Posts tagged audio books
Podcasts In the Spotlight: Hear Motherhood
Podcasts in the Spotlight: Hear Motherhood. An interview about the new and noteworthy podcast that answers the question, "Can creativity and motherhood coexist?"

Podcasts in the Spotlight: Hear Motherhood. An interview about the new and noteworthy podcast that answers the question, "Can creativity and motherhood coexist?"

Podcasts are sweeping the nation. From the pop cultural phenomena that Serial became to the proliferation of TED talks and NPR favorites. We want to use our time to and fro engaged in learning or listening in a new and fresh way that goes beyond the traditional radio talk show or audio book.

For creatives, podcasts have become another tool in the kit to share brilliance. Should I have a YouTube channel? Should I have a podcast? Should I be on Instagram?

Paige Ray, author of the still lovely Approaching Joy blog, has turned her artistic endeavors to podcasting in the fresh and approachable show called Hear Motherhood. These conversations are set up to answer the question, "Can motherhood and creativity coexist?" If you've been a reader here for more than one post, you know my answer is a big, "Oh, yeeeaaaah!" to this one. Paige warmly captures a mother's struggles and relatable triumphs as each works to answer that question in their daily priorities.

I think you'll find her endearing Arkansas charm and positive tone one that will highlight your listening experience. Mommy Confessions as well as a Creative Momma Tip are a part of every show, too! 

An interview with Paige Ray is the voice and heart behind the New and Noteworthy podcast entitled: Hear Motherhood. 

An interview with Paige Ray is the voice and heart behind the New and Noteworthy podcast entitled: Hear Motherhood. 

Tell us how you came to be Hear Motherhood?

I am a brand new mom to a beautiful 5-month old boy. This time last year I was convinced that creative life as I knew it was over. In my mind, motherhood was a job so big that it encompassed all of your life. Luckily I soon realized I was surrounded by creative moms who were making both happen beautifully.


What turned this into a podcast instead of a blog or a kicking Instagram feed?

I immediately wanted to talk to those women I admired who were successfully being "creative mamas". It was selfish. I wanted to know their secrets. Then I realized that if I could record those conversations I could help other moms and moms-to-be who had the same questions.


Why do you think so many are turning or returning to a listening medium like podcasts?

I lost my grandmother this spring right before both my son and this project were born. And though, obviously in different ways, I think she would have been a fan of both. 

Women in her time knew about the power of story and spoken word because the Internet, instant messaging, and even television didn't exist. In our faces paced society it's easy to see why people are looking back to those older mediums... Even if it is through using today's technology. 


Tell us what you listen to.

  • I listen to my baby sing when he wakes up at 6am. 
  • I listen to a lot of questionable pop music from the mid 90's. 
  • I listen to audio books and it's the only way most anything gets "read" in my life. 
  • I listen to loads of podcasts.

(Want to hear which podcasts Paige listens to?

Grab the printable list right here.)

What can we look forward to for Hear Motherhood?

More interviews from successful creative women who are willing to pull back the social media curtain and share parts of their real lives. 

More solo shows where I share my heart about the intersection of motherhood and creativity.  

And big dream? I want to be back in a year or so telling what it's like to write for O magazine as well and later put together a retreat for creative moms.  


If you're new to podcasts, take a look at Paige's sidebar as she simply explains the super easy process of subscribing. Give yourself the gift of listening in on the conversations over at Hear Motherhood, and let me know what you think!

Parent Helper: Audio books for kids

Friends, I have been waiting to share this new nugget of goodness that has transformed our witching hour around here. You know what I mean by witching hour, yes? I think it hits everyone's house at slightly different times, but ours hits almost exactly from 4-5 PM every day. At this point, the kids have had their snacks, finished homework, and are not quite motivated enough to find something to entertain themselves (or one another). And so usually, they'd turn to me to play or to suggest a way for them to enjoy the next hour, and by that point, I'm frantically trying to wrap up work, get dinner on the table, and handle any other household chores that have been waiting on me. The combination of parent and child patience levels at their lowest is a recipe for disaster.

In our last visit to the library, we spent some time in the audio book section, or the "read-alongs" as my kids call them. My youngest, L, at four, checks out quite a few of these because it's an easy way for me to have him attentive to books even when I can't be the one reading along with him. He loves the musical backgrounds and bonus songs that some of the books feature. His big sisters were reminiscing about their own experience of these picture books with audio and lamenting that they don't have the fun of these any more.

Seeing that I had a teachable moment right in my hands, I walked with them to the audio books for kids section. Right away, they recognized titles that they had read and some that were on their wish lists. C, our newly confident reader, was happily surprised to find Mr. Popper's Penguins, one of her older sister's books that she'd been eyeing for a while. She hasn't quite had the gumption to pick it up on her own, but knowing that she could be read to and follow along broke down her fear.

Through their elementary school, M and C are required to read or be read to a certain number of minutes per week. I have seen C's confidence grow as she listens along to the British narrator of the story tackle the complicated words and phrases with her. She's able to sink into the story a bit more and use her imagination to make the scenes come to life. This is not a substitute for her independent reading time but a nice addition to her learning.

L memorizes his books through the great use of pattern, repetition, and song that professionals can provide.

M loves the opportunity to put in headphones and be given permission to tune out to dive into a book. Since I have no audio learners (save my husband) in the house, this exercise has been a helpful way for them to expand their learning styles, too.

Last week at 4:15, a moment I typically dread, I looked around to see all three of my children engaged in audio books - content, learning, and completely occupied. It was like a mini-retreat for me and dinner prep and dishes became an enjoyable experience. And we all came to dinner calmer.

Have you tried audio books with your children? Do you utilize them for your own reading? Check out Paige's recommendations for some great audio books.

xoxo, MJ

P.S. Thanks to Ileana for this helpful suggestion: "I used audiobooks all throughout my daughters childhoods. The youngest would drift off to sleep with a "story tape" after we finished with bedtime reading. She is now addicted and still listens to audiobooks as a young woman. I credit the good vocabulary of my children with this habit. I wanted to pass on these two resources of great audiobooks, one the D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths read by Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Kathleen Turner and others. The other is a collection of tales and fables for children by Jim Weiss (he has a very soothing voice)."