Trying.  Tired. 

Trucks pass, TV’s on 

downstairs.  A candle flickers.  

Feet cold. Try to sleep. 


The sound machine in 

her room breathes ocean waves through 

baby’s monitor. 


The day clings ’round my

sternum, brushing heart and lungs,

burrowing there, though

I try to pry it

loose, humanely. 


You arrive. 

The house is darker,

quieter, heavier,

and I try to let the heaviness

blanket me, 

or to float off

into light nothing.  

I’m trying to sleep. 

The Wonderful World of Podcasts for the Stay-At-Home Mom (or Anyone!)

In my new life as a stay-at-home mom (at least until my sabbatical year is over and I return to teaching), I’ve found that podcasts have been indispensable.  It’s not that there’s not enough to do–my daughter is walking now (and dancing, quacking and mooing) and as she interacts more and more with me and the world, we’re having a lot of fun together.  But early on, when there was a lot more quiet, still time, and even now, when she’s asleep and I’m catching up on chores, I find that podcasts are a great way to let my mind play while I do something else.

Here are a few that I’ve been enjoying, in no particular order.  All of them are available through iTunes.  I’ve been using the Apple podcast app.

  1.  Selected Shorts – short stories read aloud by celebrities – perfect for the writer on the gowho needs to read!  A lot variety in the stories, but all great!
  2. The New Yorker Fiction Podcast and The Writer’s Voice – The Fiction podcast has a previously featured creative writer choose an archived story, read it aloud, and discuss it with the fiction editor of The New Yorker.  In The Writer’s Voice, the writers of current New Yorker stories read their work aloud.
  3. Dear Sugar – An advice podcast from Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond where they practice “radical empathy.”  Binge-listened to all of these when I found this podcast.
  4. Mental Illness Happy Hour – Comedian Paul Gilmartin interviews people about their mental health struggles and stories with a lot of humor and compassion.
  5. Unexplained and Lore – similar in tone, these two podcasts explore strange, mysterious occurrences in history that often seem like they could be tinged with the paranormal
  6. Real Ghost Stories Online – Just starting to listen to this one, but it’s interesting.  People share their ghost stories with the hosts.
  7. Serial and Undisclosed – The first season of Serial is the story of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.  Serial seeks to explore whether Adnan could be innocent.  I will confess that I did not listen to the second season.  Undisclosed seeks to show that Adnan is innocent.
  8. Up and Vanished – This podcast is investigating the disappearance of Tara Grinstead
  9. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – Vanessa and Casper, Harvard Divinity students, explore the series, chapter by chapter, through themed lenses, seeking meaning and connection in the texts.
  10. Imaginary Worlds – Exploration of comics, fantasy, and sci-fi worlds, their elements, and how they are created.  Very interesting, even though I’m not quite the aficionado of Star Wars or Star Trek, I get a lot out of each episode, even those that cover topics I’m less familiar with.  Pat Rothfuss even appeared on this one, and what’s not to like about that?
  11. Hidden Brain and the Ted Radio Hour – Learning new things with NPR
  12. Modern Love – True stories of all types of love (romantic, familial, etc.) originally published in the New York Times “Modern Love” column read aloud by celebrities

Are you listening to podcasts, too?  What are your favorites?  Have you listened to some of these?  I’d be happy to hear your thoughts!  I hope to get back to being more diligent about my blog now that the baby is sleeping through the night again (Hallelujah, and please don’t let me jinx it!) and the holidays are over.  I’ve been tutoring privately during my extended maternity leave, and my tutoring schedule has been really busy too, but that is a good thing!