288 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.
We’re both moms of three, dealing with the same hassles as any parent, but with slightly differing styles. Margaret is laid-back to the max; Amy never met an expert or a list she didn't like.
In each episode, we discuss a parenting issue from multiple perspectives and the accompanying expert advice that may or may not back us up. We talk about it, laugh about it, call out each other’s nonsense, and then we come up with concrete solutions. 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

    • Parenting
    • 4.8 • 524 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.
We’re both moms of three, dealing with the same hassles as any parent, but with slightly differing styles. Margaret is laid-back to the max; Amy never met an expert or a list she didn't like.
In each episode, we discuss a parenting issue from multiple perspectives and the accompanying expert advice that may or may not back us up. We talk about it, laugh about it, call out each other’s nonsense, and then we come up with concrete solutions. 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: Dr. Edward Hallowell on the Newest Science and Essential Strategies for ADHD

    Fresh Take: Dr. Edward Hallowell on the Newest Science and Essential Strategies for ADHD

    This week we're delighted to be talking to Dr. Edward M. Hallowell– one of the world's leading experts on ADHD. Dr. Hallowell's new book, co-authored with Dr. John J. Ratey, is ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction--From Childhood Through Adulthood.
    Dr. Hallowell gives us concrete strategies– and tons of optimism– for those lucky enough to possess what Dr. Hallowell calls the "Variable Attention Stimulus Trait."
    Whether you have a child with ADHD, suspect you might, or even have had some lingering thoughts about your own ability to focus– Dr. Hallowell's cutting-edge research and surprising new strategies will fascinate you.
    Read the transcript of our entire interview with Dr. Hallowell on our website:
    https://www.whatfreshhellpodcast.com/2021/01/dredwardhallowell/
    grab your copy of ADHD 2.0 from our Bookshop store:
    https://bookshop.org/a/12099/9780399178733
    and connect with Dr. Hallowell:
    https://drhallowell.com

    * Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
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    • 40 min
    Okay, We Annoy Ourselves Also

    Okay, We Annoy Ourselves Also

    This podcast is always here to support moms in their righteous anger at all the completely infuriating and totally trivial things that people all over the world are constantly doing to annoy us. Usually someone related to us. But this week, we're looking inward– because sometimes we totally annoy ourselves also. In this episode we come clean about the things we do that are so irksome that we even annoy OURSELVES. (And then keep doing them anyway.)
    We also explore some of the confessions of self-annoyance from some of our listeners, like Alexa, who rarely refills the Brita pitcher and so then has to stand there getting old waiting for her next glass of water; or Rachel, who ruins her own life by only ever pulling out of parking spots in a single direction; or Karen, who loads the kids in the car and then goes back inside to do one more thing and who, for all we know, is still in there doing who knows what.
    Who knows why we do these things? We see you. We feel your self-annoyance.

    Special thanks to Heather, who wrote in to tell us that if you keep a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the car, and have anyone who feels carsick take a deep sniff, you can usually head the vomiting off at the pass. Really!  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/well/live/a-cure-for-nausea-try-sniffing-alcohol.html
    * Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
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    • 49 min
    Ask Margaret - How To Turn Off Screens Without Tears

    Ask Margaret - How To Turn Off Screens Without Tears

    Today's question comes from Crystal in our Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/whatfreshhellcast):
    My six-year-old son is very difficult at the end of screen time. He gets one hour in the afternoon, but always fusses, grunts angrily, or melts down when time is up.
    I feel like in a normal world, I'd just take screen time away when he gives me attitude. But these days, we are home all the time, and it’s the one thing he enjoys.
    How do I help him develop the ability to regulate his emotions in this situation?
    The biggest thing a parent can do to help a child regulate their emotions around transitions is to provide runways. Doing this will ensure that the transition of getting off screens isn't a sudden splash of cold water for your kid.
    Try using a visual timer - so that kids who struggle with the hypothetical concept of "one hour" can easily see how much screen time they have left.
    You can also verbally count down the hour by saying "45 minutes left", "30 minutes left," et cetera, but we think it's always better to let the timer be the bad guy.
    Once it's time to turn screens off, allowing a brief grace period for your child to finish their current level or video helps give them some sense of control. Once that happens, transition immediately to another preferred activity. This does not have to be elaborate; it can be as simple as "let's have a glass of milk together in the kitchen."
    If your child still melts down after you've implemented these strategies, then it's time for consequences– but make them immediate. Saying "if you fuss now, you'll have no screens later" provides a delayed consequence that doesn't work as well, especially for younger kids. Try addressing the behavior with an immediate consequence– a time out, or loss of access to the preferred activity that was coming up next.
    Finally, apply all of these techniques consistently. Keep the time remaining clear, allow for grace periods, enforce immediate consequences when necessary, and this behavior should improve.
    Send us your parenting questions- we might answer yours next!
    questions@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
    * Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
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    • 8 min
    Fresh Take: Mirna Valerio Tells Us How To Find Our Fitness

    Fresh Take: Mirna Valerio Tells Us How To Find Our Fitness

    Mirna Valerio is a runner, adventurer, speaker, and anti-racism educator.
    In this Fresh Take interview, Mirna tells us how she fell off the fitness wagon after becoming a mom, how that first mile went once she made herself lace up her running shoes again, and her path to becoming an endurance athlete since then. Even if we’re not all cut out to run 100 kilometers in the desert– or even want to– Mirna tells us why fitness is worth it, and how to reacquaint ourselves with fitness, no matter how long we’ve been out of the game. 
    “I believe in having the long view. Look, I'm still a big girl. I’m going to be a big girl. But my long view, my overarching goal, is long-term health and wellness. What am I doing to put long-term health and wellness in the bank for later? What am I doing today to ensure that I have long-term health and wellness?”
    We also discuss how we, as women, are entitled to name what we need– and how that well-timed help, especially when we ask for it, is the very thing that will allow us to get back up and keep running.
    Acknowledge how you're feeling. Give yourself some grace. Start today.

    Find Mirna on her website: https://themirnavator.com/
    and at @themirnavator on Instagram and Twitter
    Catch Mirna’s winter workout on @thev1ve: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKCGndXj-oS/
    and join the Fatgirlrunning group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fatgirlrunning-939724599403584

    Here are links to some of the other things we discuss in this episode:
    Mirna Valerio for Self: Open Letter To Women Who Aren’t Putting Their Needs First
    https://www.self.com/story/mirna-valerio-open-letter-to-women-who-arent-putting-their-needs-first
    Kate Martin at Unheard LA: The Rescue
    https://www.thekatemartin.com/storytelling
    Caravaggio’s Conversion on the Way to Damascus 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_on_the_Way_to_Damascus

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    • 37 min
    The Mom That Covid Has Made Me

    The Mom That Covid Has Made Me

    We asked our listeners to tell us how life with Covid has affected their own parenting. Some of us have gotten more socially anxious; others, like the moms of kids with severe allergies, have found the isolation reassuring. Some of us have treasured the extra time with our children; others are nearing their breaking point. Some of us are stressing about the screen time; others are thrilled we’re not interrupting our kids to go to travel soccer for a change. 
    This topic was inspired by Kristen Howerton’s essay for The New York Times, “I Hate The Mom That Covid Has Made Me.” Kristen explains how she’s become THAT mom, the kind who spies on her own teenagers and yells at them for not wearing masks. She thought she hated that kind of parent– and now it’s her. 
    How has Covid changed your parenting? Will those changes be longer-term than this pandemic? 
    Here are links to some things we discuss in this episode:
    Kristen Howerton for The New York Times: I Hate The Mom That Covid Has Made Me
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/opinion/covid-parenting.html
    Tomas Pueyo: The Hammer and the Dance
    https://tomaspueyo.medium.com/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
    Neil Kramer’s photograph series of life in quarantine:
    https://petapixel.com/2021/01/09/a-photographers-hilarious-photos-of-being-stuck-in-quarantine-with-ex-wife-and-mother/
    David Foster Wallace: This is Water
    https://fs.blog/2012/04/david-foster-wallace-this-is-water/
    as well as our episodes with Katherine May, author of Wintering: http://bit.ly/WFHwintering
    and "What This Has Taught Us About Our Kids": http://bit.ly/WFHep162

    * Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
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    • 48 min
    Ask Amy - My Kid Thinks There Are Monsters Under The Bed

    Ask Amy - My Kid Thinks There Are Monsters Under The Bed

    This week’s question comes from Jaclyn in our Facebook group (facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast):
    "Would love some advice for the "monsters under the bed" phase. My three-year-old is worse than he was as a newborn, waking me up 30 times at night! If I ignore him, he will scream and cry, then come into our room. I could let him sleep with us, but he doesn't sleep well when he is in our bed, and neither do we. I tried to put a bed for him on the floor of our room, but he kept asking for more items-water, blankets, pillows, etc. Help!"
    In his book The Happiest Toddler on the Block, Dr. Jonathan Karp considers kids' developmental stages as a replay of humanity's evolutionary stages. A 12-18 month old is a "charming chimp-child," 18-24 months is a little Bam-Bam, and by 3 years old, kids have gotten about as sophisticated as someone alive during the Middle Ages might have been.
    To people alive in the Middle Ages, vampires were real. They didn't have the luxury of going to therapy to unpack what was behind their fear of someone coming to drink their blood; they put some garlic around their necks and went to bed feeling a little better about their chances of waking up in the morning.
    For kids who still believe in magical things as being fully possible, the best "protection" parents can offer them from something scary but imaginary might be something equally unreal and totally wonderful.
    For Amy's daughter, drawing a picture of her guardian angel to put next to her bad was enough to move her past her absolute certainty that Edward Scissorhands was coming to get her. All the rationalizing that Amy had tried before that faile, but to her daughter, the angel's protection was real. Instead of talking her daughter out of it, Amy found that a little "good magic" was the far more effective response.
    To be clear: a preschooler waking up at night that much might have something else going on, from a soaking-wet Pull-Up to something that might be worth mentioning to your pediatrician. But a spray bottle full of water, also known as No-Monsters-In-Here Magic Elixir, might be more effective than you'd think.
    Send us your parenting questions- we might answer yours next! questions@whatfreshhellpodcast.com


    * Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com
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    • 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
524 Ratings

524 Ratings

Laura • ,

Encouraging, relatable content

I recently discovered this podcast and have added it to my weekly must-listens. Margaret and Amy are very relatable and encouraging and have so many snippets of great advice like, “operate from a place of maximum generosity”. They are funny and sarcastic and I really enjoy their perspectives.

Julie2345 ,

Thank you!

As a newish mom in a new town, I hadn’t yet found my tribe when the pandemic hit. I am so grateful for the wisdom and humor I’ve found in this podcast. I’m always left with the sense that I’m doing a good job and my kids are going to be just fine. Thank you Margaret and Amy!

Ckarolp ,

Love it!

So funny and helpful. Love this podcast and look forward to listening each week!

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