Well now, this has been quite the year — giving both of us a whoooole lot of topics to cover on the Spawned Parenting Podcast in 2021. It’s been so interesting looking back at our 10 most downloaded episodes of the year and seeing what resonated with you all, from parenting tips of all kinds, to social justice and activism, and not surprisingly at the top of the list, an episode about reframing self-care.

While of course our earlier episodes have had more time to find more listeners (and vice versa), we love how many guests even in later months really captured our listeners’ attention. And we’re so grateful to all of them for sharing their wisdom on so many topics that were meaningful to us.

Speaking of gratitude: Thank you so much to all of our sponsors this year who made our podcast possible — and free! Thanks so much to those of you who subscribe and listen to Spawned; your comments, emails, and thoughtful responses to our shows really make it worth it.

And to any new listeners who may be discovering us right this very second — welcome! We’re thrilled to have you join us in 2022. – Liz + Kristen

Photo above: Spawned guests Donzaleigh Abernathy, Dr. Christine Koh, Janice Johnson Dias, Eve Rodksy, Dr. Ken Ginsburg 


The top 10 Spawned Parenting podcasts in 2021

The top 10 Spawned Parenting Podcast episodes of 2021: from talking to teens to finding joy in activism, to self-care


10 So, about that whole mental load thing… with author Eve Rodsky

The author of Fair Play blew our minds with her insight, humor and advice about one of the most-discussed topics among parents this year: the mental load, and how it disproportionately impacts mothers.

These parenting tips from James Breakwell are lifesavers. Literally.

A little levity broke up a tough year, thanks to the uber-popular @xplodingunicorn Twitter personality, third-time Spawned guest, and best-selling author of How to Save Your Child from Ostrich Attacks, Accidental Time Travel, and Anything Else that Might Happen on an Average Tuesday,

8 How to raise kids who aren’t assholes (A.K.A. kind, empathic, awesome adults)

Advice from science journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer straight from her truly helpful book, How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes, really hits home. In part because it’s not the snarky book you might think it is from the title. And we could use more kind adults in the world right now.

Parenting teens: Expert answers to some of the toughest questions from Dr. Ken Ginsburg

Okay so this is a bit of a cheat, because this episode is actually a rerun of what may be our most downloaded episode of all time. But even the rerun hit our top 10 this year, it’s just that good.

It will absolutely change the way you parent teens — whether you have them now or are working your way there. It certainly changed how we do.

6. On modeling body positivity for our kids: Where we succeed, where we can do better

This honest conversation between Kristen and Liz was spurred by Kristen’s revealing post about why she decided to wear a crop top this year as a 40-something. We don’t all agree on every aspect of what we “can” and “can’t” wear, but it will really make you rethink some of the things we do and say that we could probably work on. Especially in front of our kids.

5 Donzaleigh Abernathy, Martin Luther King Jr’s goddaughter, on growing up in the civil rights movement

Liz was so honored to spend nearly an hour with Donzaleigh Abernathy, who shared stories of her Uncle Martin and Aunt Coretta, childhood memories of the Jim Crow South, her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, and finding silver linings even when things seem darkest.


Janice Johnson Dias on parenting with joy and intention, raising change-makers, and avoiding the f*ckery of life! Spawned Parenting Podcast

4 Janice Johnson Dias: Parenting with joy, raising change-makers, and navigating the f*ckery of life.

If you or your kids are fans of Marley Dias, you have to know the force that is her mother, author Janice Johnson Dias. We loved chatting about her book, Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful, Change-Making Girls, and the entire conversation just feels like sitting around the table with your most hilarious girlfriends, and dishing like no one’s listening.

3 Michelle Icard on 14 talks to have with your child before 14

Kristen’s chat with author Michelle Icard on her 2021 book (of the same name) is so packed with helpful, specific tips for navigating 14 essential talks, from the easy ones to the uh…not so easy ones.

(And by the way, if you love this, be sure to listen to one of our newer episodes on Incredible advice for better parent-child communication: An interview with William Stixrud Ph.D. and Ned Johnson.)

2 Naeemah Ford Goldson on how organizing our homes is giving us some control we need

Leave it to a certified professional organizer (and the President and one of the founding members of the National Association for Black Professional Organizers) to tie together our need for control and stability with our frantic need to be changing art, rearranging our pantries, and cleaning All The Things these days.

1. Why we need to reframe how we view self-care, with Dr. Christine Koh

After so many years of talking about self-care as if it’s all bath salts and pedicures, leave it to our wonderful, longtime friend, author and podcaster Dr. Christine Koh, to help us see it in a whole different way.  Listen to her excellent arguments about the distinction between restorative and protective care, and why it’s essential to know the difference.

In fact, can’t think of better advice to help you reset as you head into 2022.