PPD & The Working Mom

PPDHeads up, this is an old post I wrote years ago when Ollie was an infant. It is no longer online so I am reposting it to help new moms. 

Hi. I’m Brandy and I have suffered from postpartum depression/anxiety…twice. I had no idea how to start this post so lets just shine light on the elephant in the room right off the bat (holy cliche sentence, Batman).

Being a mom is hard…working or not. We can all agree there. I can gladly state that the newborn phase of my children is the hardest (so far). While I don’t doubt my ability to mom or how good a mom I am, I know I have struggled with both Landon and Oliver as new babies. I also had great support to help me…and I know not everyone has that. As I stated in other posts, life at home isn’t for me. The colic. The crying. The long days of getting nothing done. The second time around was a little better knowing that it was a finite thing until I went back to work but still very isolating and scary at times. It wore me down.

I am willing to admit all this but I think some moms struggle with that. Sometimes that struggle is just a small nagging but sometimes it is more. Sometimes the long days with little sleep and so much frustration build and build. As hard as you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is really faint. You get angry over little things and no amount of deep breaths help. You break one day and scream at your kid and then bawl your eyes out at what you did. People telling you “it gets better” mean nothing because while you know they are right, you want it better NOW.

What made it better for me? Going back to work.

As insane as that sounds, it has done so twice. With 6 years of self reflection, I know this is because of how I am wired. I thrive on achievement, if not over-achievement, and meeting goals. I have my dream job where I get to create and discover every day. So to go from that to a shower being my biggest accomplishment for the day? SUCKS! I thrive at work. I get to do what I love…create and help people. I get to work with amazing people. And? I GET TO SIT DOWN. I get to go to the bathroom without someone crying. I don’t have to put some one to nap and then wait to see if they actually will. There is routine that HAS to happen. We have to be at work at X…so crying or not, it will happen. Once we get home, I have X amount of time until I can drink relax. Everything is calculated out and predictable(ish). Yes, I have more on my plate with a full time job but I can think about something other than sleep schedules and poop colors. It gives me balance.

A few weeks after I went back to work, I went to see my therapist. She could see the difference when I walked in the door. She was pretty amazed. I no longer needed my anxiety meds.There are still the calls from daycare you dread but it is part of the gig. The next day brings something new…not just more of the same.

This post was spurred by this post on Huffington Post that I related to instantly. Another mom who found relief in the working world. I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone. I write this to show it is possible, as crazy as it sounds, to add more to your plate to make it better.

Have you dealt with PPD/PPA? If so, how did going back to work affect you? Better? Worse?

PSA: If you are struggling after your baby is born, even later on, please talk to your doctor. It is nothing to be ashamed of and completely normal. You may just have a case of baby blues but it could be more. Take care of yourself.  If you want to read other stores, please check out Postpartum Progress. I am also happy to answer any emails, tweets, etc if you need help. – Brandy

Sweetest Day

Throughout our days with these kids growing like weeds, we feel like we need to do more. We need to enrich their lives with experiences. Sports, camps, the zoo, theme parks (Tweetsie photos soon, btw), trips to the beach and the fair are just a few that come to mind as I type. We plan out all these things with precision and care. We want to give them happy memories..I get it. But then sometimes you are 3 activities deep and just going “what the hell was I thinking?”. Sometimes the memories are perfect. Happy smiles. No tantrums. No low blood sugar rage.

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Kid Sleep without the PTSD {Giveaway}!

Monday night, Ollie was up at least 6 times. At first it was he needed to be wrapped in his blanket like a burrito, then water, then I have no idea. I blacked out from rage and exhaustion. It was an atypical night for us, so my body was thrown. I pretty much struggled all morning. I whined. I Facebooked about it. I basically threw an adult tempter tantrum.

Later that day I went to the gym and got talking to a dad who I was relaying my lag from lack of sleep. He went on to “commiserate” with me. Ya see his son didn’t stop waking up multiple times until he was 2.5. He was now pretty consistent at once a night…and he is almost 4.

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Why Daycare is More Than OK

It is no secret I love daycare. They have taken great care of my boys. They teach them tons of things in ways I couldn’t dream of. They teach sharing where I can’t really do the same peer to peer lessons at home. They make best friends and I have even made mom friends myself. I could, of course, go on but that’s not my point here. My point is that I don’t view daycare as something I had to settle for. Sometimes readers will ask “how did you make the decision to go back to work and send them to daycare?” or the more abrasive “How do you send your kids to get looked after by a stranger?”And after I flip a table at the later, I say, “I never really considered the other, honestly.”

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The 2 Wheeler

2wheelerLearning to ride a “2 wheeler” has been looming over us for years. I recall playing sometime last year and Landon saying “well I can learn to ride a 2 wheeler when I am 6.” as he watched the little neighborhood girl whip around on her bike in the cul de sac. That longing statement of “I want to be big…just not yet” was inspiring and at the same time ominous. So when his brother clearly was too big for his tricycle and needed the next bike up, we told him “you aren’t getting training wheels” like true cheap mean parents. I mean…he was turning 6, we recalled for him. Time to buck up, kiddo.

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Welcome to Brandy’s House of Medical Mysteries!

rp_IMG_2213-1024x768.jpegHi. New here? Yesterday Ollie and I appeared on ABC 11 here in Raleigh to talk about his bout with Periorbital Cellulitis . Also in the story, the anchor teased that this blog chronicled my parenting adventures and how this isn’t my first weird medical diagnosis. She was right. For whatever reason, I seem to be the resident “oh my friend had that” spokesperson. I choose to write about these thing because a)I cope by laughing at myself and b) I figure I might as well calm people down in their Google searches. So I thought I would take the time to highlight all the wonderful things that I have experienced.

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Formula AND Pumping, Not OR

formulaHappy World Breastfeeding Week, everyone! With the celebration this year, the healthcare center at SAS asked me to participate. I went on camera and talked about my journey a little. When I was contacted about doing it, I jumped at it and asked if I could speak to a specific issue: formula and pumping. I did both with both my kids and while I don’t regret a thing, I always felt kind of alone. I felt like I was forging my own journey. There was little out there for support.  You are usually sifting through info from 2 vastly different sides. Either you exclusively breastfeed or just give formula and while neither is bad, it isn’t your only choice. The biggest group of moms this seems to effect is working moms. You go down a VERY common path. You start work and quickly see how hard it is to make those bottles. You pump and pump. You take from your maternity leave stash. You are living pump to pump. Then? Daycare says “he could use bigger bottles” and you heart sinks. How?

So a few years ago, while I was in the throws of this for the second time, I wrote a post I am reviving below. It is still relevant for new moms struggling to figure out that magical machine in a bag. Here ya go, mama…

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4 Ways to Finding Your Mommy Soul Mate

IMG_0096Or at least some mommy friends. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of questions via Twitter and e-mail about how to find new mom friends. How to start a conversation at the park, how to get people to not think you are crazy and how to find that parent (and kid) that you can just relax around. Basically how to date again…but this time you are trying to find new friends in a new landscape.

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Pin of the Week: Summer Veggie Tian

This week: Summer Veggie Tian.

The Problem

Honestly this one was just a luck pin but after seeing it I realized this was a perfect recipe when you have leftover veggies. I could see if you had a garden and an overflow of these things, this would be a no brainer. I am also always looking for new veggie side ideas.

The Pin

I actually saw this link on twitter but pinned it here.

The Result

I say it was pretty tasty. The kids ate some without complete disgust which was saying a lot since these were pretty much the veggies they don’t like. HOORAY CHEESE!

I would say try and gauge the tomato size with this. We aren’t huge tomato fans so I didn’t worry with it but my one standard tomato wasn’t enough to alternate with the others. I may also do a little less onion and maybe switch to vidalia for even sweeter than the yellow.

If you have a slicer, use that. I didn’t and just sliced with a knife best i could. The potatoes needed to be thinner to cook evenly with the other stuff. They weren’t raw but they aren’t super soft.

Rating: A.

It’s worth a try for a couple of bucks worth of ingredients. Go for it. ef50b0db6741cf4d6f115cb253ba72c2


Pin of the Week: DIY Pool Rope

So I am going to try something out to get me blogging AND getting somethings done around the house. Introducing, my pin of the week.  I will choose a pin from Pinterest each week and execute it (I also may cheat and just show you things I have done before on busy weeks). I have been using Pinterest since the beta and I can’t recommend it enough to everyone. I’ve made all kinds of things and can always find a good drink recipes in seconds…so now I share the ones that work and don’t!

This week: DIY Pool Rope.

The Problem

We have never had a rope to designate the deep end of the pool. Landon knows it because of the hooks on the side and just practice but guests don’t really know where it starts to drop off. Buying a pool rope can actually be pretty expensive…and lame. These are the perfect Pinterest moments because I’m all “oh there has to be a DIY version”.

The Pin

Well actually I never found a pool rope tutorial. Instead I found this DIY pool noodle garland and figured that would work just fine.

The Result

Happy to say IT WORKED! I altered it a bit with 1 inch sections and gave it a whirl.


3 pool noodles ($3 total from Dollar Tree)

Nylon rope ($6 for 150 ft from Town & Country Hardware)

Exacto knife




  1. Mark off your noodle every 1 inch (adjust to width you would like. Remember you want the rope to be able to move in the water a bit.).
  2. Cut with exacto knife.
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 for all 3 noodles (or the number you need in length).
  4. String the noodle pieces onto the rope.
  5. Tie it to the pool hooks.


Pinterest Find of the Week: DIY Pool Rope! Song: Miike Snow – Bavarian #1

A video posted by Brandy (@mannlymama) on

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