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Tell Me About Your Mother

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New Year, New Book, and Introducing New Pods!

Check out Amy's new book, Forget "Having It All": How America Messed Up Motherhood—and How to Fix It ( We'll be back with another season later in 2019, but in the meantime, check out some other Critical Frequency pods, Peace of Mind with Bhi Bhiman ( launching January 18th and The Double Shift (, the podcast for a new generation of mothers, launching February 11th.


Best of TMAYM, with Ashley C. Ford, Porochista Khakpour, Rebecca Traister, Aparna Nancherla, and more

In our season 3 finale, we take a listen back through three seasons full of fascinating women. Episode sponsors: StoryWorth - visit for $20 off Zola - visit to start your free website and get $50 off your registry completion


What Amy Roost Learned from Her Mom about Civil Rights, Keeping Quiet, Parenting, and More

Journalist and podcaster Amy Roost has a really incredible life story, starting with the fact that she was a "replacement" child in a wild adoption story. Here she tells us that story, plus how watching her mother taught her to fight for civil rights, never live vicariously through her children, and speak her truth. Episode sponsor: Zola - visit to start your free wedding website and get $50 off your registry today!


Jenny Kaplan and Her Mom Kathy Manninng on the New "Year of the Woman"

Jenny Kaplan grew up watching her mom take herself and her career as seriously as she took her family and her responsibility to the broader community. This year her mom was one of hundreds of women who decided to run in the wake of the 2016 election, prompting Jenny herself to make some big moves. Here, she tells us about her mom, and introduces her new podcast Women Belong in the House. Episode Sponnsor: LOLA - visit and use TELLME for 40% off all subscriptions for Lola's...


Author Rebecca Traister on Living Feminist Ideals and Who's Allowed to Have a Temper

Author Rebecca Traister's new book Good and Mad looks at how society has handled women's rage throughout history, how it has been punished, and how it has served as a catalyst for political victories and social change. In this episode, we get some interesting insights into the first woman Traister studied, and how it formed her ideas about womanhood, work, feminism, and more. Episode sponsor: Care/of - for 25% off your first month, visit and use the promo code TELLME


Giphy's Stephanie Weber on Growing Up with a Single Mom Who Taught Her to Navigate Tech, Know Her Worth, and Never Fake an Orgasm

Giphy producer Stephanie Weber moved around a lot as a kid. Her single mom wasn't following men in the 1980s, she was chasing a career as a computer programmer. They were a tight unit then and still are today, but Stephanie sometimes wonders if growing up in a matriarchal family has had an impact on her relationships with men today. This episode's sponsor is Sun Basket. Visit for $35 off your first box.


Ski Mountaineer Hilaree Nelson (O'Neil) on How Her Mom Inspired Her to Climb Mountains

Legendary ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is the first woman to have climbed and ski'd down so many mountains it's hard to count. She was determined to keep it up after having kids, in part because of the impression her mom left on her as a kid. For $50 off select Casper mattresses: and use the code "mother" at check out. Terms and conditions apply.


Storyteller Emily Zulauf on Moving Closer to Her Mom, and Why Every Parent Should Have the Race Talk

Emily Zulauf is the Fiction Lead for a new game studio in Seattle, where she tries to come up with cool characters and weird, scifi-y names for things. She was with Pixar Animation Studios for almost eight years, as a Creative Development Associate and as a Script Supervisor for Inside Out. She spent two years as the co-executive director of a small nonprofit, the Seattle Clemency Project, and she's a mom with a four-year-old daughter. Zulauf moved home to be closer to her mom when the...


Amy Westervelt on the Mom Who Started It All

After a few requests from listeners, Amy tells the story of her own complicated mother-daughter relationship. This week's episode is sponsored by: Audible -- visit for a free 30-day trial and a free audiobook! Casper - visit for $50 off select mattresses


Writer Sarah Miller on Narcissism, Emotional Distance, and the Unrealistic Expectations We Put on Moms

Sarah Miller is an editor for Popula and a writer (mostly of super smart humor pieces) for The New Yorker, The Cut, and various other publications. In this episode she talks about what she admires about her mom, what she wishes were different, and the misogyny inherent in the expectations most people place on their mothers and their relationships with them. This episode of TMAYM is sponsored by SunBasket. Go to for $35 off your first order!


Journalist Maya Francis on What Her Mom Has Taught Her About Being a Working Mom and a Black Woman Who Owns Her Story

In the Season 2 closer, we talk to journalist and commentator (and Critical Frequency co-founder!) Maya Francis about her mom being a teen mom long before she had Maya, having siblings who had completely different childhoods from her own, how her parents taught her about race and gender, and how despite being a fiercely protective mother, her mom has also always maintained her own personhood.


Author Lauren Muscarella on Maternal Loss

Author Lauren Muscarella lost her mom when she was 20, and says there were aspects of their relationship that she had to work through on her own, long after her mom passed. In this episode we delve into how Lauren did that, why it was so important to her mom that Lauren pursue every opportunity, and how she eventually turned her own journey through grief into a book that might help others (especially her dad and brother, who Lauren thought might only read a book on loss if she wrote one),...


Documentary filmmaker Amanda Micheli on Feminism, Infertility, and What Family Means

Filmmaker Amanda Micheli found the subject of her latest documentary, Vegas Baby, while researching financing options for her second round of IVF. In this episode we talk about how her upbringing impacted her views on family and relationships, and how that impacted her reproductive decisions.


Leticia Aguilar Is a Bearcat

In this crossover episode with the Bearcat podcast, we meet Leticia Aguilar and hear how her mom's experience showed Leticia what sort of woman she did and did not want to be. Now she helps other Latina women figure out how to carve out their own paths.


Comedian Marcella Arguello on Moms, Men, and Machismo

Comedian Marcella Arguello grew up in the rural town of Modesto, Ca where her El Salvadoran parents dealt with plenty of casual racism long before Trump. Marcella learned how to entertain herself as a kid, and how to combine the best of both feminine and masculine traits in one badass comic. Check her out @marcellacomedy everywhere, or at her weekly LA show, Women Crush Wednesdays. Also, please check out our Patreon campaign if you haven't already!


Journalist Sammy Nickalls on Her Mom and #TalkingAboutIt

Sammy Nickalls (a writer and editor at AdWeek) says her mom has always been super supportive, even when she hasn't totally understood or agreed with her daughter. Sammy started the hashtag #TalkingAboutIt in the wake of her best friend's suicide to encourage people to more openly discuss mental health, and says her mom supports her but sometimes worries that it might hurt Sammy professionally to be so vocal about mental health. We talk about that and a whole lot more in this episode. Patreon...


Comedian Aparna Nancherla on anxiety and comedy

Aparna Nancherla's mom was finishing up her residency as she was having Aparna and her sister. All three women dealt with anxiety and depression at different points in their lives, and for Aparna taking care of her mental health ultimately resulted in a successful career in comedy. Critical Frequency Patreon is here. Aparna's episode of The Standups, is on Netflix here.


Heather B. Armstrong ("Dooce"), Part 2, on Being a Super Public Mom

In part two of our Season 2 opener, writer Heather B. Armstrong (aka "Dooce") opens up about the challenges of living a lot of your private life publicly, how she's navigated writing about family, and how her kids feel about all of it. Check out our Patreon link here!


Heather B. Armstrong, aka "Dooce" on the Wild World of "Mommy" Blogging and Why Her Mom Keeps Her in Utah

Heather B. Armstrong was one of the original "mommy bloggers," drawing an audience of millions with her honest accounting of motherhood back in the early days of blogging. These days she has built a small media empire, but it's still a struggle to keep all the balls in the air, especially as a full-time working single mom. That's where here mom comes in. Heather describes her as "the village" that makes her life work. In this 2-part episode we get into all of that, plus how Heather navigated...


Getting to Know Your Mom as a Person, with Renita Parker Mobley

When Renita Parker Mobley heard comedian Sasheer Zamata interviewing her mom on This American Life last year it suddenly made her realize: she'd spent years mad at her mom for leaving her dad and kicking off a messy divorce, maybe it was time to get to understand her better as a woman, not just a mom who had failed to live up to Renita's expectations. So began an ongoing project through which Renita interviews her mom regularly about her life. In our Season 1 closer, it's Renita being...