Supporting the journey of motherhood, in style
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Our Favourite Podcasts and Newsletters That Are Anything But Mumsy

Because she’s not like a regular mum, she’s a cool mum.

Nothing is better than finding someone on the same wavelength as you. When you become a parent, you soon learn pretty quickly who your people are. Maybe you bonded with the woman in your mother’s group over both going back to work sooner than everyone else. Perhaps you hit it off with the mum at the park who refused to play cafes with her kid and just wanted to sit on the bench and listen to her podcast in peace (same, tbh), or maybe your best mum mate ended up being someone completely different to you but you’re still kindred spirits regardless. 

This feeling of connection extends to the type of content we consume, too. Whether it’s a juicy newsletter you have to open the second it lands in your inbox or a podcast that is genuinely the highlight of your week, finding these kinds of treats for your ears and inbox can make you feel way less alone and part of a digital community of like-minded people. 

In the early days of my postpartum, one of my favourite rituals was popping on a great podcast and taking my baby for a stroll outside. While I enjoyed certain parenting podcasts, sometimes I desperately needed a break from the expert-backed, literature-driven episodes, and I just wanted to plug into people who were, well, people, who also happened to be parents. 

If I was seeking information on a particular issue, like baby sleep or toddler tantrums, I wanted to know more about, then the Maggie Dents and Janet Landsburys of the world would come to my ears. However, as I slowly reclaimed my identity, I craved content from women who were so much more than the sum of their families. 

I wanted content from intelligent, creative, stylish women who were not afraid to lean into all aspects of their identity in tandem with raising children. So, here are the best podcasts and newsletters in Australia that are anything but mumsy… 

“One thing I get a lot of DMs about is how to rediscover or redefine your style after having a baby when it feels like it should be your lowest priority. That's just a sad truth many women who love fashion seem to face. I've struggled with this too, and it's something I’m going to dedicate space to in the newsletter.” Tamara Holland

The best newsletters worth subscribing to

Dear Dilate 

Soon-to-be mother of two Jade Fox is a Sydney-based writer who has written for publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Body & Soul throughout her career. Since welcoming her son Freddie in 2019, her true passion has become having open and honest conversations about motherhood and its impact on our identity. “What I’m really into is learning about people and, even more specifically, having open conversations with motherhood about how they work, dress, live, mother and keep it somewhat together in a world that demands so much,” Jade says. 

Enter her must-read newsletter, Dear Dilate. “It’s a good place on the internet for mothers who love their children dearly but find parts of motherhood to be, well, hard and want to talk about it. You won’t find tips on how to feed or a cure all for sleep deprivation, but what you will find are relatable essays and in-depth interviews that explore what it means to be a mother in our modern world – all this with a side of stylish recs and a peek into the routines of mothers who look put-together even if they don’t feel as though they have it all together,” the writer explains of her offering. 

Free subscribers receive one newsletter a fortnight, which could be anything from the What Mums Wear interview series, where Jade asks a stylish mum to give readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what they wear every day, an in-depth essay on a trending topic or a list of personal shopping recommendations from Jade. For $5 a month (or $50 a year), paid subscribers will receive a weekly email that includes an in-depth feature once a month and exclusive discount codes from DD-approved brands. Aside from her popular newsletter, Jade’s Instagram page has become a haven for mums to connect, and her meme game is on a whole other level.

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Tamara Holland of Fash Chat

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Tamara Holland of Fash Chat

Fash Chat

Tamara Holland is a podcaster and fashion and lifestyle editor with her oh-so-stylish finger firmly on the fashion pulse. Perhaps the biggest allure of Tamara’s content, especially since she became a mum, is that it’s achievable, relatable, and wearable. She’s now sharing all her musings on trends, celebrities and fashion in her aptly named newsletter, Fash Chat, which has recently launched. Tamara says she also plans to hone in on how becoming a mother can influence and impact your personal style. 

One thing I get a lot of DMs about is how to rediscover or redefine your style after having a baby when it feels like it should be your lowest priority. That’s just a sad truth many women who love fashion seem to face. I’ve struggled with this too, and it’s something I’m going to dedicate space to in the newsletter,” Tamara tells THE INARRA

So, what can we expect from her weekly updates? “Basically, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about fashion, and I needed a place to put them! You can expect my overly invested and, at times, forensic commentary on trends, celebrity style, and what you’re seeing on the runways alongside regular shopping edits and recommendations,” she says.

For now, the newsletter is free, so it’s accessible to everyone. Tamara hopes to build a community of readers who are just as obsessed with the psychology of style as she is. 

Screenshot This

Media It girl Zara Wong is out there doing God’s work, curating everything that she reads, watches, eats, buys, and listens to and sharing it with her readers before it’s even trending. Think of her as your very own culture vulture. Zara first launched her newsletter, Screenshot This, during the grim, bleak days of lockdown in 2020. At the time, it served as a much-needed glimmer of joy and fun. Since then, it’s gained a cult-like status and only risen in popularity. 

“I’m a big sharer of information; if I stumble upon a new cafe, I can’t wait to tell my friends about it. If I see a dress that you wanted on sale, I’ll text it to you,” Zara shares with THE INARRA

After welcoming her first child, Frederick, with her husband Matthew in August 2022, Zara’s also been sharing her maternity and postpartum fashion journey in her newsletter, which resonates deeply with her readers. Counting Sofia Coppola, Bianca Jagger, and Alexa Chung as her style icons, the former Vogue editor is renowned for her beautiful style. Still, she admits traditional maternity wear was never going to be her bag of chips. 

“I did not buy one maternity item because I loathed the idea of wearing something for such a short period of time,” Zara shares on why the idea of ‘maternity fashion’ didn’t work for her. 

“I learned early on that ‘dressing casually’ just does not work for me. I really enjoy how style is a way to express yourself – it’s not just about the trends but how you can be whatever you want to be. And what I wanted to be was myself – and I would never have worn leggings, sneakers, and a sweatshirt anyway, so being pregnant or a new mum was not the time to do it!”

“I’m a big sharer of information; if I stumble upon a new cafe, I can’t wait to tell my friends about it. If I see a dress that you wanted on sale, I’ll text it to you.” Zara Wong

The best podcasts worth listening to 

Ready or Not

One of the most daunting aspects of starting a family is figuring out how you’ll return to work as a parent. While theoretically, you know millions of families around the world do it daily, it’s hard to imagine yourself doing it. Will you still feel as ambitious? Will you want to return to the same job? How will childcare work? How can we ensure an equitable split between both parents? 

That’s why Ready or Not was created. It’s a genre of podcast which definitely didn’t exist when I first returned to work in 2020 after having my oldest child, and something that would have been an absolute god-send to help me adjust. The premise of the podcast examines how mums and parents make work, work. 

Presented by “pretend sisters” and close mates Lucinda McKimm and Lauren Treweek, the show launched in 2022 and has two offerings — a weekly interview-style episode called Ready or Not, which speaks to working women (past guests include Sunroom co-founder Michelle Battersby, Gritty Pretty founder Eleanor Pendleton and executive founder of The Parenthood Georgie Dent) about their careers and families, and the more informal sister show, Witching Hour, where Loz and Lucinda catch up and share personal insights from their work-life juggle struggle. Lucinda also writes about motherhood and career every fortnight on their substack channel. 

We Don’t Have Time For This

Listening to an episode of We Don’t Have Time For This is like eavesdropping on two hilarious, lifelong besties riff on the complexities of life. And that’s because the show’s hosts, Gemma Pranita and Kate Reeves, are indeed lifelong best mates who also happen to be incredibly creative, driven and honest working mums. Or, as they put it, “two full-time working mums with lots of opinions and no time.” In one episode, you’ll shriek with laughter before nodding your head in sage agreement. It’s the perfect mix of light and shade, with neither host taking themselves too seriously. 

“We started in COVID, and if you can take your mind back to 2020, there was no real talk about motherhood. It was still very much advice podcasts with experts. There was no one really talking about hating parenting. It’s about hating the day-to-day, loving your kids, but hating the whole parenting palaver. Also, there wasn’t anything about full-time working mums. Obviously, every mother works full-time, but we were like, ‘Where’s that space? Could we talk about that?’” Kate tells THE INARRA about the podcast’s rise and carving out their niche in the crowded podcast market. 

The main weekly episode drops every Tuesday, while Bestie Hotline lands every Friday and is a shorter episode in which the hosts help troubleshoot a listener dilemma. They also have a subscriber offering with an extra main episode landing every second Thursday, plus watch parties, where they debrief something dominating the zeitgeist, like a trending TV show, documentary, album, or movie. 

Darling, Shine! 

Best friends Ellidy Pullin and Chloe Fisher started their podcast after they found themselves “up shit creek in 2020.” While navigating two very different but equally horrendous heartbreaks, infertility and widowhood, the pair began to share their beautifully raw and real conversations on their podcast Darling, Shine! and the audience started to tune in by the droves. While they leaned on each other in the only way best friends could, they soon realised just how many other women were walking similar paths. 

Shining a light on their respective situations, Chloe and Ellidy have helped normalise conversations around death, grief, miscarriage, and infertility, while celebrating female friendship and creating modern families. 

Now in its fifth season, the pair have interviewed people from all walks of life, including Red Wiggle Caterina Mete on her decision to become a solo mum to twins, snowboarder Josh ‘Woody’ Woods on how he learned to walk again after becoming a complete quadriplegic and entrepreneur Lisa Messenger about infertility and surrogacy. Between their guest interview episodes, Ellidy and Chloe deliver their usual tell-all chats where they discuss everything from travelling around the world together, life with Ellidy’s two-year-old daughter Minnie, Chloe’s miracle pregnancy, and their usual laugh-out-loud bestie antics. 

“Our podcast is more than just ‘another podcast.’ It’s a community uniting us through our challenges and hyping each other up along the way. I take you through the ups and downs of my fertility journey whilst travelling around the globe with my husband on the music scene. Most importantly, I get to do it with my best friend, Ellidy,” Chloe says of their show. 

“At Darling, Shine! we use our pain as our power to open conversations and help those listening to feel heard and seen. We’re lifting up women of all ages and backgrounds to realise their true potential. Creating connection through thoughtful collaboration and community activation, we’re building a solid foundation where everyone feels supported,” Ellidy adds. 

The First Word 

When you become a mother, one of the things you can so desperately crave during those often long, lonely days with a newborn is stimulating adult conversation. That’s where author Tori Bowman Johnson’s podcast, The First Word, comes into your ears. 

Tori tells us, “It’s a series I created due to a personal pining for woman-to-woman chit-chat about everything and nothing. The ‘nothing’ reference aligns with the greatest show on earth, Seinfeld (after Friends), because there is so much goodness, value, lessons of empathy, and relatability in conversations that echo the day-to-day life of a woman living in these modern times.”

When Tori welcomed her kids at 29 and 32, she found that while she adored motherhood, she was still equally driven by her career, friendships, and creative passions. Tori wanted to explore how we reconcile our ‘new’ identity of mother with our ‘old’ selves and interests. 

“I felt a huge pressure to decide who I was after children — the Stay-at-Home Mum or the Career Mum. I really want women to avoid the feeling as though they need to “tick a box.” Women should let themselves be immersed in whatever it is in life that truly lights them up. I sincerely believe that if they allow themselves to lean towards what makes them happy, the result will have such a positive impact on their motherhood journey,” the author of Afterwards and Before shares. 

With her podcast, Tori explores how women can still be incredible mothers while also leaning into the many other aspects of life. “The ethos of TFW is that women thrive when they have access to each other. This also means ensuring every woman feels included and considered without judgement.” 

The show examines topics that are often clouded in stigma, from having an intimacy drought in your relationship and dealing with rage to living with OCD or other mental hurdles that are less understood, becoming single when everyone else is getting married or having babies, not knowing the best way to raise respectful boys, infertility and ageing.  

“I love welcoming any guest who I know agrees with the idea that women thrive when they have access to each other (they certainly don’t have to be a mum!). If someone is willing and comfortable to be open, candid, and honest, with the goal of helping someone to feel less alone – they’re welcome on TFW any day of the week,” Tori says. 

Eat, Sleep, Shit, Repeat

They had us at Eat, Sleep, Shit, Repeat to be honest, and as the frank and funny name of their podcast suggests, this show is all about the wild ride of motherhood told through the lens of new mums and best friends, Kelly McCarren and Kee Reece. 

It’s a super relatable listen that dives deep into everything from postpartum sex, the minefield of baby sleep, the pressure on your child to tick off milestones, postpartum mental health to managing screen time, whether or not to have another baby, and dealing with unhinged toddlers. As well as their top-shelf chats, the pair speak to other everyday parents deep in the trenches as well as experts about the wild ride of parenting. 

“It’s a judgement and shame-free zone where Kel and Kee give advice and talk to other everyday mums. But mostly, it’s a raw, honest, funny, and relatable look at being a first-time mum desperately trying to survive,” the hosts explain of the show. 

The pair hope to create a digital village and connect with other women so new mothers don’t feel alone. “Gone are the days where you have your village ready to go. You kind of need to make your own. But it’s not always easy. Maybe mother’s groups aren’t a thing in your area. Or maybe you attended yours and thought, ‘My goodness. These people just aren’t my people. Or maybe you have found an outstanding mother’s group but there wasn’t someone to talk to at 3am. You might be in the thick of the postpartum fog and you just want some company in your ears. That’s where Eat, Sleep, Shit, Repeat comes in to save the day. We’re your virtual mother’s group in your ears,” the hosts share of their motivation behind the podcast. 

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Words by Bella Brennan

 

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