Breaking Down Parenting: A ParentNormal Podcast

Breaking Down Parenting: A ParentNormal Podcast is a show that’s for imperfect parents by imperfect parents. Hosted by humorist and imperfect parent of three Chris Cate, every episode breaks down a topic that causes parents to break down, such as putting kids to bed, potty training, the terrible twos, homework, family communication, clothing, discipline, cleaning up, cooking for kids, etc. The mission of the show is to help parents laugh when they want to cry. By the end of each topic breakdown, parents will hopefully realize they aren’t alone in their struggles and that the craziness all parents go through is actually quite funny when it’s looked at in the right light. Longtime listeners will know the show began as The ParentNormal Podcast. For nearly 100 episodes, it featured celebrity interviews, parenting fails and even a few skits. All of those episodes are still available, but the best is yet to come. Breaking Down Parenting: A ParentNormal Podcast is diving deeper than ever into the crazy realities of parenthood with more stories and hilarious confessions from real parents all over the world.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 30, 2016

This seventh edition of parenting fails shared on show reveal even the most talented parents aren't immune to parenting fails. Enjoy this episode knowing you aren't alone in your failures, so you might as well laugh at your circumstances rather than get stressed out to the point of crying.

Parents featured in this episode include:

Dec 28, 2016

For every parenting victory, there is a parenting fail - perhaps several. But rather than get stressed out to the point of tears, it's usually better to laugh about the madness of parenthood.

This episode is the sixth edition of parenting fails featuring parents who have appeared on the podcast to share their stories.

Parents featured in this episode include:

Dec 21, 2016

Amy Bellgardt of is this week's featured guest. If you're a blogger or have any aspirations to be a blogger, whether it’s a blog about parenting or anything else, you’re really going to enjoy this interview.

A couple of months ago, Amy wrote a post on her blog titled How to Make Six Figures a Year Blogging. I thought the idea of making six figures a year writing about one of your passions was incredible, so I invited Amy to be on the show to talk about creating a successful blog, building an audience, how social media can help you, how to connect with brands to monetize your site and about her own success story.

Dec 16, 2016

Asha Dornfest, author of Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids, is this week's featured guest. In our conversation, we talk about her favorite hacks, how she got started learning new hacks and where she has had the most success discovering new parenting hacks.

Dec 6, 2016

It's here! My new book, The ParentNormal Crash Course: Everything Traditional Parenting Books Are Afraid to Tell You About Close Encounters of the Baby, Toddler and Third-Year Kind, is now available on!

Usually, I interview another parent on the show. But this week, my daughter Ava interviews me about my new book. Naturally, she asks some hard-hitting questions like, "Can I have a snack?" She eventually asks about the book, probably because she wants permission to have a snack. But whatever her motivation, she leads a great interview.

I hope you'll get the book for yourself or for a friend. It will make a great Christmas present or baby shower gift. Best of all, it will make you laugh on those days parenting makes you want to cry.

Nov 15, 2016

Ilana Wiles, the mom behind the Mommy Shorts website and the author of The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting, is this week's featured guest.

In our conversation, we talk about how the Mommy Shorts website began and evolved over the years, what advice she would give to someone starting a blog and her favorite parenting topics to write about, which happens to be great advice for all parents. And of course, we talk about The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting and what Ilana hopes parents take away from reading it.

Nov 1, 2016

Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series, is this week's featured podcast guest! Thanks to the success of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, a 6-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner and one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

The post Ep. 53 Interview with Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, NYT Bestseller & 6-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner appeared first on The ParentNormal.

Oct 27, 2016

New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen is this week’s featured guest. Carl’s many bestsellers include the Newberry Award-winning book Hoot, which was adapted into a movie starring Luke Wilson, Logan Lerman and Brie Larson.

In my conversation with Carl, we talk about how his newspaper background influences his writing, why he began writing young-adult books after a successful career writing books for adults and how responsive kids are to stories about the environment.

The post Ep. 52 Interview with Carl Hiaasen, author of many NYT bestsellers including the Newberry Award-winning book Hoot appeared first on The ParentNormal.

Oct 18, 2016

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and author Dave Barry, who happens to be one of the funniest writers alive, is my featured guest this week. Dave has written more than 30 books and even had a CBS sitcom called Dave’s World based on his books. But if you ask him, his most enduring achievement is that one of his columns is largely responsible for the movement to observe International Talk Like a Pirate Day every year.

Oct 15, 2016

It's episode 50 of the podcast! In this milestone episode, I return to the ParentNormal Mailbag that I used to answer questions from on a regular basis when the show debuted. Since the school year is back in full swing, I answer your school-related questions.

Oct 7, 2016

Scholastic Classroom Magazines Editor Stephanie Smith is this week's featured guest. On occasion, I report the ParentNormal News, but I’ve never talked about real news on the show…until now.

Stephanie and I talk about what kinds of news kids are actually interested in reading about and how Scholastic writes their news differently based on their readers’ ages. And if you talk about the news now, you have to talk about the election. So we also discuss how to talk to kids about the election without leading them into a political argument with their friends. And finally, we talk about how Scholastic chooses their kid reporters.

Sep 23, 2016

Richard Rende, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist, researcher and educator is the featured guest this week. In our conversation, we talk about his new book Raising Can-Do Kids: Giving Children the Tools to Thrive in a Fast-Changing World.

We also talk about how much structure is too much for kids and about the advantages of a child with street smarts. We also discuss how lessons for entrepreneurs can be excellent lessons for kids too.

Sep 8, 2016

Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World, is the featured guest this week.

Amy is a frequent guest on the TODAY Show. She has also appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and many other stations. But now she is on the ParentNormal Comedy Podcast to talk about how to know if your child is too entitled and what you can do about it. We also talk about positive parenting techniques, even when it comes to discipline.

Aug 30, 2016

Leslie Patricelli, children's author and illustrator of popular books such as Potty, Yummy Yucky, No No Yes Yes, Huggy Kissy and Big Little, is my guest this week. At the repeated request of my kids, I've read her books again and again and again - often in the same night.

In our conversation, we talk about how she got her start writing children’s books, how she’s able to get so much story out of so few words in her books and what advice she has for anyone who wants to write children’s books.

Aug 24, 2016

Two very cool moms are on the show this week - Kristen Chase and Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Picks. Since their Cool Mom Picks website was launched in 2006, it has grown into one of the best gear, style and design sites on the web for parents. Parents Magazine even called their site "The online arbiter of cool for the swingset crowd."

Kristen and Liz also host their own podcast called Spawned, which I definitely recommend. They are both reallyentertaining and enjoyable to listen to, which you’ll hear in this episode.

In our conversation, we talk about how Cool Mom Picks started, why it’s important for parents to share lessons and ideas with each other and some of the favorite things Kristen and Liz have reviewed on their site. They'll even offer advice for anyone thinking about starting their own website.

Aug 19, 2016

This week we’re wrapping up our summer series of parenting fails. I hope it’s been helpful for you to hear other parents share their fails, not only because the stories are often entertaining, but because I think it’s helpful to hear that no parent is perfect.

No matter how hard we try or how much we love our kids, parenting fails are inevitable. The best thing we can do for our kids is just say sorry and try not to make the same mistakes again. Parenting is stressful enough without beating yourself up for past mistakes.

Parents featured in this episode include:

Mary Elizabeth Williams from Episode 35. Mary Elizabeth is the author of A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science and Cancer.

Mike Spohr from Episode 36. Mike is the editor of BuzzFeed Parents.

Christopher Monks from Episode 37. Chris is the editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Jeannie Gaffigan from Episode 38. Jeannie is comedian Jim Gaffigan’s writing partner. She also happens to be his wife and co-writer on the Jim Gaffigan Show, which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it yet.

Sarah Maizes from Episode 41. Sarah is the author of Got Milf?: The Modern Mom’s Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great, and Rocking A Minivan.

Aug 10, 2016

Dr. Robert Keith Wallace, a pioneering researcher on the physiology of consciousness, is the featured guest this week. He and renowned scientist Dr. Frederick Travis recently published Dharma Parenting: Understand Your Child’s Brilliant Brain for Greater Happiness Health, Success and Fulfillment.

In our discussion, we talk about the different brain types of children, modern science, ancient Ayurveda and how to meet the needs of children based on their personality. We also talk about how early you can detect the personality of your child and how foods can make a difference in your child’s behavior.

Jul 29, 2016

If you think you're the only parent who has parenting fails, you're very wrong. This is fourth episode of the podcast dedicated strictly to parenting fails, which every parent has on a regular basis.

The featured storytellers in this episode include:

Rosie Pope from episode 30: Rosie Pope starred in Bravo's Pregnant in Heels, a reality show on which she guided soon-to-be mothers and fathers through the joys and perils of preparing for parenthood. Rosie is also the author of Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and she is a contributing editor at Parents Magazine. Rosie is also the creative force behind MomPrep, her prenatal, postpardum and parenting education studio and Rosie Pope Maternity and Rosie Pope Baby, her maternity and baby clothing and accessories lines.

Karen Alpert from episode 31: Karen Alpert is the New York Times bestselling author of I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting. Her new book is I Want My Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting and it’s already getting rave reviews.

Mike Sacks from episode 32: Mike Sacks is a comedy writer, podcaster and editor at Vanity Fair. He has also published two books I consider to be required reading for anyone who loves great comedy writing:

Adam Mansbach from episode 33: Adam Mansbach is the author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep and You Have to F**king Eat.

Arianna Huffington from episode 34: Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post. She is also a mom who has been on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. Arianna has just released a new book called The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

Jul 14, 2016

Sarah Maizes is the featured guest this week. Sarah is a mother of three who has authored children’s books and humor books. She’s also a regular contributor to TODAY Parents, the parenting website for NBC’s Today Show.

We’ll talk about her work for TODAY Parents, which involves curating the funniest parenting posts on Facebook every week. She’ll even share how you can improve your chances to make the list of funniest parenting posts and perhaps get the attention of the Today Show.

I’ll also talk to her about being a literary agent early in her career and how it helped her develop her children’s book series. And I’ll ask her about her book Got Milf? The Modern Mom's Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan.

If you happened to find this show because you did a word search for "milf," this episode isn’t going to be anything like you hoped. But I still hope you listen because you'll probably benefit from hearing real conversations about parenthood.

Jul 6, 2016

Every parent has parenting fails - many, many parenting fails. It's a fact that we don't hide on the ParentNormal Comedy Podcast. This episode is the third collection of parenting fails shared on the show. The storytellers in this episode include:

Beau Coffron from episode 23: Beau is known as Lunchbox Dad. He’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show and several other top shows. He’s also appeared on, and he’s even been in People Magazine, all because he makes the most creative lunches for his kids.

Sarah Turner from episode 25: Sarah is best known to her fans as the Unmumsy Mum. She recently released a book called The Unmumsy Mum, which is already a Sunday Times bestseller in England. The book has its roots in her very popular parenting blog of the same name – The Unmumsy Mum – which was named Best Baby Blog at the 2015 MAD Blog Awards.

Bianca Jamotte from episode 26: Bianca is a mom, an actress and the creator of the webseries Real Mommy Confessions. If that wasn’t enough, she also owns a specialty mac and cheese restaurant and a coffee shop in Brooklyn, New York.

Charlie Capen from episode 28: Charlie is the co-creator of the How to Be a Dad website and co-author of The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions: Survival Tips for Co-Sleeping Parents.

Brian Gordon from episode 29: Brian is the creator of the Fowl Language webcomic. He has a new book out titled Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting, which is full of cartoons that perfectly poke fun at the daily struggles parents face.

Jun 22, 2016

No matter how much we love our kids or how hard we try to be perfect, parenting fails are inevitable, which is why it’s important to tell our stories - so nobody gets fooled into thinking any parent is as perfect as they pretend to be on Facebook.

This is the second time I’ve done an episode dedicated to parenting fails. You can go back and listen to episode 11 of the podcast, which features the parenting fails from the first 10 guests on the show. Now, for this episode, I’ve compiled the parenting fails from guests 11 through 15.

Jun 15, 2016

Jeannie Gaffigan, the wife and writing partner of Jim Gaffigan, one of the most popular comedians in the world, is the featured guest on the podcast this week.

In addition to co-writing Jim’s standup material, Jeannie co-writes the Jim Gaffigan Show with Jim. They also have five kids together and raise them in New York City, which is the basis for the Jim Gaffigan Show.

In our conversation, Jeannie and I talk about her writing process with Jim, what it’s like to raise kids in New York City, what their family does for entertainment and why Father’s Day was the perfect day for the new season of the Jim Gaffigan Show to premiere.

Jun 8, 2016

If you aren’t familiar with McSweeney’s, it features some of the smartest and most original humor online. It’s not a parenting website by any means, but one of the many things I appreciate about the site is that it doesn’t shy away from good parenting humor. As long as an essay is original and funny, no topic is off limits on McSweeney’s and I think that is a credit to Chris as the editor.

In our conversation, Chris and I will talk about what separates good parenting humor from tacky parenting jokes, how often he gets submissions about parenthood and what topics he’s tired of reading about. (Can you guess what topic everyone is writing about right now?)

Chris works out of his home, so we also talk about being a work-at-home dad and how he stays on schedule. And finally, I’ll ask him about working with some of the celebrity authors who contribute to McSweeney’s.

May 31, 2016

Mike Spohr, editor of BuzzFeed Parents, is this week's featured guest. If you’re a writer or even if you’re just an aspiring writer, you are really going to enjoy this conversation.

Mike and I talk about the characteristics of a viral article and what it means to go viral. We talk about some of Mike’s favorite articles for BuzzFeed Parents and what kind of articles parents tend to gravitate towards. We also discuss Mike’s own family blog and what it takes to build an online fan base of readers.

May 17, 2016

Mary Elizabeth Williams was diagnosed with a rapidly fatal form of cancer while her kids were only 6 and 10 years old. In this episode, we talk about how she responded to her diagnosis and how she told her kids. We also talk about new treatments and what advice she has for parents struggling with a terminal illness.

Mary Elizabeth’s story has a happy ending. She is healthy and has a new book that tells her complete story titled A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science and Cancer. But there are many parents with young children who still don’t know how their story will end. If you want to help them in some way, Mary Elizabeth suggests donating to Gilda’s Club, which provided tremendous support to her and her family. As Mary Elizabeth puts it, cancer is not a one person disease. It impacts everyone in your life.

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