop shop for high-quality everyday household essentials made from clean ingredients. Get $15 off your first Public Goods order, with no minimum purchase! Go to publicgoods.com/fresh, or use the code FRESH at checkout. 
    Green Chef is a USDA-certified-organic company with meal plans including Paleo, Plant Powered, Keto, and Balanced Living. Go to greenchef.com/90laughing and use code 90LAUGHING to get $90 off, including free shipping!
    Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. You will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.
    Parade makes creative underwear and bralettes in a variety of sizes from extra small to 3 XL. Supersoft, super-cute, and prices that start at $8! Get 25% off when you spend $40 or more at yourparade.com/wfh with code WFH. 
    Zocdoc has you covered! Whether you need a primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, eye doctor, or any other specialist, you can find top doctors at zocdoc.com.laughing.
    Workplace Comedy Podcast is a hilarious new improv podcast set in a fictional water bottling company, hosted by Emmy Laybourne and Tracy Vilar and a lineup of amazing comedy guests. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!
    Prose is the healthy hair regimen with your name all over it!  Get 15% off your first order today! Go to prose.com/laughing. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Ask Amy- Company's Coming. How Am I Going To Feed Everyone?

    Ask Amy- Company's Coming. How Am I Going To Feed Everyone?

    Find yourself stuck in the kitchen 24/7 when family comes to visit? You’re allowed to feel overwhelmed and even a little resentful, even if you’re really happy they came.
    Jenna emailed us to ask:
    Since both of you have big families, how does everyone get fed when you get together for a few days? Do you get takeout for every meal? Do people take turns cooking?
    I am the only person in my husband's family who can cook, so I end up doing all the cooking when we get together, and I end up exhausted and don't get to spend time with everyone.
    Resetting expectations around who's doing the cooking and cleanup can be a little tricky. If you're a do-it-all hostess who really does make it look easy, you haven't been sending clear signals that it's hard.
    Amy gives tips in this episode about the systems that work when her extended family group gets together. But if you've been heading up meal prep because you're the "only one who can cook," a resetting of your own expectations may be required as well. If you're chopping fresh herbs for Monday night's dinner, and then your brother orders pizza for Tuesday night? And everyone gets fed? Take the win. If there are a few too many hot-dog lunches and everything you have been doing is more appreciated in retrospect, so much the better.
    You deserve to enjoy time with family as much as everyone else does, so have the difficult conversation. It can be really refreshing to lay down some of the burdens we shoulder, and see the world continue to revolve, and realize no one was really asking us to do it all in the first place. 
    Special thanks to our "Question of the Week" sponsor:
    Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. You will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Fresh Take: Judith Warner on What Grownups Get Wrong About Middle School

    Fresh Take: Judith Warner on What Grownups Get Wrong About Middle School

    Toddler Purgatory is launching this month! Help us support the launch of our new podcast by checking out the sneak-peek trailer and following now wherever you listen. Grab all the player links at toddlerpurgatory.com. 
    Judith Warner’s book AND THEN THEY STOPPED TALKING TO ME: MAKING SENSE OF MIDDLE SCHOOL investigates what can be a truly painful period in any adolescent's life. Warner explains that our "personal fable" is deeply affected by our own experiences during that developmental period, even if our memories may rely on flawed or incomplete information.
    That matters because it can affect how we parent our tweens as they enter the middle-school stage themselves. Are parents sometimes inadvertently reinforcing the narrative that middle school is a Thunderdome of social aggression?
    In this interview, Judith tells Amy the history of middle school, the brain science behind its intensity, and what parents can do to make their children's path through these years an easier one.
    Check out all of Judith Warner's books in our Bookshop store: https://bookshop.org/shop/whatfreshhellcast

    Special thanks to this month's sponsors:  
    Magic Spoon is breakfast cereal that's keto-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, low carb, and GMO-free. Go to magicspoon.com/fresh to grab the new limited edition Birthday Cake flavor today! And use code FRESH at checkout to save $5 off.
    Public Goods is the one-stop shop for high-quality everyday household essentials made from clean ingredients. Get $15 off your first Public Goods order, with no minimum purchase! Go to publicgoods.com/fresh, or use the code FRESH at checkout. 
    Green Chef is a USDA-certified-organic company with meal plans including Paleo, Plant Powered, Keto, and Balanced Living. Go to greenchef.com/90laughing and use code 90LAUGHING to get $90 off, including free shipping!
    Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. You will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.
    Parade makes creative underwear and bralettes in a variety of sizes from extra small to 3 XL. Supersoft, super-cute, and prices that start at $8! Get 25% off when you spend $40 or more at yourparade.com/wfh with code WFH. 
    Zocdoc has you covered! Whether you need a primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, eye doctor, or any other specialist, you can find top doctors at zocdoc.com.laughing.
    Workplace Comedy Podcast is a hilarious new improv podcast set in a fictional water bottling company, hosted by Emmy Laybourne and Tracy Vilar and a lineup of amazing comedy guests. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!
    Prose is the healthy hair regimen with your name all over it!  Get 15% off your first order today! Go to prose.com/laughing. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    When Your Kid Doesn't Fit The Mold

    When Your Kid Doesn't Fit The Mold

    Toddler Purgatory is launching this month! Help us support the launch of our new podcast by checking out the sneak-peek trailer and following now wherever you listen. Grab all the player links at toddlerpurgatory.com.
    Sooner or later, most parents discover that their kid doesn't fit society's mold in one way or another. But there's "quirky" kids with unusual haircuts, and then there's the kids who really do their own thing, with or without peer approval. In this episode, we're talking about the latter.
    Those parents will recognize what Dr. Perri Klass calls "the pivotal moment": "not just one moment of extreme behavior in your kid, but the last in a series of impossible-to-explain-away behavior that resonates with the parent's long-considered and long-avoided fears. It crystallizes in a parent's mind all the floating anxieties and worries of many months."
    It’s especially challenging for us when our kids are outside the norm because we can't help but think what will become of this kid? But at those times, we're forgetting two things: not only do our children have the ability to grow and develop, we're going to become better parents along the way, as well.
    When it comes to our non-mold-fitting kids, there's reason to hope that the world will someday be wide enough. Albert Einstein didn’t fit the mold either, and things worked out pretty well for him. Which isn't to say he didn't cause his mom some sleepless nights along the way.
    Here are some links to writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:
    Drs. Perri Klass and Eileen Costello: Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In
    greatschools.org: How to support your unique, quirky child
    childmind.org: Sensory Processing FAQs
    slate.com: What About Kids Who Don't Fit The Mold?
    Dana Basu: How to Cope When Your Child is Different
    Andrew Solomon: Far From The Tree: Parents, Children, And The Search For Identity

    Special thanks to this month's sponsors:  
    Magic Spoon is breakfast cereal that's keto-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, low carb, and GMO-free. Go to magicspoon.com/fresh to grab the new limited edition Birthday Cake flavor today! And use code FRESH at checkout to save $5 off.
    Public Goods is the one-stop shop for high-quality everyday household essentials made from clean ingredients. Get $15 off your first Public Goods order, with no minimum purchase! Go to publicgoods.com/fresh, or use the code FRESH at checkout. 
    Green Chef is a USDA-certified-organic company with meal plans including Paleo, Plant Powered, Keto, and Balanced Living. Go to greenchef.com/90laughing and use code 90LAUGHING to get $90 off, including free shipping!
    Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. You will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.
    Parade makes creative underwear and bralettes in a variety of sizes from extra small to 3 XL. Supersoft, super-cute, and prices that start at $8! Get 25% off when you spend $40 or more at yourparade.com/wfh with code WFH. 
    Zocdoc has you covered! Whether you need a primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, eye doctor, or any other specialist, you can find top doctors at zocdoc.com.laughing.
    Workplace Comedy Podcast is a hilarious new improv podcast set in a fictional water bottling company, hosted by Emmy Laybourne and Tracy Vilar and a lineup of amazing comedy guests. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!
    Prose is the healthy hair regimen with your name all over it!  Get 15% off your first order today! Go to prose.com/laughing. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Ask Margaret - My Son Can't Keep His Hands to Himself

    Ask Margaret - My Son Can't Keep His Hands to Himself

    Kids often struggle to keep their hands to themselves– and this can be especially true for boys, who love to punch, tackle, and poke at anyone who gets near them.
    This week Emily asks:
    As a mom of boys, I am finding that my five-year-old son is very handsy with his friends and boy cousins. It's like my younger son and other boys are magnets that cannot keep their hands off each other. It's not aggressive, it's just constant touching, tickling, purposely running into each other, etc. I am not sure how to curb it,or if it's even possible.
    And even if I get my son to break the habit, how would I keep other kids from putting their hands all over him? It's not that I am any more of a germaphobe than anyone else, I just feel like it's a recipe for disaster... and when he goes to school in the fall ,I don't want him to be off task and missing directions. Is there anything I can do, or is this just a boy thing?
    Watch any nature show with a group of young lions and you'll see the cubs wrestling, biting, and tussling with each other (often to the non-delight of their mama). The same holds true for our own kids. Roughhousing and other forms of physical contact serve many purposes, helping youngsters find and test boundaries, express anxieties, manage aggression.
    So Margaret is extremely pro-touching among kids as long as a few simple guidelines are followed:

    All physical contact and especially roughhousing should be among "equals" - no big kids whaling on little kids, and no little kids pawing at uninterested bigs.

    Keep an eye on consent - make sure that everyone involved in the physicality is comfortable with it.

    Spaces and places- wrestling, roughhousing, and physical play is appropriate in the yard but not in the living room.

    Kids tend to get less physical as they get older and keeping "touch-free" spaces (this will probably happen naturally at school) is a great way to help kids start to gain control over their physicality.
    By the way: when it comes to germs, once Covid is taken out of the equation, there's not too much to worry about. While Covid is still a threat physical distancing should be maintained– but post-Covid, check out this article for a reality check on germs.
    In this episode Margaret also cites this article by Anne-Marie Gambelin for Motherly: Relax, Mama- roughhousing is good for your kids–really

    Special thanks to our "Question of the Week" sponsor:
    Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. You will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
587 Ratings

587 Ratings

Livsmyangel ,

My all time favorite podcast

Seriously amazing! Margaret and Amy are such a good combo and balance each other so well. They’re hilarious and relatable. They’re exactly what every mom needs. Do yourself a favor and listen.

Soozyoulose ,

My favorite parenting podcast

I really enjoy listening to a Margaret and Amy’s perspectives. I like that they frequently, but don’t always agree with each other. This is a fun, easy going podcast, but it’s also well researched and I always pick up a good tip.

Annie1337 ,

Love this podcast!

I’m a stay at home mom and your podcast has gotten me through all the chores and housework I usually hate and avoid for as long as possible. I have three kiddos. Ages are 15, 8, and 3. Amongst them we’ve got an IEP, a 504b plan, depression, anxiety, reading difficulties, and even advanced reading and math. One attends in person school full time, one is doing online school, and the 3 year old is ALWAYS at home with me. your podcast talks about it all. All the “ages and stages” as you say. Thank you for all the great content and info and of course the always hilarious jokes and skits. I look forward to hearing more.

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